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Not commonly considered so, no. But I'm beginning to think otherwise. It's hardly clandestine knowledge that a cyclist gets killed on Britain's roads every day. Can you say the same about rock climbing? Or mountaineering? Or kite surfing? Or snowboarding? Probably not, no. And we know that it isn't cycling itself that is necessarily the dangerous element. It's our lovely fellow road users.
Britain is rife with cars. And people who rush. Put the two together in close proximity of a cyclist who has also subscribed to the commuter-rush pandemic and here we have a problem.
While I have so far been lucky in that I haven't been involved in a cycling accident, last weekend really shook it home to me just how vulnerable we are on a bike. This is hardly unique subject matter - the cycling/car driver debacle has been proliferating for quite some time, with some hefty campaigns in place to improve cyclist safety on the roads.
However, as a cyclist - or one third of one ;-) - I felt compelled to write about this purely because of an incident which I was involved in, and, quite frankly, shocked me.
Last weekend I ran the AK Sportive. I have run a sportive for a few years through my previous company, and after parting ways with the company, I decided to retain my passion for promoting cycling locally, and set up a new one. I work quite closely with British Cycling to run the event and make sure it is as enjoyable as possible (great weather - tick). I also ran it in conjunction with my bike sponsor, Lovelo Cycle Works, who devised the devlishly hilly route! (In case you did it and you're after someone to blame.)
I spent months funnelling hard work and energy into promoting the event, obtaining sponsors, branding it, marketing it, organising insurance, signage, goody bags and all sorts of paraphernalia. It took up a lot of my time, while juggling training and work commitments (and the odd training camp and race here and there!)
The reason I'm telling you this is to lay the foundations of my story - to summarise, I am extremely passionate about it. I get a massive kick out of people enjoying themselves on my local roads, turning up at the feed stations with big smiles, flushed faces, a sweaty brow, and a very visible sense of achievement and enjoyment. Especially when it is my hard work coming together to produce something successful. It's extremely rewarding, and also quite nice to be on the other side for once!
It was also very pleasant to be able to meet some of my Twitter followers (you know who you are), previous sportive riders, and lots of other new faces. So thank you to those of you who came along, it was great to see you and your support is appreciated. :-) 
Anyway, things went well and I must have done something good as the weather couldn't have been more perfect. I've always been really lucky with the weather for these events, but this time was definitely top trumps on the weather front! Sunny, hot, blue skies, and no wind. For England, its nothing short of a miracle.
Back to the extreme nature of cycling in my opening paragraph - it is a non competitive sporting event so we try and reduce the risk of accidents by making it leisurely (hello pub stops) - it's not timed, and it's designed to be fun rather than competitive. We set the riders off early so they could avoid the worst of the traffic later on (risk assessment, tick).
The day was going well apart from a few signage mishaps and a few non-serious falls. However, as I drove back towards the finish where a BBQ and cold beers were waiting readily for the finishers (and, naturally, the organiser), I came across something unusual - a lot of cars pulled up along the road by a quiet village green and - to my horror - something obstructing the road.
My heart shot into my throat. It was one of mine. I parked and ran over like a bat out of hell. There was a rider lying face down on the road and another crouched over him. His helmet was smashed to pieces next to him. I spoke to the conscious rider who said they had both been hit by a car from behind. The car had apparently hit the accelerator instead of the brake (!?), taken out the first rider from behind then proceeded to hit the second rider, who luckily managed to escape with a few surface grazes and a little emotional scarring.
The rider on the ground was conscious but had apparently blacked out for a while prior to me arriving. The ambulance and police were on their way. I felt a bit (a lot) panicky. What do I do?! It is my responsibility that as an event organiser I do something here. But what the hell is it?! Oh god....
I had a witness approach me with a name and number, and took the details. I took details of both riders and took photographs of the damaged bike, the front of the car, and the obliterated helmet. Yes. This should be ok right? I knew I would need to file an incident report with British Cycling but I felt extremely vulnerable. This was my event! This poor, poor guy. He could have been killed. It was such a shock that I sat down on the grass verge at one point and burst into tears. Luckily I'm not sure anyone saw this as a) it doesn't look very professional and b) it doesn't bode very well for the victims if the relatively impartial event organiser breaks down!
I eventually gathered myself together and called the mechanic so he could come and collect the bikes. I explained to both riders that their bikes would be safely stored at the shop until they were ready to collect them. I informed the police of all my details. Both chaps went off in the ambulance and I went back to the finish to welcome other riders in. Phew, deep breaths.
Back to the sanctuary of the sun, the smell of the barbeque and people laughing and chatting amongst themselves. But this sense of dread that flooded my veins was still lingering. It was a real shock to the system. I cannot describe how it feels to be in such a position of responsibility that someone's life may have been at risk at an event which you own and run. Perhaps many of you are familiar with these kinds of situations, but I'm not, and maybe at the ripe old age of 28 I haven't had enough life experiences yet.
Needless to say both chaps were absolutely fine and I had a long and pleasant talk on the phone with the concussed rider after he had been released from hospital. He also felt extremely emotional about the incident and took a few days off work to recover from it. I was relieved beyond belief. I had some kind of intrinsic emotional tie to this guy because of what had happened under my remit. It was nice to strengthen that invisible bond I had by communicating with him afterwards, and in a strange kind of way, I think he felt the same.
What I can say is that it was haunting. And it really seeped into me, like a slow-acting poison, this harrowing reality that cycling really is very damn dangerous. Because anything can happen, and the majority of the time, it's not even in the rider's own control. In this sense, I think cycling could be classified as extreme, because it's truly unpredictable.
Just be careful out there everyone. Please...