I recently wrote about my new wheels-of-steel, in “If You Wanna Be in My Gang”, and how made-up I’ve been to be able to go for daily bike-rides around Changzhou. I've even started recording the times and speeds via this cool little app called Strava.
After a reasonably heavy session at Europe Bar, I attempted to ride home. Drunk driving is generally not something I condone (even on a push bike) but hey – I’m no angel. As I got to the end of my road I carried the bikes up some steps taking a short cut. I went to mount the day-glow green beast and felt an excruciating pain shoot up from my left knee – the one I’d tried putting all my weight on.
Whilst falling I knew my knee had dislocated and popped out of the socket. I let out a loud grunt as I slammed into the gravel, processing in those milliseconds the seriousness of the situation. Luckily, the knee had slipped back into position before I’d hit the floor. Despite the pain and extreme discomfort, I knew this could have been much worse.
As a youngster my knee used to pop out at regular, and painful, intervals. The last and only time it dislocated and stayed popped out was approximately 18 years ago – which also happens to be around the same time I last owned a bike.
On that day, Ben Curtis (RIP), Jamie Turner and I had got a little tipsy and rode our bikes to Rye. When I fell of my bike and looked behind me I could see the other two cracking up laughing before I’d hit the ground and starting screaming like a bitch for them to “get a f**king ambulance!”. I got whisked off and given some of that insane gas that numbs everything and makes things appear a little orange.
Being alone in a dark alleyway in China, I’m not sure anyone would have heard my cries or even if they did, they surely wouldn’t have understood me. Instead I managed to crawl up and hop back to my house.
The last month or so at work has been especially difficult as this job demands you to stand for most of the working day. After feeling a tad fragile for a few weeks, I have now managed to get courageous enough to get back on my bike. It’s just fairly worrying that my lame old knees are still capable of popping out of their sockets for no obvious reason, 18 years on from the last incident.
Albert Einstein once stated: “Life is a like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
I’m sure he’s right but next time I think I’ll avoid the drunken journey home – and hopefully any more dislocated knees...
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