The chairman of Southampton Cycling Campaign, Lindsi Bluemel, is in hospital with life-threatening head injuries following what appears to be a freak incident in Bournemouth. According to a report in the Bournemouth Echo, Ms Bluemel’s cycle helmet had been stolen two days prior to yesterday morning’s incident, and she had not yet replaced it.
Mrs Bluemel, aged 56, is reported to be in a critical but stable condition in Poole Hospital, where she was taken after she came off her bike and struck her head as she rode along a cycle lane next to the westbound carriageway of the A338.
According to the newspaper, Mrs Bluemel had fallen after her rear wheel slipped as she attempted to ride over a five-metre strip of UPVC plastic measuring 20mm by 15mm, which was lying on the cycle lane.
The report added that a Dorset Police spokesperson had said that witnesses described how her bicycle wobbled before the back wheel slid out, causing Mrs Bluemel to fall.
Any witnesses with information about the incident are asked to call PC Brehmer at Dorset Police on 101.
Wearing a helmet while cycling is of course a personal choice in the UK, and cannot guarantee protection from head injuries; moreover, it has not been reported whether or not a helmet might have helped prevent or lessen Mrs Bluemel’s injuries in this instance.
It is regrettable, however, that whoever stole Mrs Bluemel's helmet denied her the choice on this occasion.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.