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New Forest cyclist unscathed after crashing into tractor bucket on descent

Off-duty paramedic Les Goddard says his cycle helmet saved his life in collision last week

An off-duty paramedic who crashed into the front bucket of a tractor while riding down a descent in the New Forest says he “would not be here to tell the tale” had he not been wearing his cycle helmet.

Les Goddard tweeted on Friday about the incident, which happened near Godshill, Hampshire the previous day, and attached pictures of his damaged Kask helmet.

“Yesterday whilst out cycling I encountered a large farm vehicle which unfortunately I collided with. Without my helmet which is cracked I would not be here to tell the tale.”

Acknowledging that the subject of helmets is one that can give rise to heated debate online, he added: “I really hope this doesn’t offend anyone, I just want to point out the importance of wearing one of these,” he added.

The incident happened on a country lane, with police in Fordingbridge tweeting a picture of the tractor.

 “Not long resumed from the scene of a Car [sic] V. Tractor incident near #Godshill,” they said.

“The rider is definitely going to be sore in the morning, but I can tell you for a fact that his cycle helmet saved his life. He came head on to this coming down the hill!,” adding the hashtag, #HitTheBrakes.

“His helmet hit right on the corner of the tractors loading bucket. Incredible that there is so little damage to helmet and rider,” they added, together with another hashtag, #HelmetsSaveLives.

While the Highway Code does recommend that cyclists should wear a helmet, they are not a legal requirement in the UK.

Simon has been news editor at 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.

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