Thursday, 10 October 2013


I've soldered up the wiring harness and fuse for the Hobbyking #1 battery, it comes to 2.3 kilograms; that's incuding the heavy-duty (4 sq mm) cable I'm using. The batteries I've been using are 3.1kg, so that's a nice bonus that I wasn't originally planning for.

So then I got my bike out, fixed the back brakes which needed new pads, and a couple of other minor things. And then I got bike.1 out - that's the one with the new wheel motor from China. I put  checked that the polarity of the new battery was correct, I checked that the voltage was what I expected (33.6), and plugged it in. Nothing happened. So I turned the key in the ignition. Nothing happened. So I checked the battery again, it was OK. Then I remembered, I put an extra switch on that bike so I could switch the battery off without having to stop and mess about with the pannier. So I switched that on, turned the key, and the power lights came on! Hurrah. And when I lifted up the front wheel, and gave it a bit of throttle, it spun. So, it looks like the controller can handle the slight (15%) overvoltage that I'm giving it, and the bike motor doesn't mind either.

So I took the bike out of the garage, and took it for a ride around the back garden. It worked well, and even when I gave it full throttle, nothing cut out (with the batteries I already had, it was cutting out on full throttle). So I took another turn around the garden, and then another at full speed, and then another, and as I was going round I looked down at the bike controls for a second, and when I looked up, the tree in the middle of my back garden was about six feet away and getting closer at a rate of, I estimate, 20 feet per second (because I was doing about 15 mph). I had just enough time to think "Oops" and to try to swerve, but not enough time. Actually, the word I thought wasn't "Oops".

I hit the tree.

Damn stupid place to have a tree.

Actually, I think I didn't quite hit the tree, I think I hit the branches. And it's a very small tree. Smaller now, because I broke a couple of the branches off. Sorry, tree. I said a few more bad words when I was lying on the ground.

And blood was pouring out of my head. Actually, it wasn't gushing, but it was dripping quite quickly.

So I picked myself up, and started to go back to the house, had second thoughts and wheeled the bike back with me, left it in the garage and headed for the utility room, where I used paper towels to staunch the flow. Pretty soon, the bleeding stopped, which is a relief because I'm on Warfarin to thin my blood, but my blood is good at clotting (I have Leiden factor, which is a bit like what Wolverine has but not as good). And then I thought, what next? Because I couldn't really see what I'd done, even with a mirror, because of all the hair.

So I phoned ladysolly to tell her the situation; she was down in London, visiting daughter(s) and was expecting me to meet her at the station when she got back, and I didn't want her to get home and find no drsolly, and blood all over the place; garage, utility room and kitchen. It wasn't nearly as bad as she would have imagined.

And then I drove myself to the Mount Vernon Small Injuries unit, which I go to for dog bites and suchlike, and which is ideal for this sort of thing because it's not jam packed like an A&E, and if there's not really much wrong with you, that's the place to go, they're open 8am till 8pm.

I was wearing a white t-shirt. That's significant, because judging fron the amount of bright red blood on it, I'd just been re-enacting the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And I didn't want to change just yet, because why ruin two t-shirts? So I had to keep telling people "It isn't as bad as it looks".

The nurse was great. She cleaned it up, using sterile water, dabbing at it until she had all the hair out of the wound. She considered putting in a stitch or two, but decided, to my great relief, to use glue instead, and then a great big plaster on top, in case I ooze a bit. Which I haven't. So I'm mended, with glue.

That's it.

All my own fault. I *always* wear a helmet when I'm out biking ... but not when I'm just going round my back garden. If I'd been wearing a helmet, even this minor injury wouldn't have happened. And the tree should not have been a surprise. I mean, it's been there for years, I know it's there.

So I'm not going out tomorrow.

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