Witness appeal after two riders seriously injured on BHF London to Brighton Bike Ride

Both taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting; man has life-threatening injuries

by Simon_MacMichael   June 16, 2014  

Police tape (CC licensed by freefotouk on Flickr)

Were you on yesterday’s British Heart Foundation (BHF) London to Brighton Bike Ride? Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses to two separate incidents involving riders participating in the event, one of whom is in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The man, aged in his 30s and from London, crashed into a telegraph pole in Rocky Lane, Gatton at 0725 on Sunday morning say police. He was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South London, where he is said to be in a critical condition.

A female rider taking part in the event was taken to the same hospital by air ambulance after a collision in Rookery Hill, Outwood, at around 10am. The woman, also in her 30s, suffered head and eye injuries and her condition is described as stable.

Anyone who witnessed either incident, or who has other information relating to them, is asked to call Surrey Police’s Collision Investigation Unit on 101, quoting incident reference P14172787.

Around 28,000 cyclists set off from Clapham Common yesterday morning on the 54-mile ride to the South Coast resort.

BHF director of fundraising Louise Parkes, quoted on the London Evening Standard website, said: “We are saddened to hear that two cyclists have been injured while taking part in today’s British Heart Foundation London to Brighton Bike Ride.

"An investigation will be carried out in conjunction with the police, ride managers and other agencies. As soon as we’re in a position to comment further we will do so. Our thoughts are with those involved and their families.”

9 user comments

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I hope the cyclist pulls through. I went past just after it happened and it didn't look good. Thoughts are with his family.

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posted by Sken44 [3 posts]
16th June 2014 - 15:37

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There is an accident on that Rocky Lane stretch every year. People race down there as though they are alone or everyone around them experienced. All it takes is a touch and they are done. A friend of mine broke her elbow and jaw there a few years ago because someone came flying past her and touched her handlebars.

I saw the aftermath of this yesterday - the poor guy wrapped around the pole on the left of the road on a fairly sharp right-hander. There were several cyclists stopped in front of him so I spoke to the marshall at the bottom of the hill who said that there were medics up there but it obviously was a lot worse.

I have to say, having navigated that bend, that it looked like he misjudged his speed and couldn't make the turn - the pole is right on the apex. Hopefully there are witnesses to this.

Terrible for the guy - I think BHF need to reconsider the route given the accidents there rather than putting "accident black spot" signs up - there are other ways down that hill that are safer given the level of experience o the ride and the fact that it is the first big downhill so people get excited without knowing how the road turns.

Extra bike? What extra bike dear?

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posted by goggy [86 posts]
16th June 2014 - 20:05

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This ride has become too big, and with the same kind of attitude prevalant in sportives of having to be the fastest and first, it's no surprise accidents like this happen.

posted by madonepro [34 posts]
16th June 2014 - 23:38

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I used to do the BHF London-Brighton every year. I stopped doing it for two main reasons.

The first was BHF's aggressive marketing and hectoring to raise more money. They piss you off with the sheer volume of junk-mail and emails.

And the second was the greed of BHF. Towards the end there were too many riders for the event and accidents were happening simply because of numbers. One year I didn't even get in the saddle for the first mile and a half because the riders were so tightly packed together. When you have this many riders, of wildly different abilities and standards, packed in together you are guaranteed to have accidents.

BHF get away with this because their rides are not races or sportives but 'fun rides'. That way they don't have to limit riders or accept any responsibility when things go wrong.

I wish the two riders a full and speedy recovery.

posted by levermonkey [327 posts]
17th June 2014 - 5:52

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Go fast uphill, slow downhill. That's it.

posted by Beaufort [117 posts]
17th June 2014 - 10:39

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Beaufort wrote:
Go fast uphill, slow downhill. That's it.

I think with in your abilities would be more apt for downhill.
I've not done LB, but from what I've read it sounds like most sportives I've done (only probably much worse) too many people descending way out of their ability for some reason or other (usually treating it like a race).

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posted by glynr36 [276 posts]
17th June 2014 - 10:53

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I haven't done it for years but Rookery Lane was where you had to get off an walk if you set off too late because many ordinary punters find it too steep. I thought the downhill immediately prior (Markedge Lane) was the real problem, esp in traffic.

posted by surly_by_name [137 posts]
17th June 2014 - 12:12

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Why are the police involved? Is there suspicion of foul play?

posted by Bishop [14 posts]
17th June 2014 - 18:21

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madonepro wrote:
This ride has become too big, and with the same kind of attitude prevalant in sportives of having to be the fastest and first, it's no surprise accidents like this happen.

Sounds like my commute...

'It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning' (Henry Ford)

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posted by cyclingDMlondon [202 posts]
18th June 2014 - 21:48

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