Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Charity Cyclist Has Lucky Escape after Crashing into Wall

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Charity Cyclist Has Lucky Escape after Crashing into Wall

Article excerpt

Byline: Lindsey Sampson Reporter

To see the video log on to FOUR broken ribs, a punctured lung and an airlift to hospital - yet "Fat Lad" Neal Bullock counts himself extremely lucky!

His cycle helmet had saved him from even more serious injury after a fundraising bike ride came close to ending in tragedy.

Neal, 41, the driving force behind Teesside fundraising group the "Fat Lads on Bikes", wound up in the very hospital he's helped raise thousands for after an accident during the group's coast to coast ride last week.

Around halfway through the 152-mile ride from Walney Island, near Morecambe Bay, to Sunderland, Neal lost control of his bike in heavy downpours while travelling downhill, slamming into a stone wall just after Tan Hill.

Back home after his stay in hospital, Neal said: "I came over the top of the brow, didn't realise it was an 'S' bend and judged it wrong.

"Before I even hit the wall, I knew I was in trouble, and as soon as I hit I couldn't breathe.

"My mate Mike, who was behind me, grabbed my head and immobilised me and told me to try to catch my breath. My poor cousin was in bits.

"The helmet saved my life, without a doubt. The top of the wall came down, which shows the force I must have hit it at, and the state of the helmet - well, if that had been my head, I wouldn't be here.

"I'm thinking about doing some campaiging on helmet safety actually now I've seen first-hand now how important it is."

Neal, of Ingleby Barwick, made the decision to share footage from a camera mounted on his helmet at the time of the accident to raise awareness of its life-saving potential.

Following the crash, friends had to drive to a nearby farm to use a phone and call for help.

"The first ambulance got there quite quickly," Neal said. …

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