The opening of a cycling club’s new clubhouse was overshadowed yesterday when three of its riders were injured, one seriously, on a commemorative ride to celebrate the event.
Two dozen members of West Suffolk Wheelers and Triathlon Club, which traces its origins back to 1922, had been marking the club’s move to its new clubhouse in Bury St Edmunds.
However, three of the riders were brought down in a collision as the group of riders passed through the village of Little Saxham shortly before noon. With one of the cyclists suffering serious head injuries, emergency services, including the air ambulance, were summoned to the scene.
The club’s membership secretary, Peter Heath, told the East Anglian Daily Times that club members were “shocked” by the incident.
“We had two celebratory rides organised because of the launch of our headquarters,” he explained. “On one of the rides there was a touching of wheels and it brought people down off their bikes. It was all an unfortunate accident and everyone is in shock about it, especially as it had been such a great morning opening the headquarters.”
An air ambulance service spokesperson confirmed that a 23-year-old had been airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, suffering from a serious head injury. His condition has subsequently been described as “serious but stable.”
The other two riders involved in the crash suffered minor injuries and were treated at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.
Mr Heath applauded the role that club members had played in assisting emergency personnel, saying: “Everyone that was there pitched in and helped as much as they could. Some helped to direct traffic and others helped with those injured.
“One of our cyclists is a paramedic so it was great that he was able to assess those injured and prioritise who needed the urgent treatment.
“It is a great shock for us all. We don’t know the condition of the three men in hospital,” he added.
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.