28th May 2017

The Crash

The Crash

Day 0 | Sunday 23rd April | 9am

I was due to ride the Tour de Yorkshire (TdY) sportive with about ten others from Sky Betting & Gaming on Sunday 30th April 2017.  One week before the race, whilst out on a training ride with my work friends Andy and Phil something horrendous happened…

About seven miles in to a 50 mile training ride around the Denby Dale hills in South Yorkshire where I was going to take on the infamous Holme Moss climb for the first time in my life I had a rather nasty head on collision with a car… here is what I can remember…

I was cycling downhill a little fast (I peaked at around 40mph) and a sharp, blind corner caught me off guard… my timing wasn’t great because at the very moment I shot around this corner a little red car was coming the other way…

I hit the brakes and threw myself and the bike as far left as I could but hit the car’s nearside headlight with a pretty major impact.  I flew straight over the handlebars but caught my right leg in the headlight, managing to rip my knee open on the nearside wing of the car…

I blacked out… I don’t actually remember hitting the car, tumbling or smacking the ground.  All I remember is hitting my brakes, shutting my eyes and hoping for the best…

And then I was flat on the road…  I sat up, it wasn’t a pretty sight! Blood was gushing from my knee and shin quite badly. There looked like there were bits of car sticking in to and out of my leg. I could have sworn my shin bone was looking straight back up at me…  My ribs and face were really painful but I was in shock… all I could think was… what the hell just happened?!

Suddenly my slightly negative and pessimistic mind kicked in and all sorts of crazy questions were running through my head…

  • What the hell is sticking out of my leg?
  • Why can I see my bones?
  • Where has my knee gone?
  • Why can’t I feel my legs?
  • Where is my bike?
  • Is it still in one piece?!
  • What on earth is the wife going to say?!!

All of these thoughts brought on a sudden, intense and quite childish scream!  I was hyper-ventilating… the pain was all in my ribs and face but not in my leg… that didn’t make sense!

I was fortunate that an experienced first aider was first on the scene and he was amazing. He calmed me down from the screaming mess that I had been and managed to at least put a plug in the gory bloodbath. He used a set of brand new tea towels his wife had brought out of the car and got some intense pressure over the wounds, as much to stop me looking at them as to stop the blood (apparently!). He made sure my head/neck/back/legs were not moved until the ambulance arrived.

I should probably say at this point that Andy and Phil, who I was cycling with were second on the scene, because I had let them cycle off ahead of me temporarily and they didn’t hear my shout/scream to call them back. It’s a good job we weren’t all riding together because it could have easily been a one car/three bike pile up given how tight and dangerous the corner had been.

I was rushed to Barnsley hospital – in the back of a fast and very bumpy ambulance.  I was on the phone to my wife the whole way and she sped down from Wakefield to meet me minutes after arriving at A&E.

Thank God I had my helmet on! The damage, although pretty gruesome on the day, was nothing compared to what it could have been without the piece of plastic and foam around my head.  PLEASE WEAR YOUR HELMET!

I have already blogged about my thoughts on wearing helmets, please check it out in the Lucky to be Alive section of Dan’s Story.

For those interested this was the ride I did on that fateful Sunday morning:


This is the ride we were planning to do:


I’m sad to report that my crash seemed to put Andy and Phil off cycling that gorgeous Sunday morning and they headed home for an early bath.

Congrats to Andy Sacre (and everyone else) for taking on the full 100km course at the TdF sportive the next weekend despite our fairly feeble attempts at pre-race training!

I know some gore-loving people have been waiting for the gruesome before photos, a common characteristic of the SB&G CDD it seems…  Unfortunately I didn’t think to get my phone out and start snapping away during the heat of the moment… what was I thinking!  But don’t worry there is plenty of blood and gore during the surgery blog to come!

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