A coroner’s inquest has said that a British cyclist’s inability to unclip from his pedals led to him being killed after he lost his balance and was hit by a van while on holiday on Jersey in the Channel Islands. The coroner says he will be writing to Shimano, the manufacturers of the pedals, to raise his concerns.
Neil Blood, aged 42 and from Stoke-on-Trent, had not used clipless pedals prior to his holiday in July last year, where he was riding a new bike fitted with them.
Mr Blood was cycling with his cousin, Ruth, in St Helier and after turning to look at her, he hit a lamp post, causing him to lose his balance and fall under a passing van, reports the BBC.
His father, Geoff Blood, told the inquest that shortly before his son departed on his holiday he had urged him not to use clipless pedals, which he believes are dangerous.
“What happens with those cleats is you can’t pull your foot in and out,” he said, quoted in the Stoke Sentinel.
“You have to do a motion and when Neil or anybody is involved in an accident you don’t think logically.
“Your brain becomes a bit scrambled and to get your foot out of cleats you have got to think clearly.”
Mr Blood, a father of three who ran his own engineering business, received medical treatment at the scene but died in hospital shortly afterwards.
According to Home Office pathologist Dr Amanda Jeffrey, he sustained “extremely severe” injuries to his chest after being run over by the van.
The inquest heard that there was nothing the vehicle’s driver could have done to avoid hitting the cyclist.
Deputy Viscount Advocate Mark Harris said that Mr Blood’s death was a “tragic accident,” adding that he intended to write to Shimano to “bring this verdict to their attention.”
We have contacted both Shimano and UK distributor Madison for their reaction and will let you know their response.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.