Devon's 'ignorant' drivers condemned after spate of incidents
Veteran triathlete suffers broken pelvis in hit-and-run
Cyclists in Devon have called for better consideration on the roads after a spate of road rage incidents and a hit-and-run.
Riders Annika Longthorpe and Martin Burrows, from Torquay, say they've suffered from the antics of bad drivers, and would like more done to help cyclists in the area.
She said: She added: "I was out riding my bike two weeks ago with my partner, along the back road from Newton Abbot to Torquay. The road was straight and clear and both of us were in fluorescent clothing so we were highly visible. A van drove past us very close and sounded the horn as loud as possible, clearly with the intention of scaring us. There was no reason for this irresponsible anti-social behaviour.
“On the same day we were cycling merrily along a cycle path beside The Avenue in Newton Abbot and a car was parked on the off-road cycle path with the driver on his mobile. He was oblivious that we were on the path."
Annika told the South Devon Herald she is now so concerned for her safety when riding on the road she will not go out unless accompanied by her partner.
"It's bad enough trying to avoid all the pot holes in the roads without having to dodge irresponsible anti-social drivers,” she said.
"It is a big contradiction with the government telling us to ride bikes more, but we can't do it because motorists are not helping."
In North Devon, a cyclist who represented Britain in the triathlon was left in the road with a fractured pelvis after being knocked off his bike.
A silver grey pick-up truck mowed over Mike Culley, 68, as he cycled across Mullacott Roundabout on Friday at about 3.30pm.
In great pain and hardly able to move he was helped home to Ilfracombe by cycling companion Stephen Gussin, who had been riding in front. Later that day Mike was taken by ambulance to hospital, where doctors discovered he had suffered a hairline fracture of his pelvis.
Mike, a former ironman and world triathlon competitor who still swims and cycles competitively, faces a three-month lay-off and is furious at the apparent disregard of the driver following the incident.
"He came right up the side of me and his wing mirror clipped my arm,” he told the North Devon Gazette. “One minute I was riding, the next I was looking up at the sky. He must have seen me; my jacket is bright yellow, and I had a matching helmet.”
The vehicle was described as similar to a Ford Ranger or Nissan Navara with a hard top shell and police have appealed for the driver to come forward.
Mike founded North Devon Triathlon, is a member of North Devon Wheelers and still swims some 20,000 metres every week. He has represented Great Britain twice in the triathlon