While cycling is my favourite discipline in triathlon it is without doubt the most dangerous. As I mentioned in a previous post before I moved out to the wilds of West Sussex I used to commute around London on my bike. During this time I had several accidents, luckily none serious, but ones that could have been a lot worse. One required a brief visit to hospital and two required an expensive trip to the bike shop. One or two were down to my lack of road awareness, a couple were due to ignorant drivers and one was due to me neglecting bike maintenance.
It goes without saying that it is imperative that your bike is kept roadworthy and you ensure that you are highly visible when out on a ride and don't do anything too silly; I obviously found out the hard way. The reason I'm mentioning this? Yesterday Britain's greatest cyclist, Bradley Wiggins, was knocked off his bike while riding near his house.
|Get well soon Wiggo|
According to Sky News The accident happened at about 6pm on Wednesday in Wrightington, Lancashire, near to his family home in Eccleston, between Preston and Wigan. Apparently Wiggo was on a mountain bike on his way to meet a group of local cyclists. Lancashire Police said: "Police were called to the scene of a road traffic accident at Crow Orchard Road in Wrightington at about 6pm.
If you are thinking of taking part in some triathlon races over the next 12 months it can't hurt to become a member of the British Triathlon Federation. It costs £51 for the year (£40 if you are a member of a club) and as well as making it cheaper for each race you compete in you are also insured for any bike accidents that occur whilst training (by this I mean you are covered for any injuries that you incur rather than damage to the bike). You are also covered against any injury or damage you may cause to someone else if the accident is your fault. Your membership also entitles you to legal advice through their legal partner.
My understanding (although you may want to clarify this with the BTF) is that the term training is used in the broadest sense, cycling to work or to the shops is deemed to be training so you would be covered if you were unfortunate enough to have a mishap.
I wasn't a member at the time of the incidents I was involved in and unfortunately didn't pursue the cases where it wasn't my fault. With proper legal advice I am sure I would have done and not incurred the cost of replacing my bike. But there we go. Anyway, I hope I haven't put you all on a downer. Anyway get well soon Wiggo and as the EGTC club development officer, Big Dave, says in his weekly email - Train Safe readers.