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Cycle instructor crash victim says it's important for cyclists to be careful

Angie Cook waited over 90 minutes for an ambulance after being hit by a car

The cyclist who had to endure a 90 minute wait for an ambulance after she was hit by a car in Teddington yesterday morning was a cycling instructor on her way to teach a class at a local primary.

Angie Cook, 63 was hit by a woman driving a black Vauxhall Zafira in rush hour traffic at about 8:50 yesterday morning and had to wait until 10:27 before she was attended by London Ambulance Service.

Police and passers-by covered her in blankets and coats to keep her warm while she waited.

Mrs Cook told the Evening Standard's Matt Watts: “I was lying there feeling really cold and not being able to feel my back. It was scary. I kept asking myself how bad my injuries were.

“Because of the back injury I couldn’t move and the advice was not to move me.”

That back injury turned out to be less severe that had been feared. Mrs Cook was hit in the leg and sustained a bruised coccyx in the crash.

She said her crash showed how important it was for cyclists to take care. Mrs Cook has taught cycle safety for Richmond Council for 10 years, and said she would use her experience in her teaching.

“I’ve been cycling all my life but this is my first accident. It shows it could happen to anyone. Fortunately I’m very careful and was wearing high visibility clothing and a helmet. Otherwise it could have been much more serious. I was very lucky.

“It shows how important my work is and how careful cyclists need to be. There’s a lot of crazy cyclists in London who don’t take any precautions and the roads are very dangerous. They wouldn’t have got off so lightly.

“I suppose I should feel a bit embarrassed as I’m a cycle instructor and I’ve had an accident. I’m the first person at work to have an accident. But it wasn’t my fault and it shows there is a risk whenever people get on a bike.”

Mrs Cook said the paramedics had been very apologetic when they arrived. She added: “I think I’d be angrier if my injuries had turned out to be more severe and everyone hadn’t showed me so much kindness while I was there in the road waiting. I’d just ask, am I an isolated case or is this happening all the time and to people in a much more serious condition?”

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We are very sorry we couldn’t be there sooner and for any distress or discomfort this may have caused but we have to prioritise patients in a serious or life threatening condition.”

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.

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