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Richard Branson bloodied by cycling crash after hitting pothole and falling "hard"

Billionaire businessman left with "hematoma on my hip and a nasty cut elbow" after a crash while riding in the British Virgin Islands...

Billionaire business mogul Richard Branson was left injured with a hematoma on his hip and a "nasty cut elbow" after hitting a pothole while cycling in the British Virgin Islands and crashing "hard".

Branson wrote on Instagram, sharing a picture from the roadside: "Took quite a big tumble while cycling in Virgin Gorda a little while ago! I hit a pothole and crashed hard, resulting in another hematoma on my hip and a nasty cut elbow, but amazingly nothing broken.

"We were cycling with Alex Wilson, who fell after me, but thankfully he was ok as well. I'm counting myself very lucky, and thankful for keeping myself active and healthy. After all, the brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all!"

The 73-year-old has history with cycling crashes and said "I thought I was going to die" after a 2016 incident which left his bike "completely destroyed" and thrown off a cliff in the British Virgin Islands, where he owns the 74-acre Necker Island.

Sir Richard Branson after bike crash (image from Virgin.com).jpg

That fall happened after he hit a 'sleeping policeman' piece of road furniture while descending a hill in the dark.

"The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes," he said. "I really thought I was going to die. I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life.

"My bike went flying off the cliff and disappeared. We've since recovered the crumpled bicycle, completely destroyed. My cheek has been badly damaged and my knee, chin, shoulder and body severely cut."

And in 2021 the businessman, who was knighted in 2000, was hospitalised after another "colossal" bike crash while taking part in an event on one of the Caribbean islands.

Sir Richard Branson (picture credit Strive Challenge).PNG

Branson believed the brakes on his bike failed, and said that in his opinion there was "no question" his cycle helmet had saved his life.

In the same year, in a bizarre episode detailed on our live blog, Virgin Galactic admitted that Branson had not rode a bike to the Spaceport America launch site where his space flight launch happened.

"The footage of Sir Richard Branson shown during the event on Sunday was pre-recorded and misidentified in the broadcast. We regret the error and any confusion it may have caused," a Virgin Galactic official confirmed.

Trek Bicycles claimed Branson rode one of its custom-made bikes on launch day, but it turned out the clip, which Branson shared to Twitter and was published by Virgin with the line 'earlier today', was actually from a week earlier. After the flight, Branson said, "It's so awesome to arrive on a bicycle, across this beautiful New Mexico countryside."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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136 comments

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

I haven't claimed that at all. I've pointed out that instead of making frivolous discretionary purchases people in the UK could use some of their enormous wealth to ameliorate global suffering.

Can they do both? If I don't give away so much that I can't afford a nice coffee sometimes, is it still too hypocritical of me to criticise the unethically gained wealth of billionaires?

Quote:

Please don't try and deliberately mislead. If you want to know how much an ethical cup of coffee costs then do some research, find genuine ethical companies and look at what they charge. That should give you a ball park figure for how much ethical coffee should be costing. If a cup of coffee is a lot less than that then corners are being cut somewhere.

So again, it sounds an awful lot like you're being naive enough to assume that the cost of the beans has a noticeable impact on the cost of the cup of coffee. Do you seriously believe that is the case? Multi-billion dollar companies have to short change the farmers in order to make their product cheap enough for westerners to buy?  Cos hoooo boy, do I have some news for you if that's the case.

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
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You seem to be deliberately trying to steer this discussion away from general principles and into semantics.

Ethical coffee beans cost more than mass market coffee beans. A company that pays its employees a living wage with good sick pay and other benefits will have higher staffing costs. Running a business in an environmentally sustainable way will often cost more than the alternative. An ethical cup of coffee will cost more than an unethical one.

As a consumer you have a responsibility to research these things.

Price isn't the only thing to judge but it is a good indicator to start with. The cheapest meat in the supermarket is very unlikely to also have the highest welfare standards etc.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
3 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

You seem to be deliberately trying to steer this discussion away from general principles and into semantics.

I'm desperately trying to find out what your general principles are apart from an insistence that buying more expensive things is bad while buying cheaper things is also bad, that consumers are directly responsible for everything the market does while they're also very often not, and that none of us should be criticising billionaires unless we make some ethical sacrifices, which we very often do. I mean, I have asked what the point you're trying to make is on several occasions and I really don't think we're any closer to it yet.

Quote:

Ethical coffee beans cost more than mass market coffee beans. A company that pays its employees a living wage with good sick pay and other benefits will have higher staffing costs. Running a business in an environmentally sustainable way will often cost more than the alternative. An ethical cup of coffee will cost more than an unethical one.

Again though, we're here at the point of you thinking that the cost of goods and the cost of running the business directly impacts the retail price. But what happens when the retail price is set by what the market will sustain? Then there's a complete disconnect. Bad costs as much as good, if not more. 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/01/children-work-for-pitta...

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
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You're deliberately misrepresenting what I have said and, to be honest, it's getting quite tedious.

If you don't think that the cost of running the business and buying raw materials impacts the cost of the product produced then you are delusional.

It's possible for an unethical product to be priced as expensively as an ethical product but it will be more profitable as a consequence.

As a.consumer you have a responsibility to look into the products and services you use and only choose those that operate ethically. That may mean paying more.

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Rendel Harris replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
5 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

You're deliberately misrepresenting what I have said and, to be honest, it's getting quite tedious.

 

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Rich_cb replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
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Is that a confident assurance? Or can't you remember?

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Rendel Harris replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

Is that a confident assurance? Or can't you remember?

That you castigating others for deliberate misrepresentation and being tedious is ironic beyond measure? That is most definitely a 100% confident assurance.

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Rich_cb replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
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We've previously established that you don't really know what that means so ironically we can't have much confidence in that assurance.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

You're deliberately misrepresenting what I have said and, to be honest, it's getting quite tedious. If you don't think that the cost of running the business and buying raw materials impacts the cost of the product produced then you are delusional.

See above. The cost of the coffee that goes into a £2.50 cup is <£0.01. It's delusional to think the market rate of a high street cup of coffee is connected to that cost.

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It's possible for an unethical product to be priced as expensively as an ethical product but it will be more profitable as a consequence.

Exactly! Finally you agree with what I'm saying, yet you still seem to be deliberately misunderstanding the implication.

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
0 likes

Again, you're deliberately misrepresenting what I've said.

You're talking about coffee beans whilst I've clearly mentioned the overall costs of running the business AND buying the raw materials.

It is possible for an unethical product to be priced similarly to an ethical product but that isn't always the case. As I e repeatedly said the onus is on the customer to do the research, price can be a useful guide however.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

Again, you're deliberately misrepresenting what I've said. You're talking about coffee beans whilst I've clearly mentioned the overall costs of running the business AND buying the raw materials.

I'm pretty sure that you are misrepresenting what you've said at this point. In this case, the vast majority of the ethical problem is with the cost of the raw materials. Unless your western high street coffee shop is hiding a child labourer under the counter the serious exploitation is at the <£0.01 per cup level. Any coffee chain you've ever heard of could make a huge change at that end of the supply chain and not change their prices one bit. The fact that you're now talking about the entire cost of running their business including everything that is entirely irrelevant to the customer's ethical responsibilities is entirely disingenuous.

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As I e repeatedly said the onus is on the customer to do the research, price can be a useful guide however.

It can be - but as you've just agreed it also very much cannot be.

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
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You're the one who's become fixated on the cost of coffee beans. Ethics don't just apply to raw materials. As I've pointed out already in this discussion.

Right from the start of the discussion I've talked about ethical business practice. If you think the only part of a coffee shop that could be more/less ethical is the beans then you're hopelessly ignorant.

Staff pay, staff sick pay, holiday entitlement, parental leave etc. All major costs and all subject to significant variation between different businesses.Thats before we even consider all other materials in use. Milk, takeaway cups, cup carriers etc etc.

Your responsibility as a consumer is to consume ethically, that means looking at all aspects of a business you use and also, considering whether you actually need to consume any given product.

That's the general principle.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

You're the one who's become fixated on the cost of coffee beans. Ethics don't just apply to raw materials. As I've pointed out already in this discussion. Right from the start of the discussion I've talked about ethical business practice.

Right from the start of this discussion you've been talking about how staggeringly wealthy everyone in the UK is compared to the rest of the world and why we shouldn't be criticising billionaires while hoarding our own staggering wealth. Since a British coffee shop worker is already enormously wealthy compared to a Zimbabwean coffee farm worker it seems odd to complain about something as trivial as holiday entitlement, doesn't it? It certainly seems incredibly disingenuous of you to put them on the same level after everything else you've said about the enormous wealth we all have. 

It definitely sounds like you now think most of us in the UK are being oppressed by billionaire corporations and really do have some legitimate redistribution of wealth causes to complain about. Which, I'll be honest, comes as a surprise.

Quote:

Your responsibility as a consumer is to consume ethically, that means looking at all aspects of a business you use and also, considering whether you actually need to consume any given product.

And if you're unable to find out info on every aspect of every facet of every business you ever buy things from, every aspect of every facet of every other business in their supply chain, you can't complain about people who've actively decided to employ child labour as a profit maximisation strategy?

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
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Just because people in the UK are staggeringly wealthy on a global scale doesn't mean they shouldn't be treated ethically.

Consumers have a responsibility to do research into the products they buy.

If the information about child labour was readily available but you bought the product anyway I'd suggest you weren't in a moral position to criticise many people.

If the information isn't readily available or is actively hidden then consumers can be excused their ignorance.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

Just because people in the UK are staggeringly wealthy on a global scale doesn't mean they shouldn't be treated ethically.

What's unethical about being paid an enormous amount of money on a global scale?

Can't the boss point to the fact that a person in Zimbabwe would give their right arm to be paid that same amount? Wouldn't they be correct?

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
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Everybody deserves ethical treatment.

You can keep trying to build your straw men if you like but I'm getting bored.

The discussions about global inequality and ethical consumerism are separate. Trying to conflate them to score some points is not really going to work.

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Rendel Harris replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
4 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

I'm getting bored.

I knew we'd agree on something sooner or later.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
3 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

You cannot remove responsibility from the customer. Ultimately without the customer there is no market. If you go to a shop and buy something you have responsibility for the production of that product.

If you bought something at a Post Office any time in the last 25 years, is Horizon your fault?

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
1 like

Given that it's been a monopoly for much of that time I'd argue no.

Consumers only have a responsibility in a free market.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
4 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

Given that it's been a monopoly for much of that time I'd argue no. Consumers only have a responsibility in a free market.

So if you used it to send a parcel you could have used Fedex for instead, Horizon is your fault? Just as much as Paula Vennels, just as much as Fujitsu, just as much as the people who hid evidence and lied to the courts... That's on you?

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chrisonabike replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
1 like

Well - if you sent a parcel of rogues to a parliament - (presumably Rich would conceed elections are a kind of a free market* ... of politicians and parties [ or lizards, as Douglas Adams suggested ] ) and *they* presided over such a "monopoly" ... perhaps it would be?

* Of course this is a concept that people are unlikely to agree on - or even if they exist and where... Hmm, probably need more dimensions on the political hypercube.

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
0 likes

This is descending into a bit of a straw man argument.

If you buy a product or service in a free market you should take the responsibility to check that the company is operating in a way that you are happy with as you share responsibility for its actions.

If that information is completely concealed from you, as per Horizon, then you're not responsible.

If the information is publicly available you're responsible.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

This is descending into a bit of a straw man argument. If you buy a product or service in a free market you should take the responsibility to check that the company is operating in a way that you are happy with as you share responsibility for its actions. If that information is completely concealed from you, as per Horizon, then you're not responsible. If the information is publicly available you're responsible.

No, it's a you man. You said "You cannot remove responsibility from the customer."

It's not my fault you said that when what you actually meant was "You can remove responsibility from the customer and companies run by billionaires often try very, very hard to do that."

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
0 likes

Consumers bear responsibility for the production of the products that they buy.

An exception can sometimes be made in the case of fraud on the part of the product supplier.

So, to rephrase.

You cannot remove responsibility from a customer in a free market where all pertinent information is available.

Hope that's clarified it enough for you.

In reality most ethically questionable products can be uncovered with a few quick online searches.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

Consumers bear responsibility for the production of the products that they buy.

Cool, consumers sometimes have responsibility for buying known unethical products, but bosses always have responsibility for making unethical production decisions. Remind me again why this means it's unfair to criticise them?

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
0 likes

I never said we shouldn't criticise bosses of unethical companies.

Please don't try and deliberately mislead.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
3 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

I never said we shouldn't criticise bosses of unethical companies.

"If you're not willing to take responsibility for your own actions then don't criticise others for acting in a similar fashion."

Quote:

Please don't try and deliberately mislead.

Yeah. Exactly...

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
0 likes

I actually said earlier in the thread that we should not use the products of unethical companies and write to the company to explain why.

The quote you've produced was not related to unethical companies.

Please don't try to deliberately mislead.

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Wingguy replied to Rich_cb | 1 month ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

I actually said earlier in the thread that we should not use the products of unethical companies and write to the company to explain why. The quote you've produced was not related to unethical companies.

So it was a semantic argument and not a general principle?

In some very specific situations we should not criticise others if we don't take responsibility, but in most other situations we can?

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Rich_cb replied to Wingguy | 1 month ago
0 likes

You shouldn't criticise others for their actions if you act in a similar way.

If you run a large multinational company in a deliberately unethical way then you shouldn't criticise other evil plutocrats.

If you don't then criticise away.

In a free market consumer choice is hugely influential. Stop using an unethical product and let the company know why. If enough of us follow suit then change will occur.

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