Most of you know im an avid cyclist. I used to be 150kg and clearly very overweight. I used cycling help get me active as i lost weight, and of course started out slow.
Because i was larger 6km took me a long time to bike and was a epic journey, eventually i got better as i lost the weight.
Along the way i tried lots of cycling groups, but they all just went off and left me behind in the dust on the hills because i was larger.
Then i stumbled over a tiny group called the Pickled Pedallers in Albany.
Their motto? “We start together, we finish together”. I never got left behind, “Coach” would sit back with me (i think he liked the break to be honest!) and “Crash” would keep me amused with smart assed wise cracks.
I didnt always have the time to cycle with the group. but whenever i turned up i was welcomed.
As my cycling developed the group grew larger. When i moved to Cambridge from Auckland a year ago the one thing i missed more than anything was the cycling. I actually gave up cycling because the groups here just were not the same. Doing it alone just didnt do it for me (though i still cycle a lot too and from places).
I kept in touch via the forum and occasional visits and races.
So today i heard on twitter from @roadcycling (aka http://www.roadcycling.co.nz ) that her respects go out to the Pickled Pedallers who were involved in an accident today on the waterfront. My first though was ‘omg was anyone hurt’. As it turns out, there was. Unfortunatly the forum was down, however google reader cached the rss feed and i got this.
“Hi guys—-it is serious and it was our group. Greg Paterson is in a critical condition with head injuries, Dave also has a suspected head injury but some of us were talking to him in emergancy and he was quite lucid, cuts on ther left side of his face maybe a broken collarbone, Stev I last saw with a neck brace on and in emergancy but not sure of other injuries, Swampy has a bad cut to his left knee and Red Hot and I helped the doctor stitch him up—well we were there at the time! It is a nasty and deep cut.
Greg’s injuries are life threatening, so if you are into prayers, he needs them. I shall keep you posted.
The woman driver drove straight into the middle of the group so in some respects we are lucky there were not more of us injured.”
It even made the nzherald http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10599761 and several other places. (new update at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10599817 )
At the moment im still stunned, and really gutted that Greg, and the other guys are now like this, because one person missed a stop sign. Something as small as that, has a guy in hospital unsure if hes even going to live, and if he does live what is his quality of life?
Whilst some of you may hate cyclists, do remember about the personal injury lawyer existence and that there are always the ones that give everyone a bad name. The PP in particular were actively working on making sure they were never aggressive to other members on the road, never stopping in odd places, and never more than 2 people wide (or 1 if there was a car coming – PP forums http://pickledpedallers.forumcircle.com/viewforum.php?f=2 ).
To follow the story check out http://www.vorb.org.nz/crash-auckland-t100615-15.html