so what happened?
The quick answer is that Mark crashed badly, head first into some big, pointy rocks, on 'The Descent of Almost Certain Death' (and how stupid that description sounded at the time).
Mark was unconscious for at least a couple of minutes and had convulsions. The Emergency Services were called once we found a house (mobile phones don't work in the Bermuda Triangle like Forest of Dean) but there were difficulties in accessing the area and it took about 30 minutes for paramedics to arrive by car, ambulance and helicopter. By this stage Mark was sitting up and asking after the welfare of his bike (small scrape to a decal was the extent of the damage). Even while obviously very shocked, Mark was making sense - well as much sense as usual - although he was shaken enough to agree to wearing a Rapha cap. Off he went to hospital and we took his bike off to the pub. And had a pint. I think at this point there was some muttering about "scarce resource using, attention seeking, selfish bastard" but I can't recall who said these things.
After retrieving Mark's car and bike, and importantly collecting a pair of £10 near NOS Storm Control's he'd had put aside in the Pedalabikeaway bike shop, Del and I got to Gloucester Hospital where Mark was just off for a CT scan and x-ray of his shoulder. 40 minutes later after confirming that all was well, Mark was discharged and we went home to a good meal, a DVd and Match of the Day.
Today Mark claimed that his shoulder was a bit stiff so piked the cross ride. Pathetic really and, as John said above, also a bit of a lame way of getting your way out of a round.
Morals of the story
- wear a decent well fitting helmet
- the Emergency Services are superb
- it's helpful for riders to carry a tough camera - in this case I had Mark's in my pocket - so that events can be accurately recorded
Apart from the welcome pint we obviously cut the ride short but still had goodie bags afterwards from a local catering company and encouragement to organise another ride, preferably less incident filled, in the not too distant future.