Positive Attitude. Crash – Recover – Ride

Attitude is everything. At La Velocita we look for the good in everything. A positive outlook changes everything for the better. We recently heard a story that embodies this attitude and just had to share.

Alice Springy, AKA Springy talks us through her experience of getting back on her bike less than two weeks after a nasty crash.

Springy came off her bike at almost 60kph on Old Warburton Road… She broke her right collarbone and three ribs, punctured her lung, and sustained numerous other injuries. 

Her determination shone through and just 11 days later she was back riding. 


Words and images - Alice Springy

I’m not sure what happened. I crashed on a fast descent, probably hit the brakes too hard on my new CX bike with disc-brakes.  It all happened so quickly.  All I could think was, ‘I can’t wait to get to the back of Donna descent, it was so fabulous last time, wonder if the mud has cleared”. 

The paramedics had other ideas.  I needed an emergency drain tube put into my chest to breathe.  I was crying nonstop. Pain, disappointment, weeks of rehab, no bike riding for at least six weeks… I love riding and this was not a good option!

For next four days I was crying on and off, a mixture of regret and sadness, and facing not being able to ride for at least six weeks and looking at around three months for a full recovery.

I had surgery on my collarbone, my right knee 24 hours later, and a plate with five screws and a hook to fix the clavicle on day five.  The chest tube stayed in for six days… it was a relief to be discharged on day six.

BACK TO RIDING

I Googled bike forums to see how long people took to get back to riding after a collarbone fracture. The answer was around six to eight weeks, with trainer sessions first. I’m not a fan of the trainer! Five minutes and I’m done. Six weeks without riding outdoors did not excite me…

I did my best to carry on normally and rest up. I refused to play the sick role, get on with things and be positive. I drove the kids to school, and did all of my normal chores.

I then looked up what pro-cyclists did after collarbone fractures. I found several Orica Green Edge riders like Simon Gerrans had surgery on the same day or next day of their fracture, got onto rollers by day three, out riding by day four, and racing at World Tour level by week six.

Feeling encouraged, I decided to get on my bike on day 11.  I rode from Yarra Junction to Powelltown, just 6 days after my last operation.

 Back on the bike!

Back on the bike!

It was a slow and short ride, 40km and 600Vm, but it was exhilarating to be out in the fresh air. I couldn’t stand up due to pain when I leaned on my right arm but there were no other restrictions. I have ridden every day since.

There are so many reasons for getting back on the bike. There is nothing better than fresh air. The natural endorphins help. Your muscle tone and fitness are still mostly there, your bike skills and awareness haven’t gone awol, and it beats spending six weeks replaying in your mind the accident, it stops the ruminating, regretting and looking back.

Only do what feels right, and of course get your doctor’s approval before doing anything.  I am a bone and joint specialist, in my case my collarbone was fixed right surgically with no complications, so I was able to almost get back on the bike straight away, with minimal pain.

I’m sure many of you were wondering how my bike fared…. Well just as well as me, and thankfully survived its surgery and is now back to 100% health.


We wish Springy all the best with making a full recovery. It probably goes without saying but we will anyway… Please consult a medical professional before getting back on your bike after any injury. All injuries are different and the above does not constitute medical advice.

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