Last Saturday a Tamworth Cycling Club group ride was brought down by a "shocking" loose gravel surface, resulting in three members being badly injured and thousands of pounds worth of damage.
The cyclists involved told the Derby Telegraph they intend to claim compensation for the bikes that were damaged in the crash, and that things could have been "far, far worse".
Three of the 11 riders were injured, one requiring critical care in Royal Derby Hospital after suffering a broken collarbone, seven broken ribs, torn shoulder muscles and a punctured lung.
All three suffered abrasions, the second of the trio suffering a broken collarbone and punctured lung in the crash, which happened when the group hit a section of road the council admits was due to be repaired.
"Unfortunately, what looked fine was actually a top dressing of grit. It was like going through sand. Can you imagine cycling on a beach? It's impossible," one of the group, Lee Bagnall, said.
"As soon as you hit it, your path was wherever the grit wanted to take you. You had no control at all. There was nothing you could do apart from just try and stay on and see if you came out the other side.
"One fell, and then another. The cyclist at the back then went over the next cyclist and his bike. He went ploughing into everything and everyone, flew through the air and landed on his shoulder, really hard.
"It was shocking. The crash was unavoidable. If there had been anything coming down the other way it could've been far, far worse. In tens of thousands of miles cycling, I've never seen anything like it."
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council, who the group intends to claim compensation from, apologised about the "accident" and admitted an inspector has since visited the site and "asked for it to be swept to remove any excess gravel".
We were very sorry to hear about this accident and hope that all involved are starting to recover. One of our inspectors visited the site this week after we were told about the accident and has asked for the road to be swept to remove any excess gravel. This road had been identified for patching repairs in the near future. This was programmed just before the accident took place.
Last Saturday's incident unfolded between Repton and Milton and saw those at the front try to warn those further back in the 11-rider group about the danger of the surface — littered with potholes, uneven sections and loose gravel — but turned around to see their club mates lying injured in the road.
A doctor and nurse from a nearby school were passing and wrapped the worst-injured rider in a foil blanket while they waited an hour for paramedics to arrive.
The remaining eight riders continued home in a "sombre and miserable" mood and now say they will claim compensation from the council for the estimated £10,000 worth of equipment damage.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.