Well, as most of you likely know by now, my weekend of racing didn’t happen. I was supposed to race the Koksijde World Cup on Saturday and in the Super Prestige race in Gieten, the Netherlands on Sunday – but due to a rough crash on Friday my season has ended prematurely.
To briefly sum up – I crashed during the Koksijde World Cup course pre-ride and have fractured a vertebrae in my back. I am lucky. Really lucky. I can walk and move around. I don’t need surgery or a brace. I don’t know all the details about my injury – admittedly I was in shock on Friday when the doctor told me the results and I didn’t even think to ask the questions I should have. I do have a document written in Flemish and a CD-ROM with the CT-Scan image on it…
I was told to see an orthopaedic specialist this week – so tomorrow I’ll go see a doctor in Ramsel and get a referral to an orthopaedic doctor. I’ll know more tomorrow about the exact vertebrae I’ve injured and how serious the injury is.
Apart from the back pain and residual muscle tightness, the really annoying side effects of this injury are the sensations in my right quad. My quad is numb and is either in full-on “pins and needles” or red hot pain. It seems like the muscles in my quad can’t relax and are in complete spasm. It really feels like my leg is not really there…
But enough talk about this bad luck – lets talk about the weekend. Had a good night Friday with the good crew we had gathered at our plush house in De Panne. Big thanks to Stefan Wyman for arranging the top-notch accommodations – it helps so much to not be staying in a hotel. We had lots of room to spread out, cook food and just relax. Many thanks to Stefan, Helen and Ian for putting up my endless chatter and slightly melancholy mood!
Race day was a bit odd for me – first time I’ve been at a World Cup as a spectator. I found a quiet spot on the course and did my best to cheer on all my racing pals. I even signed an autograph and had my photo taken with a couple of guys – not bad for a hobbled Canadian cyclo-cross racer/superfan!
Many thanks to all of you who came by to see how I was doing and to offer some kind words! It really was super nice. Quickly after the race we (Ignace, Nikoline and I) hopped in Ignace’s mobile home and hit up the open road for Gieten. After a long and windy drive we arrived at our super awesome StayOK hostel in Schmeeda. This was my first time staying in a hostel – it really wasn’t a hostel – more like a bed and breakfast. For 28 Euros you get a very large and plush room and a solid breakfast in the morning. We dropped our bags and went on a walking tour of Schmeeda looking for food. At 10 pm we landed in a pizzeria/Schwarma restaurant and settled into some good meals.
Sunday morning came fast and furious and we were off to Gieten (30 minutes away) for Nikoline’s race. She had a great race – getting some UCI points and prize money. We hit the road quickly and after many more hours of windy driving we made it home. Many thanks to Ignace for all of the driving, race support, kind words, and cyclocross knowledge – he really makes the racing and travel so much easier. Also thanks to Nikoline for the great company and for putting up with my moodiness!
So, I didn’t get to race but I still had a good weekend hanging out with my friends, cheering on my friends and just enjoying being out and about. As for what’s next – I honestly don’t know. I need to talk with the doctors, talk to Marc, and really take some time to think.
I’m still a bit numb to the reality that for a second year in a row my season has ended in November. I’m sure that later on down the road I’ll find a silver lining in all of this.