Watching the Tour de France, there are horror injuries that seem to be happening every day. Tonight the Yellow Jersey (leader) Tony Martin fell and broke his collar bone. His team put him back on his bike and he rode the last 2 kilometres to the line, where he duly thanked his team mates, did several interviews and then stood on the podium to receive the Yellow Jersey honours, somehow managing to put on a jersey with one arm. Only then did he go to hospital to be told (what he already knew) that he had a broken collar bone and he would not be able to continue in the Tour.
Two days before, Fabian Cancellara was leading the race and at a little over 50 miles an hour, he and 15 others hit the tarmac in a horrific crash. Like Martin, he got back on his bike, later to discover he’d broken his back in two places. These are incredible athletes who are made of strong stuff and courageously put their bodies in severe danger every day & brave it when the worst happens. Fortunately, most of their injuries don’t involve other road users.
In complete contrast, earlier this year when I was forced off my bike by a lorry opening its door as I passed, I consider myself extremely fortunate that I wasn’t seriously injured. I was also much less brave and caused much more of a fuss over a bit of road rash. The shame!
Aside from making me appreciate how lucky I was, it also made me more cautious as a cyclist and as a driver. As a regular cyclist and driver I see the best and worst in both. However regardless of fault, it’s rarely the drivers of the cars, vans and lorries that come off the worst.
As a driver, when I see a cyclist, I no longer get impatient that my journey’s delayed by a few seconds, I now get envious that I’m not out there in the sunshine cycling myself.