A coroner’s inquest has been told that the wheels on a cyclist’s bike may have locked as he braked on a descent, causing him to be thrown over the parapet of a bridge and sustaining fatal injuries.
James Nelson, aged 32, was out on a training ride on the evening of 13 August when the fatal incident happened, reports the Craven Herald.
The experienced cyclist, who was a member of Skipton Cycling Club, had been late setting out from home and may have been trying to catch up with other riders, said Skipton coroner coroner Rob Turnbull.
Marks on the road at Dibble’s Bridge on the road from Hebden to Pateley Bridge suggested he had been travelling at around 19mph when he braked and was thrown 35 feet into a dry river bed below, the inquest heard.
Mr Nelson’s mother reported him missing the following morning, and his body was discovered by two Environment Agency workers surveying the River Dibb.
A post mortem established the cause of death as multiple injuries to his head and chest.
David Taylor from North Yorkshire Police’s collision investigation unit said he believed that the wheels of Mr Nelson’s bike had locked as he braked on a 16 per cent descent.
He added that it appeared that the bike had collided with the wall of the bridge, that conditions were fine and dry, and that there were no potholes on the road surface.
The officer said there were no signs of another vehicle or an animal being involved in the collision, although it was impossible to rule that out entirely.
The coroner concluded that Mr Nelson’s death was due to an accident, and was "a tragic and sad loss" to his friends and family.
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.