Shayne Wilson: Lessons learned from crashing

This is a guest blog from coached athlete Shayne Wilson, who had the nasty experience of crashing during a recent race - while leading! Never one to sit and sulk, Shayne got up (and after he'd finished!!) wrote a list of things we can all learn from his experience.

I’ve been knocked off my bike before (yes it was a car – we’ll get into that discussion another time!), but until recently I’d never crashed my bike before.  It was a weird scenario and not one that is discussed very often so I thought I’d put together a few thoughts on what I’ve learned from it.

  1. Bike Insurance.  We often look at 3rd party insurance to cover ourselves during the event of a mishap through BTF or British Cycling registration. There are plenty of tales of woe and very amusing videos out there of folk checking power readings and bam! They’ve face planted someone’s merc!)  However, I dont hear many people talk about comprehensive bike insurance for our pride and joy.  I’ve just invested in due to the fact they seem reasonably priced, but also they have a variety of extra cover including, events insurance (without paying an excess) if you withdraw due to injury.  £200 for the year, which if you’ve spent £450 on an IronMan event is surely a no brainer to get some protection and cover your fee against an injury.
  2. Befriend your Local Bike Shop – have been immense! Great advice on the repairs, dealing with suppliers, talking through costs and not to mention a hell of a lot of work to get my bike ready in time for an important event! They also run brilliant partner interference, Claire actually looks forward to going and spending money there or maybe it’s the banter.
  3. Check the service of suppliers before buying! I’ve had two different experiences from rival companies here. Ribble have done me an amazing deal on a new fork to replace the one Id snapped. Planet X however offered me a 20% discount to replace BOTH wheels. Why would I need to do that when I can simply buy a new rim from you for £130. Make sure you research your supplier of wheels/bike for crash replacement warranties/ process on your gear!
  4. Shave your legs!! It’s true shaved legs are faster (honest). But seriously, my grazed shaved leg has healed brilliantly. It turns out effortlessly gliding along the tarmac, causing a literal burn is much better. It is now back to its former glory. However, my hairy arm still looks like something from the zombie apocolypse, despite numerous scrubbing and application of savlon spray (that hurts by the way, a lot)
  5. Decent helmet!!! My helmet was smashed to pieces and prevented superficial wounds becoming much more serious, I dread to think what would have happened. A headache would of been proper damage had it not been for a decent lid! Catlike aero helmet if you’re interested, I’ve now upgraded to S-works evade (very nice!)
  6. Service and check your kit – theres a reason my chain came off the chain ring, I’m not sure what it is yet, but dont put off servicing- if you’re as mechanically illiterate as me, get it in for a service ASAP.   See point 2 reference befriending your bike shop!
  7. Recarb – if you’ve seriously smashed your bike up! Fear not, it may be rescuable! Rob Hayles (yes former GB cyclist, cycling commentator and now apparent carbon addict) runs a repair business in Hayfield called recarb. He’s very busy but very reasonable. I didn’t use him because of time constraints and a waiting list, but using him would’ve saved me money on buying a new rim for my wheel! He’s inundated with work and you’ll catch him on Twitter at @re_carb
  8. Partner buy in – massive. Claire is totally supportive of my goals and has not batted an eye lid at the new kit and repair bill. Most supportive wifey ever. Though she has said she’ll be cheesed off if I don’t qualify for GB age group- no pressure.
  9. Befriend a physio – find one you like and use them regularly.  Matt Lakin-Hall of amazing. He even came in on his day off to treat my back and try to get me ready for an important race this weekend. You can’t buy that level of service or commitment. Not to mention the tips and advice he gives.
  10. Get a coach – theyll tweak your training, and advise on recovery. In amongst the group there’s naturally bumps, injuries and accidents where I feel because of our super achiever, obsessive mentality with going after physical goals, without some reassurance that rest is ok we’d probably force our bodies through more sessions than we should during or post injury, even though we know we shouldn’t. The reassurance of Rob and the group temper the desire to hit another hard session by reminding each other of the need to rest and recouperate – hey while your spending a few days with friends and family and off the turbo, you’re actually getting fitter and building up credits for more training

Hope that helps even a couple of people avoid some extra pitfalls of what is an already stressful scenario