Thursday, 12 July 2012


So, I was cycling home after the last of three very busy, long days at work (and I mean longs days of 13.5 hrs!) looking forward to seeing my wife and having a wee dram. The weather was dry and warm, the traffic was very light and it was still daylight despite the time of 21.00hrs. I was wearing a bright red cycling jersey and had my lights on. What could go wrong?

I was on the main road in secondary and about to pass a side road to my left. A driver approached the give way to turn onto the main road and slowed almost to a stop a couple of metres from the junction. I attempted to make eye contact but he was looking the other way at the time. Still, I was pretty sure he'd seen me. We had direct line of sight and I was pretty visible. Less than a couple of seconds later I was passing in front of the junction at which point the vehicle suddenly accelerated over the give way lines towards me. 

I saw it happening and so accelerated and turned towards the centre line in an attempt to get out of the vehicle path. Not quite enough though and I was clipped on the back wheel/rear triangle. I had been doing about 15 mph before the junction and was likely doing about 18 mph by this point. I lost control completely as the back of the bike snaked from side to side before flipping me onto the road.

I hit the tarmac quite hard on my left side and rolled several times before coming to a rest. I didn't feel much in the way of pain and started to look up to get a vehicle reg. The elderly driver had pulled over and was coming across to me. "Unbelievable!" I shouted in a Victor Meldrew type way. "How could you not see me?" I then realised my arms, chest and neck were actually hurting quite a bit and so decided to lay still and ask for an ambulance. I knew I could move everything but also that the mechanism of injury was substantial and I might have neck injuries which could be made worse if I tried to get up. I didn't want to risk some permanent injury which might leave me in a wheelchair.

By now people were coming out houses and some cars had stopped. I was tended to by first aiders while we waited for the emergency services and then got fitted into a neck collar my head secured with blocks and was placed onto a spinal board for the transfer back to A&E. I say back to A&E because that is my place of work. I am a Charge Nurse there. 

I was assessed by the colleagues I had left an hour so before and fortunately my neck injuries were deemed to be muscular only. My worst pain was now in my chest and right arm but I had no fractures and was discharged with analgesia and advice. I rang the wife and she set out to collect me and in the meantime I spoke to the Police. Details were given and I learnt the driver was being charged with driving without due care and attention. I also found out where my bike was as it had been taken in by some one who lived close to the scene. 

I decided not to think too much about the damage to the bike and contact them tomorrow to arrange collection. I was glad to be alive but disappointed my long planned cycle trip along the Way of the Roses with my brother in law and his sons, due to start two days later, was now in serious doubt. I slept badly.


  1. Sorry to hear it. It's so bloody infuriating, especially when it upsets upcoming plans, and it does unsettle you a good bit for a few weeks.I've taken to moving into primary when passing t-junctions for just that reason, as well as to avoid those who screech to a halt a metre or two over the line. Did this happen in the last couple of days or the recent past? As encouragement, I can only paraphrase Viper & Jester's conversation about getting Maverick back into the air and recommend you get back in the saddle as quick as you can!
    Best wishes, Thibault

  2. Ouch. I hope none of the damage is too serious and you mend quickly.

    I hate to hear stories like this. Like you, I often cycle with my daughter, and I always feel that I keep my wits about me and take care, but how can I ever mitigate against this kind of dangerous and negligent driving? Or against the kind of drivers I read about every day who drive over the limit with no insurance and no license.

    The only way would seem to be to stop cycling. :(

  3. I was on the main road in secondary and about to pass a side road to my left.

    Do you mean I was on the main road in **primary** and about to pass a side road to my left?


  4. I'm so sorry to hear about this! Hope you get better soon and I hope the bike isn't badly damaged, either.
    Classic case of SMIDSY, a.k.a. (from the driver's perspective) I-didn't-give-driving-the-concentration-it-deserves

  5. I just got to this post now. I hope you have recovered both physically and emotionally. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to survive and recover from the results of an inattentive driver.

    Let us know how you're doing, mate.

    1. Fully recovered. Not anything as bad as your experience. Hope you doing OK.

  6. You haven't blogged since this post. I hope all is well with you and yours, and that we'll hear from soon.

    1. I'm fine thanks. Kind of lost the blogging bug for now. House buying, upping the cycling miles and using CycleChat more and more. Something had to go!

  7. Hello, I hope you've recovered from the incident.

    Would you mind if I used your picture of Oxford train station cycle park in a montage for the front cover of a not-for-profit report on a 'steady state' economy for manchester?

    1. I'm fine thanks.

      No prob using the picture. I 'borrowed' it from elsewhere on the net though.


  8. Thanks for an entertaining blog which i have followed with great interest
    Hope the house goes well