THE BLOG

Getting Back On The Bike For The Prince's Trust

16/09/2016 16:30 | Updated 16 September 2016

There aren't many things in life more frustrating than being prevented from doing what you're passionate about, especially when it's that passion that effectively swings round and hits you in the face.

Just over eight weeks ago, I came off my bike. Riding as much as I do on the road, coming off is a numbers game. It's going to happen. Most of the time, I get up, dust myself down, inspect any superficial damage to clothes and bike, and then get back on.

This time, I left the scene in an ambulance. I told my wife and boss I was going to hospital to get checked over. In fact, I had badly broken my elbow. It had effectively come off, and needed a three-hour operation that same day to be reattached. As you can see in the x-ray, I now possess a decent amount of stainless steel wiring in my right arm.

matt barbet

Days off work at 5 News ensued, a holiday to France where I was meant to be doing hundreds of miles of driving was thrown into disarray, and a trip cycling across the Pyrenees next week was cancelled. Still, I knew I wanted to get back on as soon as possible. I'd committed to a ride in October that there was no way I would miss.

In some ways, the Prince's Trust helps young people get back in the saddle. Circumstances can often prevent them from pursuing their passions, and as time passes, it can feel harder to get back on the road towards their goals in life. The Trust's work means thousands can transform their lives to get to where they really want to be.

I'm proud to have recently become an ambassador for the Prince's Trust, and on 2 October, I'm riding their Palace to Palace event, from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle. There are several distances, but I'm going "ultra" and doing the 90-miler. Three months ago, I wouldn't have thought twice about that. Now, I'm a bit rusty - except for the wiring in my arm, hopefully - and the ride is an important one, so I'm slightly trepidatious.

My passion isn't dimmed though. Appreciating risk and confronting fear goes hand in hand with invigorating rewards that can be achieved as a result, whether it's cycling or applying for a job, or anything else you want to do. The first thing I did when I got the all-clear from my surgeon on Monday, was to get back on the bike I crashed, and go straight back to the spot where I came off. I wanted to thank the police officer who hauled me out of the road, bandaged me up and called the ambulance. I also wanted to know for sure that I could carry on as before.

I found I could, and I love it even more. As my good mate Rob says - and he's been through worse than me to get back to cycling - "onwards".

Matt Barbet presents Five News Tonight every weekday, and is an ambassador for the Prince's Trust. If you would like to cycle from Palace to Palace with him and thousands of others, you can find out more here.

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