From Hospital Bed To Podium - A Year With Mike Hayward - Pedal Progression


17 April 2018

From Hospital Bed To Podium – A Year With Mike Hayward

Mike Hayward is a friend of ours who used to ride for Pedal Progression Racing until a couple of years ago when the team disbanded. He loves riding his bike and isn’t too fussy where, with pretty much all mountain bike disciplines on his radar. Last year he became ill with ‘Osteomyelitis’ – a rare and very serious infection of the bone. We’ll let Mike tell you about his last year…

July 2017 – X-ray of my left femur after insertion of antibiotic pellets


“After being in bed for 6 months, it’s fair to say I was very eager to ride by last October when the Doctors said I could take the brace off and walk again. Osteomyelitis of the left femur is not a good sabbatical.”


August 2017, rolling before I can walk


“To a backdrop of ski movies (if you haven’t seen Candide Thovex’s Few Words, it will inspire you), Freecaster footage and various obscure music choices from the Dark Knight soundtrack to Madeon, I hit my turbo trainer, and my living room floor which makes for a poor man’s gym.”


October 2017, Flyup 417 Pump Barn


“The weather was truly awful but as a man who had not seen Summer for a year, I was desperate to get out and started things off by riding inside at the Flyup 417 Pump Barn.”


October 2017, Patchway BMX at dusk

“Eventually, it stopped raining for 2 hours and I managed to get to a BMX track. I was expecting to be very slow but turbo time had paid off and I quickly found myself doing everything I could before.”

November 2017, remembering how to spin at Rampworld


“After those 2 hours, it kept raining seemingly forever. I hid inside a little bit, but mostly tried to attack a different forest every weekend.”


November 2017, Out in the slop at Windhill Bikepark

“I looked up some weather statistics the other night and while I’m certain Met Office doesn’t lie, I was surprised to find out this Winter has not been any wetter or colder than normal – apparently we’ve had more ‘sunshine hours’ than average..! My memory tells me it’s rained religiously at weekends!”

December 2017, relearning tricks at Sand Bay


“We are super lucky to have a sandy jump spot that rides through the Winter nearby, and we have nailed the digging there this year. Nowhere is more forgiving and it felt great to start doing some tricks again.”


February 2018, clipped in hardtail action at Nibley

“This Winter was punishing, aside from the usual lack of daylight which always makes it difficult to travel anywhere to ride. When it wasn’t actually raining, sadistic headwinds and sporadic snow plagued my favourite riding spots.

With the weather denying any sensible conditions, and time running out before the 1st 4x National Round, I decided to jump back in the deep end and took my hardtail out to some steeps, clipped in and ignoring the weather. Pretending it was dry, my confidence soared and I remembered why we drag ourselves out on those grey days.”

March 2018, more than a little excited at a dry power day in England


“Being too poor to get to Eastern Europe this season, I timed my relative poverty well and was rewarded with dry powder on the 40% slopes of Tickenham.”

March 2018, on the podium at Chicksands (2018 Round 1 British 4x)


“However, the March cold was relentless and with Round 1 of the British 4x Series fast approaching, I had to trust in my time in the pain room this Winter. A couple of gate sessions at Burnham and Bath BMX tracks, and it was time to drive to Chicksands.

With my car prepped for sleeping, I negotiated the 40 roundabouts between the M4 and Bedford, determined to get over the proline double that had evaded me for years. On my last attempt I’d snapped 4 spokes which had robbed me of the race practice session.

Saturday practice was cut short by traffic and my late leaving, but I made up for it on Sunday morning by finally sailing over the right hand gap and conquering a long-running battle.I had mixed results in Motos (qualifiers), coming away with 2,2,3 in three 3-man races. In the end, lady luck threw me a bone, and my friend crashed his way out of a spot in the final, gifting me lane 4 in the process. A returning elite rider snapped his chain out of the gate, guaranteeing me third, and although I briefly stole second, I was very, very happy to have found my way back on to the podium after having an 8 inch hole cut in my leg 6 months earlier! Here’s to a good season making up for last year!”


Mike you’re a hero. We admire your time and commitment to get back to what you love so quickly! x


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