I'm a double cancer survivor, cyclist and walker who does various challenges for different charities, mainly cancer-related.

In 2016 I climbed every single 'Birkett' in the Lake District - all 542 fells over 1,000' within the National Park, including all 214 Wainwrights. I've also done a three-week cycle tour of Tasmania in February 2015 and amongst other things, I've cycled from Land's End to John o'Groats (2003), Rotterdam to Lemvig (Denmark) (2005), walked the Pennine Way (2008) completed (my first) ascent of all 214 'Wainwrights' in the Lake District in only 55 days (2009), cycled 4,500 miles around the coast of Great Britain (2011), cycled all 42 of the accessible Western Isles of Scotland in under a month (2012), twice abseiled 230 ft from the top of The Big One in Blackpool, cycled the WWI Western Front from London to Compiegne via Ypres and Arras (2014), cycled 750 miles in the Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton (2014), done a bit of sky-diving and cycled Australia's Great Ocean Road - just before lockdown in 2020.

Altogether I've raised over £120,000 for my charities including The Christie, Cancer Research UK, the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, and ABF (The Soldiers' Charity) and I was mightily chuffed to receive the British Empire Medal in the 2014 New Year's Honours List.

I'm a Rotarian and give illustrated talks about my adventures in exchange for a donation to charity, so if you're looking for a speaker leave me a message. I am also Event Organiser for the Ribble Valley Ride Cycle Sportive, to be held this year on Sunday 5 September 2021 - more details at www.ribblevalleyride.org

You can also follow me on Twitter - @CancerBikeMan and on Facebook - just search for Bill Honeywell

Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research, whilst The Rosemere does fantastic work for patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Friday, 24 June 2011

A Day of Dramas - Day 42 – Whitstable – Hastings (Part 2)

Bike Ride Jeopardised By Myopic Geriatric

So there I was, with my bike tucked neatly into the side of the road, taking a picture of this convereted Martello tower, when I was attacked.  Rather like being bitten by a Boxer dog, the offending motor car just sneaked up and assaulted me from behind.  It wasn’t even going fast enough to knock me off the bike (although it nearly did); and if I hadn’t been there, I’m sure the driver would have run off the road anyway.

I shouted “STOP!” but the driver carried on, followed by another three or four cars. I set off (amazed that my bike was still capable of forward propulsion) shouting “STOP!” a few more times;  there were some temporary traffic lights 100 yards further on, and the car came to a halt, somewhat erratically, just before them in the driveway of the Martello tower.

I approached the driver’s door and said to the old lady behind the wheel,

“You’ve just run into my bike!”

“What are you talking about?”

“You’ve just run into my bike! You need to stop, get out, and have a look at the damage.”

I went round to the passenger side, realised my back wheel was badly buckled, and when she appeared, pointed out the scratch on the front nearside of her car.

“That’s only bird shit,” she said. “You must have been sticking out.”

“I wasn’t, and even if I was, that doesn’t mean you can drive in to me.”

“I was stopping for the traffic lights, they were on red, but I never touched you.”

I replied that it was a bit odd to stop over 100 yards before red traffic lights, and asked how she could explain the buckled rear wheel if she hadn’t actually hit me.  Garbled, muttered reply.

I took her number and said that the police would have to be called. I asked her for her name – she replied that she didn’t have a name, but got back in the driver’s seat, saying,

“I’m a cripple.”

As she waved her blue disabled badge at me and drove off, almost causing another collision from the two cars which were coming up behind her.

What could I do?  For the second time on this ride (see my blog about the tree falling on the motorhome, 24 May) I dialled 999, gave all the details, and waited for a police patrol car to arrive. Meanwhile the van arrived to give assistance and we got the other bike out ready to proceed.

The police arrived quite soon and took the details.  I got the impression they were on my side as they looked at me, clad in bright yellow and black, and said “It’s not as if you were difficult to see!”  Details given, I set off, leaving them to visit the miscreant driver and point out the error of her ways, such as careless driving, leaving the scene of the accident, failing to provide details after an accident, etc.  They later phoned me with her details, including insurance, and said they had reported her for careless driving and notified the DVLA requesting proof of acceptable eyesight.  Only fair, I think.

Now I’m left with the problem of getting the bike fixed.  I set off again, badly delayed and still with 30-odd miles to go.

Perhaps she should have gone to SpecSavers…

1 comment:

  1. Trish Hargreaves24 June 2011 at 21:16

    Oh Bill !!
    Words absolutely fail me ! I suppose the main thing is that you`re ok.
    I know that with your "onwards & upwards" mentality, you will be - good luck !!