I had planned to train in Nottingham until Friday afternoon but after not being able to get hold of my father who has health complications, I thought something may be wrong. I cut my training camp short as I couldn't shake the lack of contact from him and need to know what was going on. I arrived back in Warrington to co-incidentally bump into my uncle who had arrived on my dads house on his behalf to pick up some of my Dads personal Items and informed me about how my Dad was in the operating theater after a serious road collision that took place two days earlier and had only got the message on his answer machine a few hours before I bumped into him.
A note to all :Please make sure that your next of kin details are up to date as having changed my phone number recently, the NHS had no way of contacting me and I wish I had known earlier. Carrying their details on your person is good idea too!
My father has always taken to motorcycle's for transport while traveling locally for economy and was on his way to Tesco when, although I am yet to hear the full story, a car pulled out of a side road who hadn't looked to see the traffic on the main road, colliding almost head on into my Father's bike tossing him onto the road where he took a second impact. His helmet was ripped off as he landed awkwardly causing severe head and neck injuries. He has suffered a broken arm which has now been pinned and plated together. His hip is shattered and although has now been operated on will need replacing once he has made some form of recovery. Both his legs are hugely swollen and bruised and while he has some movement in the left leg, he cannot feel or move his right and we are waiting to find out more on the situation with that. Fortunately he seems to have survived with little or no brain damage, although he no longer has full use of his tongue which may or may not improve.
A big thank you to the NHS Crew and everyone who has helped my father so far and forthcoming.
Seeing him this way has put me in a lot of distress and my already overloaded schedule has now become a mission of tasks to take on on top of that. I am of a very rational mind, but the seeing my father like this breaks my heart. I hope that one day he will be able to walk again and we will be able to do all the things and take on all the adventures we had been planning once I broke back into elite level Slalom Kayaking. This Olympic dream of mine takes another hit here as once again, my father is going to need full time care and so my dreams and goals will have to be adapted. Life is for living though and my family is my life. They come first!
I had been wanting to post about road awareness prior to this accident after witnessing too many lately. I think with car safety being constantly improved people are driving with less care and attention. While I was training in Nottingham over the last week, I have witnessed 5 accidents, 2 of which where cyclists were the victims. I have seen many people riding bikes with no lights on, cars with one light out and blinding with the other, vehicles driving without lights as night falls, and a severe lack of awareness and use of indicators especially in areas where drivers are familiar with the roads. I saw one cyclist who was lit up like a Christmas Tree take a side impact as a driver pulled onto the 60mph road without stopping before he entered the carriage way. There is rarely any traffic at the junction and with no street lighting the darkness of the night prevails and without the beam of car headlights the driver had arrived at the junction with the assumption the road will be clear and didn't look properly.
Cars are machines, and as any one who works with machines knows, they can malfunction. I see too many drivers pushing their machines beyond there designed intention and this, although usually the vehicles being more than capable now to deal with, puts not only the driver, but more importantly others at risk when things do go wrong with them, or indeed with the drivers awareness and ability.
PLEASE DRIVE WITH CARE!