A cyclist has described how he was left lying injured by the side of a busy road in Warwickshire for more than 20 minutes as motorists passed by just feet away from him without stopping. Elsewhere in Warwickshire, another rider left facing a long walk home after hitting a pothole has recounted how he was rescued by a passing driver – who turned out to be a fellow cyclist.
Ian Hughes, aged 66 and from Higham on the Hill near Hinckley in Leicestershire, had been thrown from his bike on the A5 near Atherstone, Warwickshire, after hitting a hole in the road on Friday 21 December at around 10.30am. The fall left him with a broken arm and torn muscles in his wrists.
The Leicester Mercury reports that while the cyclist’s recollection of events is sketchy, he says that a lorry that was behind him avoided hitting him but failed to stop, and that over the next 20 to 30 minutes a succession of cars passed by until finally one stopped.
The driver gave Mr Hughes his phone so he could call his wife, who came to the scene and drove him to hospital in Nuneaton, where his arm was set in a plaster cast.
"I was out cycling for fun and was heading up the A5 to get on to a nice country lane in Warwickshire,” explained Mr Hughes.
"I was just over the border, outside Atherstone, when I hit a square hole that was full of water.
"One minute I was moving and the next I was in a heap on the floor.
"I had my feet strapped to the pedals, so that stopped me flying over the handlebars and hurting myself more badly.
"I was also lucky the 40-tonne lorry behind me wasn't too close behind me, because he could have hit me.
"As it was, the lorry just went straight past.
"I got to the verge and then lay on the side of the road for quite a while, with no strength to do anything. I was within a foot of the road and motorists would have seen me as they passed but none of them stopped.
"You would have thought it was obvious I'd been hurt. I can't believe it took so long for someone to offer help."
The fall also resulted in Mr Hughes’ receiving bruising on his shoulder, elbows and hip and for three days he could not use his hands.
"I've got a big family with kids and grandchildren, so it really messed my Christmas up," he continued.
Mr Hughes believes that earlier roadworks may have been the cause of the hole in the road.
"I've reported it, because my accident could have been much worse. I was lucky to get off so lightly."
However, a Highways Agency spokesman told the Leicester Mercury that as a result of the Christmas break, there was no way of knowing whether the problem had already been notified or whether any steps were being taken to remedy it.
Elsewhere in Warwickshire, another cyclist who was left unable to ride his bike after hitting a pothole has thanked a motorist who stopped to check he was okay then drove off and returned with a larger vehicle to get the rider and his bicycle home.
Simon Eddleston, aged 42, had resigned himself to a five-mile walk home to Kenilworth Road, Leamington, after his bike suffered two flat tyres and a buckled front wheel when he hit the pothole as he rode home in the dark and the rain from his job in Coventry.
He was unable to call his wife to ask her to come to his aid since she was looking after their young children at home.
“I found myself some five miles or more from home, alone and getting cold in the dark,” he told the Warwick Courier.
“I realised I had no option, but to start walking. There is no footpath on this road, so I looked a peculiar sight pushing my bike along the verges with my lights flashing forlornly.”
Eventually, a car stopped – and the Good Samaritan turned out to be a cyclist himself.
The motorist asked Mr Eddleston whether he was okay.
“I told him I had a double blow out and a dented ego,” he explained.
“He told me he was a fellow cyclist and with experience in the perils of potholes.
“His name was Pete and I think he was in his mid-20s. He said he worked in London and was back for the weekend
“I think his parents live in Ashow.
“Pete explained he could pick up a car from home that would fit me and my depleted bike. He said keep walking and he would find me on his return.”
Mr Eddleston wondered whether the driver would be good to his word on such a cold night, particularly since the trip back to Lemington would take him out of his way.
“However, 20 minutes later I saw a lone car come over the horizon and flash his full beam – it was Pete.
“He was as good as his word. He was my saviour.
“As we were driving to Leamington I said ‘I think this is karma.’
“And he said ‘Yes, I think it is.’ He was my knight in shining armour. Not many would do that.”
However, Pete refused payment for his expenses and asked just one thing of Mr Eddleston.
“He left me with a request: ‘It’s your mission to save another cyclist in distress’.
“Pete, you are a hero,” he added. “Thank you and I gladly accept your challenge.
“I hope if Pete reads this, or his parents see it, he will see how grateful I am.”
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.