Many of you may not be aware of Zoe’s recent accident. She had quite a serious ‘off’ on the bike whilst enjoying a social ride with friends.
It could have been a lot worse, having the correct equipment and clothing helped minimise the effects. Zoe came off whilst traveling around 45km an hour and de-gloved her glute (basically pulling the glute away from the bone) …Ouch!
Zoe’s helmet did its job, and on inspection it was cracked as a result of the impact.
Some advice for you all…if you have even the slightest impact or drop your helmet, please check your helmet for cracks. Also, something else for you to look out for with regards to your helmet; inside the helmet there should be a CE mark and date of manufacture. The CE mark only guarantees the condition of a helmet for 5 years and after that, you should be looking at replacing it. (School boy error…I recently bought a new helmet and found out it was already four years old and so in theory, it only has one year left!) Please remember to check inside when buying!
Thankfully, three months of sheer hard work and determination under the guidance of Scott at Fast Fit & Strong, Zoe is back on the bike and is well on the road to recovery! (Zoe will be posting a blog about the fall and how it affected her later.)
Zoe’s accident got me thinking about the whole process of dealing with an accident abroad and had me thinking about quite a few important and essential things. So…I thought I would share a few key things with you that we learnt, these will hopefully help you protect yourself should you every be in a similar situation to ours.
When Zoe had her accident, I was riding about five minutes in front of her. I returned to find that prior to her contacting me to return to where she was, Zoe (whilst in excruciating pain I might add!) manged to organise the group of riders to ensuring they were all safe. When I saw Zoe, she later told me that although I was her husband this wasn’t the reason she called me, she wanted me there as I am best trained to deal with this type of thing.
Our Ride Leader qualification and the First Aid course we attended kicked in perfectly! Firstly, we took Zoe to a safe place off the mountain and got her to the local hospital. I can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure that when looking at a guided cycling holiday, the guides are trained adequately. If you are organising one yourself, I would strongly suggest you are first aid trained, preferable outdoor first aid rather than workplace first aid. Our training allows us both feel equipped and confident to deal with such emergencies.
Once at the hospital, everything ran smoothly. We had the correct insurance cover, which meant Zoe was seen immediately and it eliminated our exposure to any costs.
The importance of obtaining good holiday insurance, or preferably a good cycle insurance, is crucial. We are in partnership with Velosure Insurance simply because we like their product and their ethos. Have a look for yourself by visiting their website: https://www.velosure.co.uk/. Velosure Insurance takes the worry out of things and covers you for personal injury, bike repairs and a replacement bike while your cycle is in the workshop. Bicycle beyond repair? Velosure will replace your pride and joy with a new-for-old model. Velosure also have a standalone product https://www.velosure.co.uk/bicycle-travel-insurance which has been specifically designed with the travelling cyclist in mind so you are only paying for essential cover. Worth a look before you head out on the roads abroad.
Back to Zoe…once the initial emergency was dealt with under the EHIC card, we were advised that further aftercare and treatment would then be picked up by the insurance company. Please don’t think that carrying an EHIC card will cover you for all your treatment, something that surprised both of us!
Essential: Aftercare & Rehabilitation
After Zoe had returned from the hospital and after scans and treatment, her recovery began! The first few weeks were largely getting mobile and managing pain. We were contacted by one of our partners offering Zoe his services. Scott Pearson from Fast, Fit & Strong specialises in rehabilitation and has worked extensively with elite cyclists, in particular British Cycling. He has coached Olympians and Paralympians in preparation for the games in Rio, as well as working with Sale Sharks between 2003 and 2009. If you are looking for rehab or simply wanting to take your training to the next the level, Scott is definitely worth contacting. Check out for yourself by visiting his website: https://fastfitstrong.com/
Zoe’s recovery plan is now formulated, achievable measurable targets and goals are set, and I am glad to say, Zoe is well underway to a full recovery and is back out guiding and riding.
It’s been a tough journey, one which we have learnt so much from. I’ve listed below some key points that will assist you in better preparing should the worst happen.
Maybe I’m a little OCD, but I always have photocopies of the below in my plastic pack that I carry with me, including a note of my blood type. This isn’t meant to scare you, but should an accident happen you need to ensure you always have the correct information with you.
- Let others know your route and check in regularly.
- Ensure the route is safe
- Ensure you and the group are safe
- Administer first aid
- Ensure you know the emergency number of the country you are in. In Europe dial 112 and ask for an English-speaking operator, you need the location and nature of the incident.
- EHIC card of person. Without this you will be charged £187.00 on a credit card before aid will be administered.
- Health Insurance card or Holiday Insurance details
- Delegate one person to travel with the ambulance if possible, making sure you find out which hospital they are going to before they head off!
So, not one of my normal blogs but I thought it a great opportunity to share some of the points we have learnt from this unfortunate incident. I truly hope you don’t have any accidents but hopefully you are now better prepared should it happen to you!