'Helmet saved my life' - Abergavenny crash cyclist
2:40pm Monday 9th September 2013 in News
AN ABERGAVENNY trader who spent six days in intensive care following a cycling accident said wearing a helmet saved his life.
Miles Preece, an experienced cyclist and owner of M & D Cycles, suffered a broken neck, cracked backbone, five broken ribs, a shattered collarbone and a punctured and collapsed lung after coming off his bicycle three weeks ago while out on a regular training ride with friends.
The father-of-two was cycling along a lane on the Blorenge Mountain, near Govilon, at around 8pm on August 8 when his tyre slipped from the concrete and he catapulted over the handlebars and through the air.
He said: “I wasn't going fast, maybe around 25mph, but I must have been thrown at least 20 feet, and remember thinking this will really hurt.”
“I landed straight onto the concrete, helmet first in a crumpled heap.”
“My helmet was completely destroyed but doctors told me it saved my life.”
“My shoulders and upper body took the brunt of the impact and I had difficulty breathing, but didn’t realise how badly I was injured at the time.”
His mechanic and shop manager, Argo Bowsher was among the group and rushed to help.
The ambulance was unable to reach him because of the terrain so he had to be taken to a more accessible place before being taken to intensive care at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, where he spent the next six days.
Mr Preece, 52, of The Mardy, who has been cycling for 25 years and still competes in competitions, was told by his consultant that he did not sustain head injuries because he was wearing his Kask Mojito helmet.
He has to wear a chest, back and neck brace for at least five weeks and is slowly returning to work for a few hours at a time.
Though still recovering, Mr Preece has begun raising awareness of the importance of wearing a cycle helmet.
He said: “ Without wearing a helmet I almost certainly wouldn’t be here today - my consultant said I would be dead. Now I want to make more people aware of the importance of wearing one.”
“My helmet may have been £120 but it is priceless now. I have never thought twice about wearing one when I go out on my bike and feel naked without it.”
“I want to encourage people to invest in a good quality helmet, which you can do for around £30 and it will save your life.”
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