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Cyclist asks for consideration on shared use paths after garotting with extendable dog lead

“If I’d been travelling any faster it could have been lethal"...

A cyclist who thought he was being throttled by an extendable dog lead has urged pet owners to be aware of the dangers of shared use paths.

The anonymous cyclist in Deal, Kent, said that he was knocked off his bike and a thin leash garotted him when he was riding along Sandwich Quay at lunchtime on Friday last week.

He grazed his body and ruined his cycling tights.

He told Kent Online: “It was ridiculously long and really thin. I was just riding along minding my own business and, then, wallop!

“Someone did come to help me but the man who was holding the lead walked away. No apology or anything.

“If I’d been travelling any faster it could have been lethal.”

He has pointed out that not only can extendable leads catch on cyclists’ bodies, they can also get caught in bicycles and has asked users of shared paths to be more considerate.

Gary Holmes, vice-chairman of Deal Tri, said: “Whilst riding in mixed environments cyclists should always be vigilant, but I share this man’s concerns about dogs and extendable leads and appeal to owners to be aware of the risks to other cycle path users.”

Back in 2010 we reported a horrific incident involving a boy in Lancashire.

The child, 6-year-old Isaac Hargreaves from Morecambe, was riding close to his home in a cul-de-sac when he pedalled into the lead which was extended to such an extent that the dog was on one side of the road and the owner on the other.

Isaac was caught by the lead at upper chest height, causing a severe friction burn to his shoulder and neck before he fell off the bike, bruising his back

Lancaster City Council, which also covers the Morecambe area, has released a picture of the neck injury to illustrate the dangers of extendable leads. The boy’s father, Darren, also talked to them about the incident which happened during the summer.

"I have always regarded our small, quiet cul-de-sac to be a safe place for children to play," he said "Isaac loves to ride circuits of the road with his brother which is why I thought it was unusual to hear him crying that day. I ran out to find him walking towards me from where the incident had occurred, just metres from my house, with terrible burn marks on his chest and neck.

"Isaac had cycled round a bend in the road and straight into an extendable dog lead. The owner of the dog was on one side of the road and the dog was on the other when the accident happened. The lead appeared to have caught Isaac's shoulder and moved up to his neck as he fell backwards.

"If he hadn’t been wearing his helmet which had cracked on impact, his injuries could have been far worse. Thankfully, Isaac has fully recovered but as a parent, it saddens me to think my beautiful little boy will have to bear the physical scars for the rest of his life."

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