It’s every male rider’s worst nightmare: you crash and go over the bars, but the family jewels hit the stem - and stay there. That’s what happened to a teenager in China, but thanks to quick intervention by a passer-by and some skilled surgeons, he has been restored to wholeness.
Xiao Pan, 19, was riding his bike on a farm when he crashed into a tree. He was thrown forward by the impact and caught his scrotum on the handlebars, tearing his testicles from his body, according to a report on Metro.
A police spokesman said: “He was on a slope, the bike was gaining speed and when he applied the brakes, they didn’t work. He smashed directly into the tree.”
Surgeons took nine hours to reattach the teenager’s testicles, which were retrieved by emergency services after the alarm was raised.
Motorist Lo Feng, 45, said: “I rushed down to him and he was in a bad way. He pointed to this blood clump and said: ‘My balls, rescue my balls.’”
“I didn’t touch them, I just staunched his blood flow and called for the medics on my mobile.
“I pointed out what he had said when they arrived and they picked them up and placed them in a box of ice.”
Mr Pan is reported to be in a stable condition. He expected to be sexually functional when he recovers, but it’s not yet known whether his fertility will be affected.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.