Evans 'a bit run down'
Motorcross: IN MAY last year, Kingaroy's Joel Evans was competing in round four of the MX Nationals in Murray Bridge, South Australia, when an accident in a section of the track landed him in hospital.
Evans, 22, broke the C5 and C6 vertebrae in his spinal cord when the bike followed him over the hump and landed awkwardly on his neck, and there was every fear Evans would never walk again let alone get back on the bike.
Yet in just 10 months, Evans was back behind the handlebars, and a whirlwind six months saw him return to the MX Nationals circuit.
"I didn't plan on racing at all this year, (but) I just started to feel alright and the opportunity came up,” Evans said.
"My coach and trainer said if I put in the work and felt like I could do it then I should go, so I did.
"It all got a bit full-on when I wasn't expecting to ride at all.”
Evans said he got caught up in the return to racing, and felt he may have pushed himself too hard too early to get back on the track, so would be taking a break to focus on his recovery.
"I just got a bit run down; the things I wanted to work on I didn't have time to,” Evans said.
"It's not like I was putting myself at harm or anything (by riding) but my shoulder for example - only 20 per cent of the left deltoid works - so my plan is to strengthen up that area, take time off and focus on that and a few other niggling injuries.
"I was planning to go in the super cross series, which is on at the moment but decided to give it a miss.”
Evans is in the midst of a move to the Sunshine Coast for the off-season, where he plans to focus on rehab and get back to enjoying riding on a casual basis.
"Because I've been so full into it and it takes up so much of your life to do professionally, I've never really done anything else so it'll be a bit of experimenting,” Evans said.
"My fun was always on the bike, so I'll probably do a bit of mountain biking.
"Other than that, I don't do too much at all.
"I've got a really good trainer (on the Sunshine Coast and) I'm starting a lot of physiotherapy and gym work to try put on a bit of muscle mass in that (left deltoid) area. In this sport you don't really aim for size, but to strengthen the area and the joint that's the goal.”
Evans wanted to thank the continued support of his sponsors and the people of the South Burnett, and said it would not be long before he returned to Kingaroy.
"I think the Sunshine Coast is the best place for me at the moment, but I have a lot of good sponsors in the South Burnett area who I want to stick with because they've stuck with me,” Evans said.
A major motocross race in Indonesia is still on the horizon for Evans, but he plans to approach the event as a training run with an eye to returning to the circuit next year.