|Statue of Les Dawson in St. Annes|
|Blackpool beach, complete with donkeys in background.|
|Article in the Blackpool Gazette - Monday 30th July|
|North west coastline between Clevelys and Fleetwood|
|Day 1 final destination - The Ferryside Cafe, Fleetwood|
Now then, here's a question for the distance skaters among anyone reading. How many of you wear knee pads when skating distance? Any? I know plenty do for downhill/sliding, but what about for long distance work? I ALWAYS wear pads for skating on ramps/vert/bowls etc, but when I jump on a longboard...I don't. And today, I should have!
I started pushing back along the prom, uphill on some of the same paths I'd skated on the opposite way earlier on. The blister was hurting, but I was determined to make it back. I found myself on a smooth section of pavement next to the tram lines. The path was probably about 12 feet wide and on a slight decline. Enough for me to start picking up speed. I started to sit low into wide sweeping carves to try and keep my speed down, as the decline was getting steeper, and in about 100 yards it was going to open up into a big wide area. I was going a bit faster than I would have liked, but I was skating well and was...pretty pleased with myself really. Proud you might say. And what does pride come before? Yup..a fall!
All of a sudden, about 10 yards before a tram stop shelter, I rumbled over one of those concrete 'inserts' with concrete 'ripples' in they put into pavements over here in the UK. They are probably designed to slow the likes of skateboarders down. They work! If I'd rolled across it straight, and seen it just before I could have braced myself for it and made it over the ridges. As it was, my toe side front wheel edge caught in the ridge as I was carving across the pavement. I think there was a nanosecond where I thought "I'm going to make it" , but then...I just bailed, right onto both my knees, sans pads! OOOUUUUCHHH!! There was no one waiting in the tram stop ahead of me, no trams nearby and the road was seperate again from the tram track, so I wasn't in any danger from traffic or anything. Naturally, I got straight up, with wounded pride more than anything else before I even started to feel the stinging. Looked down and the fall had ripped my trousers, and there was blood on both knee caps. Then it started to hurt, and the expletives started to come out of my mouth!!! I picked up my board and limped into the tram shelter. Somewhere behind me I heard a voice asking "Are you alright?" I looked round to see a family in the tram shelter opposite. "Yeah, thanks", I lied, thinking to myself, "when they get home they'll open the Gazette, see my photograph and think to themselves, "Oh, there's that man we saw today on the prom", and remember me swearing my head off in pain and frustration"! Ooops! I started rooting in my bag for my first aid kit to see what I could utilise in it. I had some antiseptic wipes in there, and used one to take the worst of the road rash off. With the first one soaked through with blood I took the second, and last one, out and did the same, holding it on and applying pressure with it to try and stop the bleeding. My left, pushing leg knee, was by far the worst. I taped the wipe to the wound, but not before I photographed my knees in the shelter! You know you're becoming obsessed with documenting these journeys when you are bleeding and in pain, but can still see the value in a photo opportunity for the blog!
Now I know this photo hardly makes me rival Danny Way (famously heroic and massively injured over the years skateboarder.) Check this video of him, particularly from the 2 minute mark Danny Way Mega Ramp, from The DC video
But I can tell you that, a week after the fall, I have water on both knee caps, both are still swollen and my left knee is still REAALLY sore. I've been on a diet of arnica, Ibuprofen and paracetomol tablets, while regularly rubbing in arnica gel and ibuprofen gel alternately, all week. It's starting to ease now, but it was something I could have lived without and ultimately it's led to me making the decision to move The Long Push back to a September date, rather than this coming weekend. To be honest, there are a quite a few advantages to a September date after all:
- Recovery time from this injury
- The weather is supposed to be better by September!
- Another full months fundraising during August
- More preparation time
- Hopefully arranging The Long Push to coincide with SOUTHPORT AIR SHOW, meaning more potential sponsors/donations along my route.