Man dies after 15mph crash in Richmond Park

Helmeted rider hit gravel on bend, according to eyewitness

In what is being described as a freak accident, a 40-year-old man died on Sunday after falling off his bike on a descent in Richmond Park, Surrey.

Police were called to the crash which occurred just before 09:30 on Sunday morning. The man, who has not yet been named, was taken by London's Air Ambulance to the Royal London Hospital in a critical condition, but later died from his injuries.

The rider is reported to have crashed as a result of hitting gravel while descending Broomfield Hill/Dark Hill, near the park's south-eastern edge.

The man was put into the recovery position by a passing doctor. He was wearing a helmet and is thought to have been travelling at about 15 mph. The speed limit in Richmond Park is 20mph.

Oliver Prior, who was riding up the hill as the man came down it, told Mary Isokariari of the Evening Standard: "The man was coming down on the outside of the bend where the road has the most amount of gravel. He bike slipped from underneath him and he fell and hit his head.

“There was a doctor, who just happened to be cycling and he organised for three people to help move the man into the recovery position. My friend was one of them."

The Metropolitan Police said that the deceased's next of kin had been notified and that the MPS Royal Parks Command Unit is now investigating.

No one else was involved in the incident.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson 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 editor 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 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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