A coroner’s inquest has said that a British cyclist’s inability to unclip from his pedals led to him being killed after he lost his balance and was hit by a van while on holiday on Jersey in the Channel Islands. The coroner says he will be writing to Shimano, the manufacturers of the pedals, to raise his concerns.
Neil Blood, aged 42 and from Stoke-on-Trent, had not used clipless pedals prior to his holiday in July last year, where he was riding a new bike fitted with them.
Mr Blood was cycling with his cousin, Ruth, in St Helier and after turning to look at her, he hit a lamp post, causing him to lose his balance and fall under a passing van, reports the BBC.
His father, Geoff Blood, told the inquest that shortly before his son departed on his holiday he had urged him not to use clipless pedals, which he believes are dangerous.
“What happens with those cleats is you can’t pull your foot in and out,” he said, quoted in the Stoke Sentinel.
“You have to do a motion and when Neil or anybody is involved in an accident you don’t think logically.
“Your brain becomes a bit scrambled and to get your foot out of cleats you have got to think clearly.”
Mr Blood, a father of three who ran his own engineering business, received medical treatment at the scene but died in hospital shortly afterwards.
According to Home Office pathologist Dr Amanda Jeffrey, he sustained “extremely severe” injuries to his chest after being run over by the van.
The inquest heard that there was nothing the vehicle’s driver could have done to avoid hitting the cyclist.
Deputy Viscount Advocate Mark Harris said that Mr Blood’s death was a “tragic accident,” adding that he intended to write to Shimano to “bring this verdict to their attention.”
We have contacted both Shimano and UK distributor Madison for their reaction and will let you know their response.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.