3 Peaks Shoulder - Joolze Dymond

3 Peaks Shoulder: Claviculitis daftus

Words by Andy Ward (GP and Cyclocrosser) Photos by Joolze Dymond and Jack Chevell.

3 Peaks Shoulder - Jack Chevell

What is it?
A painful disorder that almost exclusively affects the right shoulder. Cases start to appear in June, reaching a peak in September.

Who gets it?
Exactly 650 people get this condition every year. Sufferers are a fairly diverse bunch, but are united by a love of riding unsuitable bikes on really unsuitable terrain. Potential victims can often be spotted by their tendency to lug said bikes up improbably steep grassy banks or cliffs at every opportunity.

How does it present?
Early symptoms include frequent checking of phones and computers for “the email.” General excitement is replaced by a sudden sense of foreboding and a tendency to disappear for hours on end, returning in an exhausted state. A fair bit of moaning can occur, associated with rubbing of the afflicted shoulder and wincing. Other tell-tale signs include prolonged faffing with bikes and purchasing of previously sneered at commuter tyres.

Not to be confused with…
Seasonal Disappointment Disorder

This starts with similar symptoms, but the obsessive checking of emails is followed by crashing disappointment. The best treatment is to volunteer as a marshall for the big day.

Whernside Clavicle
This comes on much more suddenly than 3 Peaks Shoulder. It is usually caused by a fairly catastrophic misjudgement when riding down stone steps. Onset is marked by an audible crunch and a fair amount of fruity language.

How does it progress?
3 Peaks Shoulder reaches a dramatic peak on the last Sunday in September. After a few hours it progresses into Rawlinson’s Syndrome affecting most parts of the body. At this point, sufferers feel like they’ve been kicked round the carpark by a donkey before being put in a washing machine on a spin cycle. Symptoms generally ease through October, becoming a distant memory by the time entries open the following June.

Can it be prevented?
There is some evidence that wrapping a massive orange plastic bag around strategic parts of a sufferer’s bike can help. This is frowned upon in parts of Yorkshire however, where it is seen as some namby-pamby Southern nonsense. In these areas, the shoulder is treated by regular application of industrial-grade methylated spirits before being hit repeatedly with a lump of Ingleborough limestone to encourage callous formation.

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