Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Lightning does strike twice – another broken collarbone

Posted by Matt | February 14, 2017 | 14 comments so far

Another broken collarbone for Matt
Most of you will be well aware that back in the mists of time I broke my collarbone. Now, I’ve done it again…

My post ‘Ten (OK, twelve) things about breaking your collarbone‘ has been one of the most visited pages on this site over the years, at the time of writing having over 80 comments from similarly unfortunate individuals *. This time round, it’s a different experience, partly because I know the process a bit better but mainly because every break is different.

There’s also the psychological factor. Last time, it was a mistake – my mistake – which ended badly but could have been a lot worse. I had to take that on the chin; fallibility and the reminder that we’re not unbreakable. This time it was a bona fide accident that I didn’t see coming and couldn’t do anything about. One moment riding quite happily home, the next, slammed hard into the ground on my road bike. I don’t want to go into the detail on here but drivers weren’t to blame; in fact I’ve rationalised it into thinking who knows what might have happened if I’d been driving that day – it was one of those things and that kind of day.

There are, of course, similarities. It hurts a lot at the time (and after 11 days is still sore), adrenaline makes you do improbable things (like riding a mile and a half further and scaling Gimcrack Hill) and A&E is a miserable wait (true fact). The upside is, it could have been worse and I’m mending well so far. The break is slightly inboard of the original damage and the jagged upward spike of bone you see in the picture has settled down without the need for an operation. A few weeks and I hope to finally get the Jeffsy out on drying trails!

If you need a takeaway from all this, my crash helmet saved a worse outcome as it has bits of road embedded into it and my helmet light was knocked clean off. It might also be cracked and will need to be replaced.

Stay safe out there people.

* In case you are wondering, the all-time most comments we’ve had on a post is 91 for ‘Ride report: Sunday 31 October – Spooky horse‘ which managed to generate it’s own parallel universe in the comment thread!


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 14 comments on ‘Lightning does strike twice – another broken collarbone’

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  1. Gordo says:

    Oh ouch, ouch. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Damned bad luck. I’m a bad enough patient from my sprained thumb which happened when I turned left at the weekend, but my road bike slipped on some mud and went straight on. I thought what you must be going through.
    It’s great that you have your new bike to look at and get excited about. Heal quick

  2. SSJ says:

    Hope it continues to heel quickly.

    As for getting out mountain biking again, last time you said “For me, after six months, I think I’m starting to enjoy it again…”

    By then it will be mid summer and the perfect time to enjoy dusty trails and long evening rides before a quick pint on the way home. Something to look forward to.

  3. Tony says:

    Damn bad luck. So aim for a 12hr night time MTB race in Norfolk for your return in 7weeks time*

    Hope you are feeling better and at least you avoided the op. I still have the titanium hardware in me – which is ironic since I don’t like Ti bikes.

    *in hindsight this might not have been the best way to recover from my broken collarbone

  4. DaveS says:


    Not good. You have my sympathies. Now, is it the same side or the other one? I’ve done both and one side healed and the other didn’t. The verdict at the time was “well its really there just for a bit of stability but you don’t really need it.. dogs don’t” So do give it time to set.

    • Matt says:

      Thanks Dave. I’ve managed to break the same side but fortunately this time round it’s healing well so far – three weeks in and I’m already moving my arm through a good range.

      I’m not sure I want to test the idea of it not being needed – we’ll see if there’s any longer term issues; put it this way, evolution is reasonably efficient and it hasn’t yet bothered with doing away with the collarbone!

      Thanks for your good wishes…

  5. Jon says:

    No way matt!

    that’s bad news, I’m at about 30 weeks after opting for conservative, Non surgical approach… and still barely any new visible growth on xray, a very little in the last 18 weeks waiting for referral into the Ortho NHS from Fracture clinic..

    I’m in the throws of loosing patience with the NHS and looking to go back to the private self referral and explore surgery… Ive lost trust in the NHS for mainly just stringing me alone and 18 weeks referral is just ridiculous.

    It looks like your original fracture was the weak point? I was told , “it will be stronger and better than before”

    Good blog, keep it up.


    • Matt says:

      30 weeks?! I’m shocked, that must be miserable to live with. If nothing else, I’d be mainlining milk to get the calcium in by that stage!

      I’d also ask your medical people to look into why you haven’t healed by now.

      I was always told the mend is better than the original – guess what, in a way it was… but the break just happened in a different place as a result 🙂

  6. Kev says:

    So Matt, two and a bit weeks on from your latest shoulder incident … how is the healing process going?

    We were hoping you would be up for another Mountain Mayhem bog snorkeling mud fest this year! 🙂

    • Matt says:

      It’s actually 4 four weeks on Friday Kev.

      It’s pretty much healed, but the shoulder joint is quite sore and is stopping me lifting my arm above my head. I’m hoping it’s just part of the healing process and not a sign of further damage.

      I don’t have an appointment with the Fracture clinic until third week of March which seems ages. I need to check with my insurance company to see if I need signing off from anywhere and when I can drive but personally I think this weekend or next week I’d be OK.

      In terms of cycling, it will be at least a couple of weeks for gentle activity I think. As for Mayhem, really? 🙂

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