Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The race is over. Thanks for the fun.

I’ve had plenty of people asking me questions lately. Here are my answers:

[Note: You can tell all the old links on the right of screen need updating, but, well, nah, can't be bothered]

Friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, Asian travel advocates and fine food purveyors. It is with great regret that I have to announce that I ain’t gonna be racing no more.

My knee is f^^ked. Knees are rather important to cycling. My right knee is f^^ked.

What, but how?
Last April I crashed and broke my neck of femur and collarbone. Bad.
I was not enthused

I was swiftly operated on and my bones healed tremendously well. Good.
Metalic additions
Never give up

But when I started training -initially just rehab and soon after proper riding- my knee (on the RHS, same side as hip and collarbone) proved to be very sore and swollen. Bad.

I had an MRI, it said everything was fine. Good.

But the problems persisted and I ended up getting an operation. Bad.

The operation was also used to clean up some junk in my ankle, from another crash back in china, that had been bothering me for a few years. Very good.

The outer side of my right ankle

The surgeon revealed I had torn the fat pad, and my knee was full of blood. Bad.

But he had fixed it, I could start easy spinning again the day after the operation, full training could recommence in a few weeks. Good. Really good!

But the fat pad remained swollen and sore, a classic case of Hoffa’s syndrome. Bad. So very, very bad.
That would be some blood from my knee

All I want for Christmas
All I wanted for Christmas was my two front knees. But all I got was another MRI. The MRI led me from to the specialist, to the surgeon and back to the specialist. He led me to an endocrinologist, and that led me to the chemist.
I would love a bit of Mt Wellington right now

I had lots of bad stuff happening behind my knee cap, something wrong with the bone. Now that is bad.

My osteoclasts -that normally get rid of old bone- had gone bezerk on my osteoblasts -that normally create new bone- and thus the disabling pain in my knee was explained. It had been going since last April.

A physiological condition that was eating my knee cap. Hmmm, that’s bad.

But from the chemist came some special drugs [WADA approved, believe me I checked], supposed to do the trick. The pain would be gone in two days as proclaimed by the endocrinologist. Good.

I’m here writing, though, because the knee remains rooted. So it’s time to be realistic. Sometimes shit just ain’t gonna go.
There's been a bit of this
And a bit of this

What does it all mean?
Don’t for one second think this is a bad thing. I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been given a ridiculous amount of support throughout my career, initially by BikeNow, then the VIS and for a long time now by Avanti. 

Aerodynamics has never been my strong point
Most recently Andrew Christie-Johnston and Steve Price have looked after me whilst I attempted to sort my shit out. And the support they’ve shown obviously sends a message to me, but more so it tells the other guys on the Avanti team that they’re in safe hands. Just do your job, don’t worry about the rest. 

Donna Buang in the snow, a rite of passage

I’ve also got a medical team behind me to rival any professional sports team now, and I’ll thank them in person, because they require a blog post of their own, each. And my parents who’ve put up with me as I punish my body from pillar to post, thanks. I'm a lucky prick. I know that. 
SunTour with the national team

But what’s the point?
The point is this: I’ve literally pushed my body to the edge. Broken more bones than I’ve had hot meals, but loved every minute of it. The sport has given me new friends, taken me to new places and christ almighty, it’s a bit of a cliché, but I would not have it any other way. People do crazy shit just to ride a bike, and I like to think I'm one of them. I will continue to do crazy shit to ride my bike, but I can't expect ongoing support from a team I'm giving nothing to. Time for journalistic endeavours.

Lovin' the Marco Polo days
Once I sort my knee, I’ll be back cruising around, maybe doing the odd club race. Or maybe I'll enjoy the lazy bunch rides I eschewed whilst being uptight and addicted to my powermeter. 
An old favourite, Metro Road champs back in the day
Shit, maybe I’ll have another red-hot crack in a few years’ time. But for the time being, I can't even walk up a step and I would really like to be able to walk up a step. To even think about racing when you haven't been able to load your knee for nearly a year? 

Junior reppin' back in the day
Nah man. Get real. It’s over and out.

I'll always love the Northern Combine races

Let me eat cake

 It's been fun.

See ya.


  1. Very sorry to know about the gravity of situation but I'm sure that in the long run, you will be able to take some positive out of it. Good luck for the future projects Jono, you will always have your writing ability.

  2. Bad luck mate, Young's Double Chocolate Stout is a winner though...

  3. Some times, to win the war, one must retreat from the battle. It takes more guts to stop, that it does to carry on. Kudos.

  4. That is fucking poohjabbar in the extreme. Vadar.

    1. Good to have you back. But you know where you're needed Vadar, it's not here.

  5. Good luck with your writing - and far be it from me to tell anyone to do with their lives, but you've got the talent to write about things other than cycling if you want. Journalists with a background in numbers are, sadly, a pretty rare breed.

    But, again, good luck with whatever you choose to do, and come out and smash us some time on no training and a hangover at a Combine race if the knee is up to it.

    1. Journalism and commerce? A good mix?

    2. Bloody oath. Lots of options of how you can get paid to write; lots of interesting stories which you have a fairly uncommon mix of skills and experiences to assist to tell.

  6. Well penned mate, on what must have been the hardest thing you've written to date.
    Bon recovery
    Ciao Pat

  7. Thank you sir. See you on the Net somewhere. Or the road.

  8. Very sorry to hear, hope the knee mends in the near future and you can get out on the bike and maybe throw down a Donna Buang, Lake Mountain loop sometime (after all that's why we all ride bikes).
    Meanwhile I look forward to plenty more of your writing!

    1. Sad to say it too. But, it's gotta be. Can't wait for Donna action. I live for that shit.

  9. Awww shit Jono! I hate to say it but I'm a sad to hear this mate. Ill be ok though cause I know your talents are not restricted to the bike. Tell ya what tho, you gave it a red hot crack!

  10. Never fear Shan, the bikenow days were the best. Sad to leave em behind.

  11. I'm sorry to read your news, but I hope you keep up your writing as you have a fine way with words. Best of luck.

  12. Hey Jonno,

    random question completely unrelated to this blog, but on your column for cyclingtips.com.au about Oceania & Asia Tours(comments have closed on that article, so I'm asking you here).

    Why can't the NRS just be the UCI Oceania Tour? There's probably a really sensible answer, I just don't know what it is.

  13. Punaise!... not what I expected to see when I clicked on this old bookmark :-( . Oh well, while waiting for it to all come right might see you over here in France or Belge for some proper good bière, get Wade to book your ticket ;-) . Cheers Ian.