Sliding Doors

We are all aware of the ‘sliding doors’ scenario. As one opportunity is missed, another one takes its place. Sometimes for better, and other times for the worse. But no matter what choices we make, we will end up where we were meant to be.

This was the case on the day of my cycling accident, it could have ended up much differently had I made other choices on my first 25 kms of the ride.

As I headed towards Safety Beach, I slipped in behind another cyclist who was moving a few kms quicker than my normal pace, but I decided i should try and keep up with him for as long as possible and increase my stamina.

Sitting in his slipstream for 5 or so kms, I thought to myself this could be one of my quicker rides of the year. But as we approached a street heading up towards Arthur’s Seat, he turned into the street and I decided to continue with my original plan and do the hill climb of Arthur’s Seat the next day. Had I followed him, it might have been an entirely different ride, and a possibly a very different outcome to my day.

So I continued on solo for a while before turning back and setting my sights on Point Nepean. 60 kms away with a light headwind and the sun shining in the blue sky. A perfect day for a ride I kept telling myself.


As I looked ahead, I saw the set of lights change to amber, and instead of braking hard, I cruised through and continued on my merry way without a problem.

Looking back at the day, either one of those sliding door moments would have made a huge difference to my unhappy ending. Or would they have made no difference at all?

Would I have been injured on another part of my ride that day? Coming back down Arthur’s Seat at a breakneck speed. Or would have I gotten away without an injury? It’s hard to know which would have been the case, but what happened on that day, happened for a reason.

A reason I’m still unsure about, but one that didn’t leave me lying dead on the side of the road that morning. And for that I’m still very thankful. Even though it’s been a long and tough journey to recovery, I am hoping it will worthwhile in the long run, not just for me, but for my family and friends.

In the end, we will be where we are meant to be, no matter the twists, turns and tumbles we take.

Enjoy the journey with friends, family and loved ones. As the destination has been set. Life is too short for regrets.

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)

During one of my rehabilitation sessions at the hydrotherapy pool, I struck up a conversation with an elderly gentleman.

The conversation quickly moved onto the reason why he was at the pool and how he had sustained his injuries. 

It’s not always a bike or car accident that can leave a person struggling to be the person they once were.


Situations vary from person to person, and in his case, it was frim having a lung removed so he could continue with life.

The first thing I thought of was either cancer or a smoking related illness. But it was neither. It was all to do with taking very regular flights for business. He suffered a severe blood clot during a flight and the flight was diverted to the closest airport so he could be transferred to hospital for emergency surgery.


The surgery changed his life dramatically, but he never gave up. He would continue to push through the physical and mental pain to get his life back on track. And he did, using yoga and hydrotherapy.

He then said PMA.

The blank expression on my face told him I had no idea what the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) meant.

Positive Mental Attitude


I nodded and understood.

Physically we can get over many bodily breaks and injuries, but without the right positive mental attitude, we will never fully heal.

Mind over matter is not just a saying, it’s a fact. I know this from experience. But, you need to want to heal. Without that want, the chances of a full recovery are much lower.

Always try to keep a positive attitude, and you will see the difference. Trust me on this one.

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