Having arrived back from my December ski trip somewhat battered and bruised, I found myself giving a great deal of thought to the factors leading up to my unwelcome encounter on what one would ordinarily see as a safe and predictable slope. Dun-slope I decided that there are five distinct lessons to be learned from my misfortune. We were both performing activities which we would not have immediately thought would be particularly hazardous. Inevitably this is a state of affairs that tends to lead to a relaxed state of mind which ironically left us both more vulnerable to our respective hazards. Dun-slope However, despite the considerably more spectacular nature of my incident, Dun-slope I walked away which is where we differ. I have never in my life heard of a significant injury being caused in such a manner. Governor Schwarzenegger managed to break the largest bone in the body necessitating surgery for a realistically rapid repair. Dun-slope Pour too many skiers into that funnel and – well – a collision will be waiting to happen. Even with a modest number of people in the funnel, if one or more people are travelling at speed then the opportunities for avoiding obstacles are reduced. Dun-slope In my case, there were no more opportunities. Dun-slope The impact knocked the wind out of me and the pain was almost instant. I was not aware of the fact at the time but my ski bindings earned their keep and did what they were designed to do – they released my boots from the skis and they did so quick enough to avoid injury to my legs. This would have been the point at which gravity took charge of my flight path which had by then been in excess of 10 metres and I was re-united with the snow. As I rolled to a halt I was clutching my chest. I have to admit that the pain was scary. It’s amazing how many thoughts go through your mind at such a time. I know I was visualizing all manner of injuries. Not as bad an injury as Governor Schwarzenegger, I grant you, but it did take 3 months to mend. In any event, I was very pleased to have brought a precautionary helping of pain killers with me. Going shopping for medication after the event would not have been enjoyable. I might have sustained rib damage. I very probably pulled chest and back muscles in all sorts of directions. My son re-united me with my skis. Unknown to me at the time, he caught my right ski just before it went over the edge and down the mountain. That would have really spoilt my day. I was later told that attending hospital would be futile as one is not even x-rayed for rib injuries unless puncture wounds are suspected. In my case, repairs were down to the body. I was munching pain killers with a passion for the best part of a week, less so for the second week. Now, one full month later, I don’t need them at all. The body can be remarkably good at doing its own repairs but when injured it definitely hurts. My skis left my boots at the same time and that saved me some serious damage. I know that there were two impacts. The first was with the shoulder of the snowboarder, the second was with the snow when my gliding experience ran out of lift and I made my rather untidy landing. It would have been really helpful if the person who I collided with had looked before crossing the slope. For motor vehicle drivers, the person I collided with performed the skiing equivalent of pulling out onto a busy road without looking. Same as with driving really. Expect the unexpected. Bicycle riding is a great way to spend time with the family and to get exercise. Why doesn’t everyone ride a bicycle nowadays? For one, they are intimidated when it comes time to buy a bicycle. Here are five helpful tips for choosing the perfect bike for you.