How do you start to explain that everything has changed? You know, the cliché about life and plans?
Everything was coming together for our departure date on July 19th. Flights were booked, routes plotted, notices for work and flat given. Bikes were set to be crated and flown to New York, but first there was to be a short trip to the Netherlands to have some suspension work done on Elspeth and to have a small shakedown for Penny and the bike.
Without replaying things for ourselves for the umpteenth time, the short story is that Penny and Elspeth (her trusty steed) had a crash en route.
Penny and Igor have been in Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford for the last 10 days, where Penny is recovering from several surgeries (Igor is OK!). She's badly broken her right femur and both bones in her right forearm and will face a long recovery. There is a metal rod which now forms part of her femur and there are plates and screws in her ulna and radius bones. She will need rehab to repair and re-learn to use her muscles in her right leg. The good news is that there are no other major injuries and she has a really good, strong mindset.
All the gear did its job. Thank you Schuberth, Revit, D30, Sidi and Held! We are so thankful for Penny's stubborn adherence to ATGATT.
So what now? Obviously we're not going to New York in July. This is taking some getting used to. The three of us were really focussed on nothing but this epic trip for so long. All those huge, long-term, crazy milestones we were setting ourselves have been replaced with the most basic day to day achievements. It's a frustrating and confusing time for all of us.
One thing we do know is that we'll get back on the horse. As far as we know the Americas aren't going anywhere! How to make sure our paths get back into alignment? Don't know. We're just taking it one day at a time. Yesterday Tom ran a marathon. Penny got out of bed on her own and sat in a chair. Igor did some laundry. Let me clarify that those first two are both huge personal achievements!
So we'll be back! Wish us determination, grit, and for what it's worth, luck. See you on the other side.
Igor, Penny and Tom