You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone 


Every day we get out of bed and expect everything to be the same. Even if not exactly the same, something that resembles what we had and what was around the previous day, the previous month or even the previous year.

It takes a major event to change the way we are or the way we see and things. To see that things have changed dramatically and we had no say in what occurred. We have had something taken away from us without our consent.

The ‘thing’ taken away from us may not necessarily be a physical item, one which we were able to hold in our hands and look at, and feel when we needed.

It’s sometimes easy enough to head down to the local mall and pick up a replacement of what was taken. And if the local shops don’t have what we want, there is always internet shopping. That has all we want, and so much more.


And then there are times that what is taken away from us is either in our mind, or part of our spirit. And these are the things that are difficult or near impossible to replace or replicate. No shopping mall or internet bargain basement can help us replace what has been taken away.

This is the time in our lives when we need to dig deep and pull out all stops to at least try and get back what’s long gone. This may take a day, a month, a year. Or longer still.


Personally, I hate knowing and feeling I am missing something that I always had, and something I worked hard to get and maintain.

But in the past nine months my fitness level has slipped to a point where I hate the person who put me in this position. Not that I had a choice in the matter. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So now it’s a long uphill battle to get back to where I once was. Some days I can see where I am heading as clear as daylight. And other days the waters are murky and the uphill battle is a physical and mental struggle.


I know there is no quick fix and what I need to do will take more time than I want to allow, but, this is another choice I have little say in. Even with daily rahab it’s tough going. And this is where I will do all I can to regain my lost ‘thing’. No matter what! 

This song just makes sense. Enjoy. 

Light at the end of the tunnel 


As the days, weeks and months all slowly slipped by, my rehabilitation continued to become more intense as did all my exercise sessions.

With each passing week, I found I was able to move a little easier and my days weren’t filled with pain and my body was recovering. Slowly, but nonetheless recovering.

So as I continued my journey to full recovery, I continued to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. But no matter how much I think I had progressed, the tiny pin prick of a light never seemed to get any bigger.


It was then I was told I should look back through the weeks and months and see how far I had really progressed.

So as I looked back over my shoulder, I could see a tiny light, way back in the distance. It was where my rehabilitation journey had begun. It was just as far as the light in front of me, where I was heading.

The hardest part of any journey is the middle part. You are far enough from your starting point, and just as far from your destination. Frustrating, but you know you are heading in the right direction.


It’s times like these where you need to be a ‘bit of a mongrel’ and attack the last part of the journey with guts and determination. It’s going to be the only way to make it through the tunnel and out to the other side.

I know the my own journey still has a long way to go, but I do know what awaits me when I eventually arrive at my destination.


We all need to set our sights on that pin prick of a light at the end of the tunnel. And we can do that with the help and support from the people around us, who want us to get out of the dark tunnel.

No Promises

There are some promises that are easy to keep, such as, I promise to mow the lawns this weekend, or I promise to fix blocked gutters before it rains again.

Then there are other promises that are more difficult to keep, no matter how hard you try.

One of my promises to my wife was that I would ride safe and be careful every time I went out on the road bike. Rain, blowing winds and sunny days, I would tell her the same thing as she lay in bed and I ventured off for my morning rides.


This was one promise I broke sometime in mid March 2017. My intentions were good and my years on the bike made no difference at all on this bright and sunny Saturday morning along the Melbourne peninsula. My lights were flashing and I was wearing my multicoloured cycling outfit. But still, a broken promise.

Having been on the road for close to an hour, I knew my halfway point for my outing. There was a slight headwind as I headed towards Point Nepean, and I was pushing myself harder than normal. It must have been the fantastic conditions, and I was out on my own and nothing but 80s music streaming through my headphones and a clear mind.

In a split second, my entire life was about to take a tumble for the worse. But it could have been far more serious. So I consider myself extremely lucky. And I was given a lifeline. 

A car coming in the opposite direction performed an illegal turn in front of me. Obviously not having seen me. And I’m not what one would consider a small unit.

With less than a split second to do something. I did the obvious. I hit his front side guard at over 30 kilometres per hour.

The first and only thing that went through my mind was, it’s over. Goodbye!

I flipped over his hood, landing on my arse and then ploughed into his windscreen, shattering it into thousands of pieces with my shoulder. And my journey continued I somersaulted over his car, as I watched my glasses and iPhone fly well ahead of me.

Landing on the ground more than 12 feet away from his car, I later discovered I broke my back. My L4 to be exact. And in thst split second, my life had changed. Forever!


Pain filled every fibre of my body, but for some unknown reason, I was still able to move my arms and legs. A positive sign I thought as I screamed in pain as I was surrounded by some very helpful and concerned bystanders.

The ambulance trip to the Frankston hospital was one without all that much pain, but I would have to say the morphine in my system had a lot to do with that fact.

The next few hours with my wife beside me at the Frankston hospital and then at the Alfred hospital trauma centre were good, bad, anxious, concerning, and the scariest hours of my life.

I was eventually told I had a broken back, but signs were positive because I was able to move my arms and legs. No internal or neauralogical damage, so another positive sign.

After leaving the hospital five days later, and in a very uncomfortable back brace I was to wear for the following 12 weeks. In some desperate hope my back would heal on its own and no surgery would be required.

With all the damage I had suffered, I was extremely lucky not to have injured any of my spinal nerves and no other nerves impacted. I only have God to thank for that. And not having died on the side of the road was something I still look back at and wonder why?

The following 12 weeks were filled with some of the lowest points in my life. Not just the pain, but the not knowing how and if I would fully recover. And at the lowest point, if I really wanted to continue. I knew deep down I had to abandon all fear if I was to make it through.

With the help and support of family and friends, I struggled through and continued to make progress. First getting out of bed without assistance, and eventually able to walk to my letterbox.

I have to admit ut did get a little easier the more I moved. I ended up going on 5 kilometre walks as the weeks dragged by. My only outings were visits to surgeons and physiotherapists.

The long road of rehabilitation lays ahead of me, 6-12 months I’ve been told before I’m back to the condition I was in before the accident.

In the end, what got me through was love and friendship. And lots of pain medication.

My Scott carbon fibre bike was written off, but I still have my Avanti, which is patiently waiting for me to decide on my path forward.


As for the path after rehabilitation, do I go back to the one sport I loved with a passion, or do I take up stamp collecting, as suggested by my brother.


Whatever I decide, I have honestly found that love and friendship conquers all, physical and mental pain.

No Promises – Icehouse

A Lucky Break

As i dropped off my Avanti road bike off to my local bike shop for its six monthly major service, I knew it was going to need a set of new tyres as well as a full service. Not cheap, but very necessary.

And I also knew I would only be off the road for a few days, so i dropped it off early in the week to ensure it would be ready for my weekend rides through the Dandenong hills.

So when I stopped by the bike shop after work on the Friday to pick up my bike, I found Marcus waiting for me to hand it over.

We chatted for a while about the weekend plans and I mentioned the hills I would be descending. And I asked for a new set of brake pads, even though they weren’t worn all the way down. Better safe than sorry I thought when I knew the downhills and corners of the Dandenongs.

He hoisted the bike back onto the rack and slipped my used pads off and was about to replace them with the new set when I heard him say. ‘Damn!’

I walked over to the bike and he pointed out a serious crack in my bike frame. It was well hidden and was only visible when working on the back brakes.

It was then I understood his serious concerns. The next bump I went over with the bike in that condition would have possibly been my last. The frame would have snapped and I would have gone head over heels and caused myself some major injuries.

The bike frame had a 10 year warranty, so it was only a matter of requesting a new frame and waiting for my bike to be re assembled.

So after what seemed an eternity (three weeks) my bike was back together and with a new and updated carbon fiber frame.

The very next weekend I headed up, and back down the Dandenongs without a care in the world.


I do think that was a very lucky break. So sometimes we get lucky, and other times it just doesn’t go out way.

Ride safe.

Credit where credit is due 


I’m the type of person who gives credit where credit is due. No matter what the situation. And this happened to be the case one morning as I was cycling back home from Sorrento to end off a 100 km cruise.
It was then I saw an elderly gent who must have been pushing 80, and the bike he was riding would have been close to the same vintage. But a great effort I thought the myself. 

The only problem with the entire scenario was that he was heading downhill towards me in the bike lane. Heading in the wrong direction at a decent speed. 


Not wanting to burst his bubble of riding on such a beautiful morning, I pulled aside and let him continue in his journey. Smiling and waving him past as he nodded in my direction. 

All I can hope for is that when I am old and senile and still cycling, the younger generation do the same for me.

Until I have most of my senses, I will ride on the right side of the road. Or at least what i think is the right side.

Coffee, muffin and more hills 

Cycling through the Dandenongs is tough at the best of times, and heading up The  Devils Elbow with a stiff headwind makes the ride harder than it really should be. But it was on my radar for the day and  I wasn’t going to let the winds make me change my route. 

The warm morning sun was a blessing as the temperature up in the hills make the ride feel much longer as I can’t produce enough speed to keep all my body parts warm. 

But as I ground my way up the hill, and kept telling my legs to shut up, I realized I hadn’t ridden this track all that often this year. Not because of the climb itself, but because it’s a bit out of the way to ride to and the round trip can take over three hours. That normally includes a coffee stop of course. 

And after two hours of climbing hills and various slopes, I pulled up to a The Fat Badger cafe and ordered a coffee and a very sweet muffin. My treat after a bit of suffering. 

So as I sipped in my coffee and happily munched on my warm muffin, it dawned on me that every now and again in our lives, we should take the road less traveled. 

 Who know where it will lead, and what new adventures await.

This track sums it up nicely. Well worth a listen. 

Donuts beat Depression 

There are times that just the steady rotation of a set of bike pedals is enough to soothe the soul and make the heart beat a little quicker, from exertion and excitement. This feeling is doubled when a ride is shared with a friend who manages to chat through the entire 3.5 hour ride. Not that I minded one iota.

The destination is not important when out on the bike, it’s all about the journey, as is life in general. We all know where we will end up, but it’s what we do up to the point that makes the difference.

So during the journey on a ride, it’s who you meet along the way that makes a difference. As was the case today. As Kevin and I stopped off for a break at the end of the eastlink trail, we started chatting with an older chap who was out exercising that morning. 

He told us he exercises up to 2 hours every day, and at the ripe young age of 70, he was going great. The top tip he gave up both, eat less to lose weight. And then went on to apologise if he had offended either one of us.

With no offence taken, we headed home to find a coffee shop which served good coffee and sugary delights to help get us all the way home.

Cycling is more than just exercise, it is a form of stress management for many people. So when you see a group of cyclists on the road, they are saving a few bucks by riding, and not visiting a shrink.

Depression (or known as the Black Dog) is something that is well hidden by the person who has it. They will swear black and blue they are fine and nothing is wrong. But deep down they are hurting and either can’t or don’t want to adit they have a problem.

Ask them if they are really OK, as sometimes a friend’s shoulder is just as good, and if not better than a paid professional.