Off-duty paramedic Les Goddard says his cycle helmet saved his life in collision last week

An off-duty paramedic who crashed into the front bucket of a tractor while riding down a descent in the New Forest says he “would not be here to tell the tale” had he not been wearing his cycle helmet.

Les Goddard tweeted on Friday about the incident, which happened near Godshill, Hampshire the previous day, and attached pictures of his damaged Kask helmet.

“Yesterday whilst out cycling I encountered a large farm vehicle which unfortunately I collided with. Without my helmet which is cracked I would not be here to tell the tale.”

Acknowledging that the subject of helmets is one that can give rise to heated debate online, he added: “I really hope this doesn’t offend anyone, I just want to point out the importance of wearing one of these,” he added.

The incident happened on a country lane, with police in Fordingbridge tweeting a picture of the tractor.

 “Not long resumed from the scene of a Car [sic] V. Tractor incident near #Godshill,” they said.

“The rider is definitely going to be sore in the morning, but I can tell you for a fact that his cycle helmet saved his life. He came head on to this coming down the hill!,” adding the hashtag, #HitTheBrakes.

“His helmet hit right on the corner of the tractors loading bucket. Incredible that there is so little damage to helmet and rider,” they added, together with another hashtag, #HelmetsSaveLives.

While the Highway Code does recommend that cyclists should wear a helmet, they are not a legal requirement in the UK.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.