Last week brought a grim reminder that riding from Land's End to John O'Groats can be a risky business with the death of a LEJOG cyclist in Shropshire. Arthur Platt was raising money for the Help for Heroes charity which supports disabled servicemen when he was killed on the A442 dual carriageway on the outskirts of Telford last Tuesday.
A spokesman for the West Midlands Ambulance service told the Shropshire Star, “When crews arrived they immediately started resuscitation on the cyclist who suffered very serious injuries.
“After the man’s condition was stabilised, he was airlifted to University Hospital of North Staffordshire.“Unfortunately despite all of the efforts of ambulance and hospital staff, it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead later on at hospital.
“The driver of the car, a man, was uninjured.”
37 year old Mr Platt, who worked at the Totton Leisure Centre in Hampshire, had previously ridden around the Isle of Wight for charity, and had overcome a spinal condition that had threatened to confine him to a wheelchair. Shortly before setting off on his ride he tols Sourthern Daily Echo: “While most people will be settling down to watch the World Cup I’ll be out there pedalling away.
“I chose Help for Heroes because ill health prevented me from joining the army and I’d like to support injured servicemen and women.”
Mr Platt set off from Land's End on the 26th of June and had planned to complete his ride on Saturday 10 July.
Bryn Parry, Help for Heroes’s chief executive, told the Southern Echo: “I would very much like to pay our respects to Arthur and to recognise his contribution. He died while raising money to help others and that is admirable and must be remembered.
“We would like to pay tribute to a wonderful man who will be missed by all who knew him.”
Last Tuesday was a particuarly black day for cycling on Shropshire's roads not only did Mr Platt lose his life another cyclist was also killed near Shrewsbury on Tuesday night, while a third man lost his foot after he crashed and then slid in to a tractor driven hedge cutting machine near Oswestry.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.