Paramedics told a cyclist she was lucky not to have had her neck broken after she sustained serious injuries when she rode into a rope that had been strung across Christchurch seafront promenade.
Jan Binning, a grandmother of 10, sustained a broken collarbone, black eye and cuts and bruises after she was knocked off her bike at Friars Cliff in the Dorset town, reports The Daily Echo.
She suffered a rope burn to her neck, and paramedics who treated her also said that she was fortunate not to have sustained damage to her windpipe.
The 63-year-old, who lives in Friars Cliff, told the newspaper: “This was probably done by youngsters who thought it was a prank but they don’t appreciate the damage they could do to somebody.
“I want them to know how serious it is – I suffered a lot of injuries and it makes me quite emotional to think what could have happened.”
She shared her recollection of the incident, which happened as she returned home from Mudeford Quay with her partner Steve Page at around 10.15pm last Wednesday 26 June.
“We chose to go along the prom because there are so many potholes on the road,” she said. “I have bright lights on my bike but I was looking towards the ground to make sure I didn’t ride into anything.
“I was riding in front of Steve when suddenly I felt a pain and I was thrown to the ground. I think I passed out for a short time because I couldn’t really work out what had happened.”
Her partner, who was described as being in shock, called an ambulance but it did not arrive for two hours.
She said: “I was lying on the ground in pain and I was shaking uncontrollably. Three boys came along and helped us. They covered me with their sweatshirts and two of them went up to the road to look out for the ambulance – I can’t thank them enough.”
After being treated in the A&A+E department of the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, she was released at 6am the next morning.
Ms Binning continued: “I look after my grandchildren which is proving to be difficult because I am in so much pain.
“There is little you can do with a broken collar bone except wait for it to heal and I have to return to the fracture clinic next week.
“I would just like this incident to be publicised as a warning to cyclists to beware, to the perpetrator so they realise the harm they have caused, and to anybody who might think about doing anything similar that the consequences can be very serious indeed.”
Dorset Police said that the rope is one that is attached to a pulley and used to lift the front hatch of a beach hut, but it had been tied across the path to railings opposite.
PC James Prowse said: “This was a mindless and very dangerous act that has left the victim with serious injuries.
“The person or people behind this may have believed it was just a silly prank and I would urge them to contact us so we can establish what happened.
“I would also ask anyone who has any information about this incident to please come forward.”
Anyone who has information is requested to contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting occurrence number 55190097494, or the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.