Witnesses sought after cycle campaigner seriously injured in freak incident
Chair of Southampton Cycling Campaign suffers serious head injuries two days after helmet stolen

The chairman of Southampton Cycling Campaign, Lindsi Bluemel, is in hospital with life-threatening head injuries following what appears to be a freak incident in Bournemouth. According to a report in the Bournemouth Echo, Ms Bluemel’s cycle helmet had been stolen two days prior to yesterday morning’s incident, and she had not yet replaced it.

Mrs Bluemel, aged 56, is reported to be in a critical but stable condition in Poole Hospital, where she was taken after she came off her bike and struck her head as she rode along a cycle lane next to the westbound carriageway of the A338.

According to the newspaper, Mrs Bluemel had fallen after her rear wheel slipped as she attempted to ride over a five-metre strip of UPVC plastic measuring 20mm by 15mm, which was lying on the cycle lane.

The report added that a Dorset Police spokesperson had said that witnesses described how her bicycle wobbled before the back wheel slid out, causing Mrs Bluemel to fall.

Any witnesses with information about the incident are asked to call PC Brehmer at Dorset Police on 101.

Wearing a helmet while cycling is of course a personal choice in the UK, and cannot guarantee protection from head injuries; moreover, it has not been reported whether or not a helmet might have helped prevent or lessen Mrs Bluemel’s injuries in this instance.

It is regrettable, however, that whoever stole Mrs Bluemel's helmet denied her the choice on this occasion.

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.