It all started well, but then I got smashed up a bit. My wife cut my clothes off.

All week I've been riding down this bank on my Gary Fisher Tassajara - spindly frame and 90mm forks. Not a pleasant drop but one I've been able to do. So today I took the Pace RC303 out; new transmission and a 60mm stem. Could I manual it at all? No, not in the slightest. Nowhere near to one. Can do a small one on the Tassajara - enough to pop off roots etc.. The Pace just wants to hammer through stuff, of which it does very well indeed. But sometimes you need a bit extra. Like on that bank. The end of which is a 40cm drop onto packed dirt. You need to pop a manual down this bit otherwise it's too much for the forks. So today, showing AD The Bank I rode down it, went to pop a manual, didn't and crashed quite heavily. You know the score; cuts all up one side of my body, bruised shoulder and a bit of concussion from where my head hit the ground.

And all because I couldn't pop a manual on the sodding Pace. I've no idea what the issue with that bike is. I'd like to think that the Rockshox Pike forks are to blame, as they are heavy and drag the bike down. Perhaps the frame size is all wrong? Riser bars instead of flat? Perhaps I'm a friggin muppet who should know better? Perhaps I simply wasn't going fast enough and had wimped our prior, with a little brake application. Who knows. Guess it is a combination of all. I'll try again with the bike, but even during the lessons I had last year it felt as though the front of the bike just wanted to maintain contact with the ground at all times. I fell off a lot that day. Try to lift the front and it makes like a lead weight.

Of course having a head cold doesn't help as all my spatial awareness is to cock. I actually drove my car into a van on Friday, the first accident I've had in almost 30 years driving. This morning wife suggested I not go out, but by heck it's a ride dear! One has standards to maintain.

The ride? Met AD at the top of Reigate hill and there were a few odd looking characters around. One on a Boardman [I actually like these bikes so my opinion of the rider has nothing to do with the brand] was wearing headphones, a Camelback type rucksack but a roadie top with two water bottles tucked into the back pockets. I said hello to him but he ignored me - as to be fair he always has in the past. I realise mountain bikers want to be outsiders some of the time, but this guy really goes to the extreme and is pretty unfriendly looking. The other guy had climbed Reigate Hill but it had done him in so much he spent what looked like a good £10 on food at the cafe. He looked whacked. Funny but the riders we encountered all day were of this type; they looked like they were on some kind of management course and had been forced to buy all the kit from Halfords and Aldi. Again no problems with either place - I have Aldi stuff and our local Halfords is pretty good. It's just that they looked as though they were being forced to ride alone for some reason.

AD was perhaps less on form than I was as his leg was playing up. At one point he was rubbing his groin and commenting on how some people in his family massage the area. I moved the subject on pretty quickly lest he ask me to give him a quick rub down. That'd be good in the woods wouldn't it?

He had a few slippy moments on the bull dust we have now, one of which I thought looked well good but which he was displeased with. Sometimes people should just shut up, instead make the choice to nod sagely whilst looking cool. Honestly he did this two wheeled wiggle of a drift around a corner, leaving two parallel 's' shaped ruts and it looked trick. Funny how I managed to observe it though, as at the time in order to clear the dust being thrown up by his bike I either had to drop way back - like that's gonna happen - or ride right up his chuff. Naturally being a twat I chose the chuff option. I guess this made me overconfident for The Bank.

Headley cafe was good, and the woman helper warmed my bead pudding up, which really was ace of her I must say. She can ignore me for all she wants so long as I get a good pudding out of the deal. Oh yes, Box Hill people; Headley charge £3.80 for coffee, cake and a tea. Much better than your £3.80 for cake and coffee.

All the way back I was hassling AD to go faster whilst he wanted to pootle. Really sometimes I should stop pushing things and go with the flow. On the drop down Reigate

It was either the bike or me that caused it. One suspects, however, that an elderly rider with a head cold who was showing a new route off to his mate may have been to blame. Whatever the cause I now have gravel rash from my groin up to my shoulder, my shoulder is peppered with little holes, there is an ominous growth in the bone [wife knows a thing or two about bones and has pronounced it OK but perhaps an x-ray would be in order] and my left knee is a mess. Bizarrely the knee I'm not bothered about - thanks to many motorcycle accidents it looks a right wuss injury. The seeping gore of my chest is a corker though.

2/4/12: Update.

Hospital today for an X-ray. The nurse didn't. Took one look at me and said I'd hurt myself, go and take an aspirin. Seems I've torn muscles and possibly a tendon - the medical term is called Rotator Cuff. Just let it be said that it hurts. I've the mother of all concussion headaches, have gravel rash all up the side of my chest, and my shoulder is all swollen. To be honest I'm a bit hacked off - AD hurt himself more last year, and in The Man Injury competition he wins. In a man kind of way I wanted splintered bone, where even hardened surgeons went "eyeug" when they saw my injury. What I didn't want was the nurse saying: "Diddums hurt his likkle armie has he? Oh you are a big boy not crying." Instead of a technical term like Rotator Cuff all I heard was; "Diddums got a big bad bruise. Ahhh"