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"It was really quite daunting": Christina Mackenzie back on her bike after "horrific" hit-and-run recovery

Despite a police appeal the driver who broke the women's Land's End to John O'Groats record holder's pelvis in four places has never been caught...

Record-breaking cyclist Christina Mackenzie this weekend managed her first outside ride since being seriously injured in a hit-and-run last September.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland's Drivetime programme, the women's Land's End to John O'Groats record holder recalled her challenging rehabilitation, which involved learning to walk again after her pelvis was broken in four places during the collision in Stirlingshire, Scotland, four months ago.

> "Everyday tasks have become my new challenge": Christina Mackenzie in "excruciating pain" after being struck by hit-and-run motorist

Despite a police appeal the driver of a sports utility vehicle towing an agricultural trailer [below] has never been caught, with Ms Mackenzie previously saying she was "disgusted" by the person who "left her for dead" and in "excruciating pain" in hospital.

Christina Mackenzie hit-and-run suspect

On Saturday she was able to go for her first bike ride since the collision having built up strength riding indoors on the turbo trainer.

Ms Mackenzie admitted feeling "twitchy" during the 45-mile ride which passed the crash site near Kippen and told the BBC programme "it was really quite daunting" and the collision "knocked my confidence completely".

"I just felt really twitchy, looking over my shoulders the whole time," she said.

At the time of the crash, Ms Mackenzie spoke of the difficulty to understand the driver not stopping to help, saying "I'm disgusted by it. I'm not just a cyclist, I'm someone's sister, I'm someone's daughter."

Her injuries left her housebound for the first month and even after that the first two months were "just horrific, the pain that I was in, no mobility whatsoever" and had a serious impact on her mental health.

Ms Mackenzie described the knowledge that the motorist responsible still has not been caught as "frustrating" and a "complete disgrace" and explained how the police had told her they had made door-to-door inquiries, spoken to local farmers and attended markets, but came to the conclusion the driver was not local.

And while the police investigation continues, Ms Mackenzie says she knows "on the physical and mental side, if I can get over that, I can get over anything". She is planning to return to competition at the International Island Games in Guernsey in July in the road race, the time trial and criterium.

The horror crash scuppered the end to what was a sensational year for the Scottish endurance athlete. In May, Mackenzie set a new women's solo record for the famous North Coast 500, covering the 516-mile route in 36 hours, 39 minutes and seven seconds.

In August she became Scottish 100-mile time trial champion and at the start of September took her second British 12-hour championship, recording 263 miles on the Monmouthshire course.

The Stirling Bike Club rider's impressive season built on an equally successful 2021, which featured her smashing of the 19-year-old Land's End to John O'Groats female record by an hour and half, covering the length of Great Britain in 51 hours, five minutes and 27 seconds.

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

I find it very hard to believe there are that many crewcab 4x4's in Scotland and less within a reasonable radius of Kippen and less associated with pig or (more likely Sheep) farming.  Looks like it would be pretty easy to determine the model too.

Suspect ScotRozzers couldnt be bothered.

OldRidgeback replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

Given the image that shows the pick up truck and the trailer fairly clearly, Police Scotland should've been able to narrow the search down pretty quickly. I'd expect that you could probably count the numbers of such vehicles of the right make and colour (for the truck) and size (for the trailer) in Scotland on your fingers. An interview with the keeper of each vehicle and a track on phone location at the time of the incident would not be complex.

Secret_squirrel replied to OldRidgeback | 1 year ago

Agree.  It took me 10 mins of Googling to figure out its probably a Ford Ranger Wildtrack.  And thats with just 1 image to work off.

It took even less time to work out that its an Ifor Williams TA5 trailer - you can see the logo.

Come - surely the police can do better that this?  A woman almost died ffs.

OldRidgeback replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

They could do better, but couldn't be arsed. 

wtjs replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

surely the police can do better that this?  A woman almost died ffs

They're fixated on dodges that make it appear that they have tried sufficiently hard- and then they can rely on the Lancashire Constabulary Overdodge which excuses almost any RTC: it was only a momentary loss of concentration anyway

Oldfatgit | 1 year ago

I know how traumatic it is after a major impact to get back on the bike, and get back to something you love doing that puts you at risk.

Fantastic effort Christina, absolutely fantastic effort.
I hope cycling continues to bring you joy, peace and happiness this side of recovery as it did prior to the event, and long may it continue.


OldRidgeback | 1 year ago

Good on her for getting back on the bike. It was a nasty crash. And it's a real shame the person who caused it has never been caught. 

cmedred replied to OldRidgeback | 1 year ago

It wasn't a crash; it was an assault. Calling this a crash is like describing someone getting pushed down the stairs as a "slip.'' Words matters. It's like calling motor vehicles running into people "accidents.'' Christina wasn't injured in a crash. She was injured after being struck by a driver who shouldn't be allowed on the road. And it's more than a "shame" the driver hasn't been caught. It's a travesty. As many of the comments above note, there is little doubt that if enough investigative effort were applied this vehicle could be found. If Christina had been similarly injured by someone using a firearm, and law enforcement has this much information, there's little doubt the shooter would be in jail by now. 

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