Jan. 14th, 2017

sawyl: (A self portrait)
A decent turnout despite the cold temperatures and an unpleasant northerly wind making the return leg distinctly unpleasant. Finished in an adequate time of 20:31 despite a terrible start: I was too far to the right and had to wait for a bottleneck to clear before moving off. I still managed to finish 12th out of 327 and I was only a second behind the person who finished 11th. Not too shabby, presumably because the whole field was impacted by the arctic headwind — I was certainly glad of the extra protection given my new 50 club t-shirt!

M was there for her second week in a row and pulled an impressive one out of the bag: sub-30 minutes and two minutes quicker than last week's time.

While I was waiting around at the finish, a guy on a bike cycled past and I didn't realise it was local MP Ben Bradshaw until someone else pointed it out. Kudos to him for braving the ice...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Fun afternoon of climbing top rope with E, crushing a bunch of routes set just before Christmas. There was a 6a+ with some moves that E found reachy but which I could power through. There was a nice, balancy 6b on one of the slabs with a tricky start and a couple of fun hand-foot matches at the top. We both flashed a 6b+ route with lots of slopers which felt easier than the 6a+ and much easier than the other 6b we tried.

The afternoon's most difficult problem was a 6c which required a nice combination of power and technique. The route started with a balance on a couple of little foot chips and a shoulder press up to a right hand-foot on the first hand hold — a screw-on on the first volume — with the left hand on a screw-on on the second volume. This was followed by a pull up on a terrible pinch to get a foot on the second volume. The first few times I tried it, I lent out right and got my foot up parallel to the wall, making it almost impossible to generate any leverage.

I switched places with E, who came up with the right beta: putting enough trust in the pinch to lean out from the wall and get a left foot up perpendicular to the wall, making it possible to pistol up into a nice hands-off rest. We swapped over again and I gave the route a go with the new beta for the crux. The next hold was a sketchy little pocket that actually worked better as an sloper followed by a tricky smear to get enough height to latch a huge, open-handed pinch up to the right. Pulling up on that gave enough reach to get to a decent crimp out left and a little balancy move for the final hold. After I'd sent it E had another bash, but lacking my span she struggled to get enough height to latch the pinch; even with a smear she was only able to tap the bottom of it, but it was a solid effort and she was only held back by her lack of reach.

Pausing for tea, we were surprised to find the cafe much busier than normal. Despite seeing the email, I'd failed to remember tonight was the night of the BMC's South West Area Meeting and the place was busy with people waiting for it to start. Once the meeting had opened, things calmed down and we settled on one of the sofa for tea and a natter...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
My parents have had an eventful week. Leading a ride for his cycle group, my dad was going round a right-hand bend when he discovered a car in his path. Swerving to avoid it, he hit the kerb, came off his bike, and collided with a tree. His helmet took the brunt of the impact but he seems to have hit his shoulder going down. His bike had survived unscathed, so he hopped back on and finished the ride. Despite a slightly tender shoulder, he went another ride with no apparent ill-effects.

Then, late at night, he was woken by a pain in his now-very-tender shoulder. My mum was a loss for what do when sudden the shoulder popped and the pain went away; clearly he'd managed to dislocate it while he was asleep and managed to put it back into place after waking up. The next morning, they went to A&E where X-rays revealed that he'd sheered off part of his glenoid cavity — the socket that joins the humerus to the scapula — in the accident, presumably triggering the later dislocation.

The consultant who examined him has decided on an extremely conservative wait-and-see course of treatment: he has to keep his arm in a sling, avoiding any activities like cycling that might jostle his shoulder, and they will check in two weeks to see how it is progressing. They told him that if he'd been younger and didn't have complicating medical conditions, they'd've considered surgery; but in his case it just wasn't worth the risk...


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