Cyclist who cracked open her bike helmet after fall urges others to sign up for Cycle 4 Cynthia...and be safe

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A 65-year-old cyclist who says her helmet saved her life in a fall at last year’s Cycle 4 Cynthia event is encouraging others to make sure they put safety first.

Sixty-five-year-old Pat Wilkinson, from Nether Heyford, split her helmet after tumbling off her bike while taking part in last September’s annual charity bike ride, Cycle 4 Cynthia.

Pat, who clipped the kerb and damaged her ribs in the fall, says the helmet almost certainly protected her skull from serious injury and is thrilled to be pedalling again after taking a break from riding to recuperate.

“My husband John and I have always enjoyed cycling and I found it a great way to distract me when I was trying to give up a 50-year smoking habit last summer and keep the weight off,” explained Pat.

“I was thoroughly enjoying being among the 1,300 riders who made Cycle 4 Cynthia such a wonderful event and of course my fall was just an unfortunate accident, but it goes to show that it can happen to anyone. I’m just so glad that I was wearing a helmet as it could have been a lot worse,” she added.

Leisure Lakes Bakes in Daventry heard of her plight and donated a replacement helmet.

Director Iain Noy said: “We’ve seen sales of bikes increase over the last few years as people have been inspired by our successful Olympians, Paralympians and the likes of Bradley Wiggins.

“And where once we might have had to politely encourage customers to buy a helmet as well, these days riders thankfully recognise it is as vital a part of their purchase as the two wheels themselves,” he added.

Having made a full recovery, and proudly sporting her new protective headgear, Pat is now clocking up the miles around the county but sadly will not be at this year’s Cycle 4 Cynthia, albeit for the best of reasons.

“John and I have booked a cycling holiday in Europe and are really sorry that it clashes with this year’s event but it’s such a super day that I’d urge everyone to sign up and take part wearing a helmet of course,” she enthused.

Cycle 4 Cynthia 2015, offering riders 5, 25 or 50-mile routes, returns to its former home of Althorp on Sunday September 13 and will again be raising much-needed funds for Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

More details, including downloadable entry and sponsorship forms, are now available at “http://www.cycle4cynthia.co.uk” www.cycle4cynthia.co.uk while you can also follow the latest news on the ride on Facebook.

Meanwhile, with prizes offered for the best fancy dress and the largest corporate team to take part, any businesses wishing to enter or sponsor the event are invited to call Sue Bownass at the Hospice on 01604 678088.