A teenage girl from Plymouth has told of how she was forced off the road and into a barbed wire fence as a result of a car speeding behind her, leaving her with cuts to her face and chest. To make matters worse, not only did the car not stop, but neither did passing pedestrians, until an elderly couple helped get her to hospital for treatment.
Stacey Courage, aged 17, had been riding her bike at Burrator Reservoir, Dartmoor, on Monday when she realised a car was approaching rapidly from behind, reports the Daily Mail.
“'I looked behind me and the car was really close so I thought I'd move over,” Ms Courage said. “I didn't think I was that far over but my bike went head first into barbed wire and the car just drove off. They knew I was there but they just left me.”
After managing to free herself from the barbed wire, which had become embedded in her face as a result of the impact, the teenager sought help, but was ignored by passers-by.
“I was holding my neck because it was pouring with blood. I thought I was going to die but people just walked past looking at me. I felt so alone.”
The newspaper added that the teenager, who had been planning on entering a Face of Plymouth competition next year in the hope of pursuing a modelling career, may need plastic surgery should she remain scarred after her wounds heal.
Ms Courage said: “The driver has ruined my life, especially if it's going to scar really badly, because I wanted to take up modelling. They've ruined my face.” She added that she had also lost theconfidence to enrol on a photography course that she was planning to take.
This being the Daily Mail, of course, the article has attracted the usual plethora of anti-cyclist comments, some focusing on the usual misconception of “road tax,” others on the fact that cyclists are a menace to other road users and should be forced – literally or otherwise – off the road. And onto the pavement where they can menace pedestrians, presumably.
One, from “Kate, London,” says: “Note most cyclists treat all road users in a very dangerous manner because they are oblivious of the danger they are putting themselves and others in. Hence the reason most motorists and other road users are fed up with them.”
The comment continues: “It is a pity that more cyclists do not look behind them; left and right would be good too. Taking the head phones off and putting the mobile phone away might help. A bit of lane discipline would also go a long way.”
It’s difficult to know where to start dissecting that one, but perhaps next time “Kate” is stuck in traffic, perhaps she could count the number of drivers she sees using their mobile phones at the wheel, then the number of cyclists using their mobiles as they ride along. Then she might like to consider the relative consequences of her being struck by a car or bicycle whose driver or rider is distracted by their phone.
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.