Boater flattened by cyclist

Published: Wednesday, 25 August 2010

SO THERE I was calming hauling on the centre line of the 70ft motor and butty, prior to securing the pair, when—Bang! I was knocked to the ground.

I knew not what had hit me as it had approached me from behind. Whatever it was had hit me square in the back.  It or more accurately, she, was a cyclist, writes Tony Collins.

It seems that it was all my fault because in hauling on the rope, I had stepped back, apparently into her path. Causing her first to collide with me and then her husband who had been riding alongside her! The fact that we were on the top of Shelmore  Embankment on the Shroppie, then came into play as he was propelled complete with bike, about 30ft down the bank, through the bushes and trees.

Dazed and on the ground

It was at this point that I, dazed and sitting on the ground, becoming aware that the boats were drifting out into the channel, made a grab at the rope, disappearing into the water. This was another bad move. It seems that I should have first enquired about the well-being of her husband, someone, I should add, at that time, of whose existence I was unaware.

Moments later he emerged, climbing up the bank, using his bike, the front wheel of which now resembled the shape of a comfortable armchair, as a prop.  I must admit in the immediate aftermath of the accident, I was perhaps less sympathetic of his fate than perhaps I should have been, but said nothing in case I incur the woman's wrath on yet another count.

No warning

I recalled hearing no warning shout, no bell, no application of brakes, became aware of no necessity for the cyclists to slow down or single out in my reckless activity. There was no doubt that the sole culprit for the whole affair was the one whose activity could be seen by all other participants.

No doubt the eyes in the back of my head should have alerted me to the presence of these two much more important people on the towpath. I should perhaps have turned and touched my cap or tugged my forelock as they went serenely on their way.

Paradoxically, as I found out later, on that part of the towpath cycling was allowed provided you had a permit!  Silly me, I forgot to ask if they had them.

Tony Collins

Enough of asking for more signs exhorting cyclists to dismount, ride slowly, take care etc. Don't go giving BW more excuses to waste money!