A cycle commuter has told road.cc of the moment he was thrown from his bike on his commute home after a deer jumped out of a hedge and straight into his path – leaving him with a fractured arm, among other injuries.
The incident, captured on video, happened on the evening of 9 December as Nathan Wagstaff headed home from Bristol.
He told us: “My route takes me straight up the A38 out of Bristol, crossing under the M5 through Almondsbury then over the M4 before turning off into the darkness down Fernhill to head towards the Old Severn Bridge via Tockington and Olveston," said Nathan.
“I’d descended the first part of the hill and was on a flatter section, so ‘luckily’, according to my Strava records I was only doing around 26mph at the time of the incident.
“Due to recent horrible resurfacing of the outside of some of Fernhill, I was towards the middle of my side of the road at this stage to try to avoid the ‘test track’ new surface that tries to shake my fillings out.
“Due to the descent into darkness I also had both of my Lezyne front lights (three decent power LEDs) on at this point to enable me to see where I was going (camera quality does not do justice to them).
“I then noticed a car approaching me on the other side of the road and was slightly aware of an unusual noise in the hedge ahead of me to my left,” he continued.
“No sooner had I started thinking ‘wonder what that is?’, than the ‘offender’ revealed itself to be a fairly substantial doe.
“Before I knew it, I was thinking ‘DOH! A deer’, as it quickly dashed in front of me, no doubt startled by me and the approaching car, and took out my front wheel.”
Nathan didn’t go over his bars, but landed on his side with the majority of the impact taken by his elbow.
“Unfortunately, as I was in the middle of the road at this point, all I hit was tarmac rather than the grass verge it may have been, if I was more willing to ride at the edge of the road.
“Pain was immediate, and resulting damage was fairly extensive – smashed watch, torn jacket at elbow and shoulder, torn leggings, dented/scratched helmet, displaced front mudguard, damaged rear brake calliper.
“Damage to me was a minor fracture to my left radius (determined after nine hours in A&E), popped/heavily bruised ribs, lots of road rash and a dead big toenail which is now trying to leave my left foot.”
He added: “You’ll all be glad to hear that by the time I’d dragged myself to the side of the road to avoid any following motorists, the deer had long gone, so hopefully only a bit of a tyre mark/bruising wherever I hit her.”
We wish him a speedy recovery.
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.