Cycling Olecranon Fracture Posts

Cycling post fractured olecranon

I’ve been out for a very ginger ride around the block on the bike, but wouldn’t really consider that to be a ride proper. More of a ride-ette or micro ride. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, and might have subsequently retreated to the safety of the KICKR once more… HOWEVER now the Little Lady has herself a shiny new carbon fibre racer, it was finally time to have a real ride – all be it only for 28mins!!

Cycling post fractured olecranon

In spite of offers of accompaniment, on her new steed, I declined, opting instead to ride on my own, on the quiet country lane near home. “virtual” backup was sorted through the use of Garmin’s Live Track on the Garmin 920XT, so if I DID do something daft, it would be seen easily. I suppose I like the idea of Live Track as comfort blanket as I’m trying to get out on my own again – I just wish someone made carbon fibre stabilisers!!

Given a lack of stabilisers, I decided to opt for a neoprene arm support. Honestly, I don’t think it would do much in the event of a fall, but at least it was a little more padding than bare skin! Basically, if I fall off the bike whilst I have the metal work in my arm… it’s going to be nasty. When the metalwork comes out, if I fall on the elbow within the first 4 weeks, it’s going to be extra nasty hence when I go for the op, I’ll be absolutely grounded for 4 weeks

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Neoprene for the win!

So first ride post fracture. I’ll cut straight to the chase.


Actually, that’s not entirely fair. It certainly started off well – in the “I can still do it!!” Sense. To be honest it was a glorious day to try for a ride!

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Excellent weather for a first ride

My “I’m back on the bike!!!!” The excitement lasted until I’d made it about 300meters to the top the top of the road. My balance was completely shot. Ok not shot that I’m falling off, but shot that I’m having to work at it. This time I’ve not go the reassurance of grass, but cycling along hard, cruel tarmac.

In spite of the worry about my balance, I decided to continue along to Walton Hall on a normally very quiet country road.

Made sense, very little traffic. Nice clean Tarmac. No hills. No major corners. Should have been an easy first spin back on the bike.

Ok, it wasn’t hard, but wow!! Everything is now so different after returning from the accident.

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Wimping out on flats – yes I know the chain is off here!

All about the tires

To try and help, I’d switched out my SpeedPlay pedals, for a simple Wellgo pair of flats and put on a pair of the grippiest tires I could find. When I was lying in the hospital bed, I spent some time looking for new tires. Whilst looking for the tire with the ultimate grip, I came across a review for the Vredestein Fortezza Senso Xtreme Weather tires, the thing that sold me was the reviewer had put on their old volley ball pads on (I didnt realise volley ball was a contact sport!)  and intentionally tried to slide the tires, on a road bike, going across a round-a-bout. He failed to slide the bike. Frankly that will do for me as far as grip is concerned!!

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Triple Compound looks seriously grey in the outdoor light

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Vredestein – Seriously sticky ti-compund

Incidentally, the cheapest place I was able to find them was on Wiggle. Not a sponsored link, just trying to be helpful.

Never the less in spite of swapping to flat pedals, and very sticky tires – Everything was still, what’s the word…. TERRIFYING!!!

Pebbles – terrible!!

Sand – fear inducing!!

CORNERS – WOW! The true unbridled horror!!

Going over even a *slight* join in the Tarmac, sends a shock shooting through the arm!

Ok, that is a major exaggeration. A bump makes me *aware* of having had the elbow fracture. My arm still doesn’t like quick movements or being jolted. But at least there was no pain.

A Top Two Inches problem

I think the problem was a mixture of simple mental and physical factors.

Mentally having to come to terms with my accident, given it happened so quickly, the blink of an eye, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Physically, I’m simply not as strong as I was before the accident. This covers core strength as well as arm strength. The effect here being I have to work harder to balance and harder to control the bike with my weaker arm.

I did 26mins in total. Simply as it was so tiring. I just never realised on a turbo, particularly with the KICKR, how little risk there is. You just sit and pedal. No worries. If you are worried you just clamp the wheel in a riser block

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Weeeee – no worries!

Out of the road, you have to use your core muscles to keep you upright. That whole core stability thing… Which I’ve not needed, or worked on SINCE January. You’ve to be aware of changes in the road. How hard and far you turn into the corners.

Plus to cap it off, as my right arm, and thus shoulder and back on that side are the weaker, it feels as if I’m more likely to slip toward the right again. That’s rather draining!

I turned around after 13mins simply as I didn’t want to get tired, and then make a mistake and slip. Hopefully, things will improve steadily from here.

The two things I do know; it’s going to take a lot of work to get back to where I was both in general fitness, but also in bike control. Plus I think I’m going to have to start using the turbo one-handed, just to be able to develop the strength in that arm again, but in a safe environment.

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Zwift Physio – one handed

I might even have to consider rollers!! But I’ve always considered those paramount to suicide. So maybe not!

So now I’ll add core to the list of exercises, but I can say it took 11 weeks to get back to cycling after fractured olecranon. But I’m about to head off to Scotland…Might try and get a few recovery minutes out on the quiet roads up there. Next goal, break 30mins on the road!

James Gill

Author of TitaniumGeek, which started after smashing off my RIGHT elbow. Feel free to drop me a line about sports tech, medicine, or frankly anything that you want to chat about!!