Olympic and world champion, Katie Archibald got into cycling after winning handicap races on a Highland Games grass track. She writes a column for Cycling Weekly each week
Last week I had surgery to fix my broken collarbone, so I’ve been stuck on the turbo for this fortnight of mad UK sunshine. For the first few days I couldn’t even take the thing outside because I needed to train with a fan on me to avoid getting the surgery wound too sweaty.
But recently I dragged my beast of a trainer outdoors, which was a fair effort if I can refer you back to the no-longer-broken-but-still-recently-meddled-with collarbone, to train in the sunshine.
It’s a story that’s not smart, funny or very long: I burnt my back so badly I’m imagining myself as Wentworth Miller in the Prison Break scene where he has to lean back against a boiling pipe to avoid detection and solders his t-shirt to his skin.
What’s annoying is that I am actually capable of riding outside. Just not with total comfort and with the fear of crashing looming over me like a prison guard and her angry German shepherd.
There’s still some bone healing to be done you see. I rode to the velodrome yesterday though, as a tester, and within a kilometre of my house a car had tried to turn into me.
I swerved and they eventually saw me, reassessed their calculations of time and distance, slammed on the brakes, and nothing bad happened. But I spent the next 40 minutes feeling like I imagine my mum feels on a bike: constantly aware of every car and highly unconfident about my ability to do anything to stop them nailing me.
I felt frail and I wanted a bike path. I don’t mind about the clogs, or the canals, or even all the hash brownies; just a little more cycling infrastructure in our major towns would be a lovely Dutch touch.
You know this already so I apologise for the familiar Twitter rant. But it felt like my turn to say it and now it’s done.
I go back on the road again in a couple of days time and I have a two-point plan for making it a success.
The first point is riding in the opposite direction as my first trip and so away from all the cars and the city.
The second is some factor-30 sun cream.