A New Forest cyclist has reportedly suffered a broken collarbone as a result of attempts to sabotage a sportive ride there at the weekend – ironically, not one of the participants, but a local who is said to have been riding to work along the same route earlier in the day.
The Southern Daily Echo says it was alerted to the incident by a comment made to its coverage of the weekend’s disruption to the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive by a friend of the unfortunate cyclist.
The identity of the rider is unknown, and the newspaper says that a poster going by the name cyclejim wrote: “ “His wheel caught one of a number of tacks thrown onto that particular part of the road, which blew his tyre and caused him to fall and break his collarbone.
“I hope whoever did that is satisfied.
“Who has been causing the real danger on Forest roads this weekend?”
The newspaper says however that a spokesman for South Central Ambulance had said that the only incident they dealt with on Saturday involved a 50-year-old woman who injured her hip after coming off her bike on Saturday lunchtime.
As we reported yesterday, Saturday saw attempts to sabotage the event including drawing pins being scattered on the road, signs being changed or ripped down, and motorists deliberately driving slowly in an attempt to impede riders.
When he was told of the injury suffered by the mystery cyclist, Martin Barden of organisers UK Cycling Events, said: “My thoughts go out to him – it’s obviously dreadful and this is not just fun and games it is putting people’s lives in danger.
“Normally locals welcome us and have been very supportive but we are talking about a very small minority of protesters and a handful of hardcore vigilantes causing mayhem.
“Their aim was to protect the Forest but chucking down tacks doesn’t just endanger cyclists and motorists, it hurts Forest animals too,” he added.
Chief Inspector Tony Rowlinson of Hampshire Police said that the force was trying to identify the saboteurs.
“We support people’s rights to lawful, peaceful protest but for those that break the law we will take action,” he explained.
“We are now following up on information to find those responsible for the criminal damage caused during the Sportive.”
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.