Cyclist Richard Nelson, from Keighley, injured on charity ride

Keighley News: Richard Nelson, third from left, with some of his fellow charity cyclists in France before his accident Richard Nelson, third from left, with some of his fellow charity cyclists in France before his accident

A Keighley man was seriously injured in a crash while carrying out a charity cycle ride.

Richard Nelson, 54, was riding around the northern and western coastline of France in an attempt to raise £10,000 for the Parkinson’s UK.

But he ended up in hospital being treated for injuries to his spine and mouth after the accident.

Mr Nelson was himself diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010.

He said: “The low point came when I crashed into a ditch at 24 miles per hour.

“We were going quite fast on a flat road when my bike touched the wheel of my friend’s bike in front. The next thing I knew I was flying into the ditch.

“I heard a crack in my neck so I knew something wasn’t right. My mouth also took the brunt of the impact – the lining was ripped open by my teeth. I don’t do things by halves!

“I ended up in a French hospital for six days. I was treated for fractures to two vertebrae in my neck and for laceration to the inside of my mouth, which required an operation.

“Since I came back, I’ve been to see consultants at Airedale and Leeds General Infirmary, and I’m still recuperating. All my friends completed the ride on my behalf and finished at the Spanish border south of Biarritz.”

The other cyclists are all members of Keighley & Craven Athletics Club, who were backed by a support team in a van, which included Mr Nelson’s eldest daughter, Kirsty.

Despite the crash, Mr Nelson and the nine friends riding with him have so far raised more than £9,000. People can still donate at the justgiving.com/richardsride-2012 page.

Mr Nelson, who was interviewed live on BBC Radio Leeds during the ride, said: “We hope we can get near the £10,000 target by the end of this month.

He thanked everyone who supported the ride, including donors and business sponsors, Davric Construction and Schwalbe Tyres.

Mr Nelson, who works for West Yorkshire Probation Trust, added: “I’m recovering but I think it’s going to be a lengthy process.

“I’m determined to get back on the bike and carry on getting as fit as I can.”

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