Reader’s story: Back in the saddle and riding for a cause
The month of October is as good a time as any to shed light on two things: cancer and safe cycling.
I was hit by a car in 2011 while on my way to work. I was waiting to turn right in a busy intersection—I had my lights on, I was wearing reflective clothing and I had my arm indicating that I would be turning as soon as the oncoming traffic dissipated. I was doing all the right things, but it only took five seconds for someone else to make a mistake that will affect me for the rest of my life. I heard a screech of brakes just before the car hit me from behind. In my panic, I was lucky enough to think to move my hand from indicating to applying my brakes, otherwise I could have had a very different story to tell.
I was diagnosed with a broken foot, torn ligaments in my hand, whiplash, lower back injuries and an assortment of soft tissue injuries. The man who hit me said not a word as he observed me screaming in the middle of the road. The ambulance whisked me away to hospital, and there began my recovery.
I almost lost my love for cycling—I was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which I knew was normal for that situation. I was scared, I was injured and I was anxious about a time in the future when it may happen again.
I got back on my bike approximately two weeks after the accident because I knew that if I didn’t, then I might give up. It was a difficult few months for me as I grappled with a fear of cars and the physical pain of my injuries. However, as time went on, it became a lot easier and I think that this was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
The Great Cycle Challenge will be a good time for me to reflect on the reasons behind why I love cycling so much as well as assisting in raising some money for a worthy cause. The ride is a month-long event held in October. It is not a competition, it is not a formal ride, but it is a way for riders to push themselves and raise money for a children’s cancer organisation. You can check out their website to find out more information: www.greatcyclechallenge.com.au. It doesn’t cost anything to enter; all you need is a passion for cycling.
After two years, it has been discovered that I now have arthritis in my foot, which will only get worse as I get older. I will be having surgery early next year in order to try and halt any further degeneration. I am still having back problems and suffering from whiplash. I am still undergoing treatment, but I have learnt a lot about myself in the process, and most importantly, I am still on my bike!
You can feel free check out my Riders Page as here: https://greatcyclechallenge.com.au/Riders/MeganTingate
Like Megan, you too can use your riding to help others by taking part in such as Bupa Around the Bay – Fundraise for the Smith Family, Australia’s largest one-day bike ride. For more information, visit: www.aroundthebay.com.au
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