Michelle Lennard went out for a bike ride on News Years Eve 2013. Little did she know she would still be working through the injuries to this day.
This is a story of pain and suffering caused in the blink of an eye. And the PTSD that can attach itself to you. Although not called this in the article, it sounds so much like anyone that has had something so dramatic thrown into their lives.
"December 31st 2013.... it was going to be a great day, early morning ride with my sister, followed by coffee, then perhaps a family bbq and a celebration for the new year to come, but...
The driver ‘didn’t see’ me! I am not sure where she was looking or where her mind was except that when I heard was a shout from my sister behind me I knew the next few seconds were going to be bad.
When the Great Wall 4x4 accelerated out of the side street into the back wheel of my road bike I became airborne, with my right-arm instinctively in front of my body. After rolling and finishing in a sitting position facing the way I had been riding, the pain shot into my right shoulder. Buggar, was my arm broken? Was my bike broken? How do I feel right now? Shocked? Yes, beyond belief! But thankfully alive.
The ambulance was called, my husband was called, my daughters were called, my mother was called. Word gets around quickly in a regional town about a cyclist going down and reassurance to my family members that I was ok was of number one importance.
I did finally get to have that coffee, after my visit to the hospital for xrays, dressing of the weeping graze on my elbow, and my visit to the police station to report the driver negligence. The only New Years Eve celebration that night was that my physical injuries were not more serious.
Nine months on and I no longer hold my job of 7 years due to my inability to meet the physical demands of this for longer than a 3 month period, the ache in my shoulder wakes me up at night, I have lost my fitness for road riding and my annual 100km charity rides will have to skip a year. I am now just gaining the confidence to head out on my own again while cars entering from side streets give me the jitters and eyeballing the driver is my new defense.
One of my biggest battles is psychological, the fact that I am a cycling teacher; I am supposed to have confidence on a bike. Teaching children safe cycling skills and talking about the numerous benefits of bike riding is a big responsibility and cannot be delivered when there is a shadow of a doubt.
My goal is to ride 3 x 30km laps of my regular loop early one morning (before traffic) by December 31st 2014.