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Full Circle

Full Circle

After being laid off with a shoulder injury for the duration of the 'cross season, Planet X rider Dave Haygarth tracks his road to recovery, with one eye firmly on the season ahead.

Everything passes, given time.

Last July, when I gave up bike racing for a spell, to get this shoulder fixed properly, it seemed like I was entering a very long dark hole. Looking back now, the cyclocross season that I just missed, seems to have gone by very quickly.

Surgery came and went, recovery was miles, miles better than they forecast, and turbo lead to turbo and more turbo, but very quickly turbo lead to going out for a run or three, which led to a first ride after only just five weeks off the bike. It's now quite clear that five weeks wasn't long enough for me to have sheer unadulterated joy when getting back on the bike. I did have joy, but for probably five or six minutes. After that it's suddenly turned into winter training, and all that goes with it. The novelty wore off, it was back to training and hard work. And it was raining. But nice. You know what I mean. After 3 rides, a lack of stamina and a load of cold winds, I realised that I'd almost ridden a 'full circle' of north, south, east and west around my East Lancashire home, so knew where I had to go on the fourth ride... the loop needed closing, so off I went. (NB - a legal and highway-based loop - unlike the Preston / Strava saga!)

So after a full circle, and a lot of blithering on about injury and recovery, where do I go now? The cyclocross season is my big part of the year, and that is a long way away. I seem very motivated to ride my bike at the moment, despite the seemingly endless storms and nasty winds. I'm happy to take advantage of that enthusiasm and get out as much as I can on my bike, but I am a training person, not a riding person, and I don't really have anything specific to train four or target in the next few weeks.

It's worth pointing out that I have been very strongly advised not to race for the next two or three months anyway. Whilst my shoulder is strong enough to get on the bike and give myself a great workout, a crash of any sort now on my left hand side would be very likely to wreck me for a very long time. Not going there.

And so, in the second week of January, I'm thinking about enjoying a full season of summer cross. I'm in credibly lucky to live just over the border (the right side, of course) from Yorkshire and Britain's biggest summer and winter cyclocross scene. Their summer cross races are just superb, incredibly well attended, competitive, and just what it takes to keep a dedicated cyclocross fanatic like me happy. Especially after missing a season. So bring on May.

Dave races the Planet X XLS Carbon Cyclocross Bike. Buy yours here

21 January 2014

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