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What3words app helps get urgent assistance to cyclist who was injured after skidding on oil

Air ambulance arrived within minutes of riders who found Algy Kazlauciunas pinpointing location through the app

A cyclist who was seriously injured after skidding on a patch of oil on a descent in Yorkshire has spoken of how two riders who found him after the crash summoned help through the what3words app.

> Cycling app of the week: what3words

The app uses three random words, all tied to an exact location, to identify where it is – much more accurate than an 8-digit National Grid reference – and anywhere on the planet.

Algy Kazlauciunas was riding in Nidderdale in the Yorkshire Dales when he crashed on 20 September last year, reports YorkshireLive.

The 70-year-old, who is a lecturer at Leeds University, feared he would be run over by motorists coming round the bend he had crashed on.

Luckily, two cyclists riding the Coast to Coast route rode by a few minutes later and found him and, using what3words, summoned help, with an air ambulance arriving withing 10 minutes.

Mr Kazlauciunas, who lives in Leeds, said: “I hit an oil slick at about 30mph and there were no cars except for a lorry.

“You’ve got no chance, I was straight off. I flew quite a distance, it seemed like I had scooped into the air.

“I didn’t seem to panic, which is bizarre. I just found myself lying in an oil slick, covered in oil, and you suddenly realise what the hell is going on.

“I had to drag myself, I knew I broke my femur, I knew straight away, but I dragged the leg and pulled myself to the side.”

He was airlifted to Harrogate hospital where he underwent an operation in which a metal rod was inserted in his knee.

Speaking of the cyclists who discovered him, he said: “I was so lucky they were doing this Coast to Coast. They were doing it on minor roads, as it was such an empty road.”

He added: “I have downloaded the app now. For anybody who is a keen hiker or cyclist, if you’re getting out to remote areas, everybody should download this app.

“If something happens to you it means they can get to you so much more quickly. I have to say all credit to all people to made the app.”

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.

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