A Day at Coed y Brenin

Monday started off cold and frosty as we loaded up the car for a day Mountain Biking at Coed y Brenin. I was running the last of my 6 assessed coaching sessions towards my Level 2 Cycle Coaching Certificate so we were meeting all of my students there for a final few tips and a nice ride around parts of the MinorTaur Trail.

The drive up was lovely as we drove along surrounded by frost-covered trees and snow-capped hills. Once in the car park we met up with Sarah, Seth, Rob and Lynfa and also Andy, Jack and Ryan who were going to do some riding on their own. We all donned plenty of warm clothes and after a brief bit of coaching talk headed off to ride the MinorTaur Trail. We started off with some practise on the berms of the first loop which we did a couple of times, before heading off together around the other two loops. Everyone seemed to be enjoying it as they tried out their new skills on a proper bit of trail. Anna was struggling a little come the end, but I don’t think the walk up Plynlimon the day before helped out there.

Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake

After another little ‘coaching’ talk it was time for Christmas Cake by the cars – I needed help with eating it seeing as I made so much, and then off to the Visitor Centre Cafe for some food and nice warm drinks.

We then all headed up to the Skills Park for a play. All was going well with everyone riding sections that they felt comfortable doing. That was until Andy started looking at the big drop of a rock known as “Lemmings Leap”. He asked me if I was going to do it, but after looking at it I decided against it and told him that it was probably too much for him too. He decided to give it a go though so with everyone watching threw himself down it, went over the bars and landed in a heap at the bottom. He didn’t look as though he had gone down too hard though as he sort of rolled over with the fall. He jumped back up and said he was OK. But minute or so later once the Adrenalin had subsided he decided that maybe he wasn’t. He couldn’t support his left arm very well and had told himself that he’d broken his collar bone. I wasn’t so sure at first as it didn’t seem to be quite as painful as a break would be and he still looked pretty perky. Anna and I thought he’d probably dislocated his shoulder.

He managed to walk back to the van though and rather than call an ambulance it was decided by all that as long as he could sit in the van OK it would be quicker to drive him to hospital ourselves – The nearest hospital was an hour away, and no doubt it would have taken that long again to get an ambulance out to us. He seemed OK if a little uncomfortable once in the van but said he was fine as Sarah and the boys piled into the van and headed off to Aberystwyth with the casualty.

Anna and Morgan headed off to the cafe again whilst Rob, Lynfa and I did another circuit of the MinorTaur Trail – A little faster this time as I went off on my own. Once back at the Visitor Centre we perused the shops, tried on some shoes and then Morgan and I had another little play in the Skills Park. It was getting fairly late now though after a long day at Coed y Brenin so we loaded up the car and headed home.

Once again it was a lovely drive with mist hanging in the valleys and the sun setting over Tal y Llyn. As we rounded a bend just South of Corris we spotted a ambulance in a layby and then saw Andy’s van next to it. Rob and Lynfa’s car was there too so we pulled in to see what had happened.

Rob and Lynfa has only just pulled up, but Sarah, Andy and the boys had been there for a while. The pain had become unbearable for Andy so they had taken the decision to call an ambulance to get him to hospital instead. They had to wait an hour for the ambulance to arrive though as it had to come from Porthmadog and when it had got there it only had one person on board so it wasn’t actually able to transport him. It did at least have entonox for pain relief and eventually a cannula so that they could administer morphine whilst waiting for a second ambulance to arrive – also from Porthmadog.

Andy was now looking a little paler and certainly more uncomfortable – maybe he was right and he had broken something after all, although now I think I would have been more concerned about his hip / pelvis than his shoulder. We left the ambulance medic to her job whilst we worked out how best to get everyone and their vehicles back to Aber. We also ate another slice of cake whilst waiting for the 2nd ambulance to arrive. Once it was there, Andy was soon handed over and on a stretcher ready for a ride to Aberystwyth.

We all then headed off towards Aberystwyth in convoy. The ambulance driver waved us on ahead, presumably so that he could take it slowly so as not to jolt Andy about too much. Sarah was in the ambulance with Andy. Rob was driving Andy’s van along with Seth, Jack and Ryan – they were going to be dropped off at home where Rob would get Sarah’s car and take it to the hospital. Lynfa was in her car following Rob. We were in our car following Lynfa and then an ambulance was behind us.

For some reason though a few miles along the road the ambulance suddenly flashed it’s lights and put on its sirens so we pulled over and let it pass. It then turned off it’s sirens and sat behind Lynfa’s car. This puzzled us for a while but we continued on anyway. Once in Machynlleth we were even more puzzled by the fact that the ambulance turned right towards Aberdyfi. We can only presume that this was in fact the first ambulance on the scene, not the one with Andy and Sarah in. We can only guess that it had a call, started going somewhere in an emergency but as more information about the call came through decided it wasn’t quite so urgent after all.

Once back at home we had some dinner and waited for news from Sarah as to Andy’s condition. Later that evening we had a message from here to say:

Amazingly nothing broken! Dislocated shoulder which will be in a sling for four weeks and very badly bruised pelvis…he’s had valium and has been allowed home so going to try to get him upstairs now. Thank you all so much for everything today…waiting with us, driving the van, dropping off the boys, dropping off my car, providing lovely cake and warm clothes. Much, much, much appreciated xxxxx

Good news I guess and it sounds as though Andy will be sore for a while but there isn’t any lasting damage. He’ll soon be out on his bike again – although something tells me he won’t be trying Lemmings Leap for a while!

It’s also worth noting that his helmet was pretty badly dented and cracked – if he hadn’t been wearing one that would have been his head that was dented and cracked. In such circumstances broken or dislocated bones would have been the last of our worries – always wear your helmet folks!

1 Response

  1. Avatar forComment Author mum says:

    Wow, what an end to the day.
    Please, please remember to wear your helmets even when cycling locally xx

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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