by Lucy Franks
The free and independent road was once a privileged form of transport, but it seems to have become a free ride to harm. No matter who you are or what you have achieved, once you’ve stepped into the fierce circulation, you could be just another victim. Nobody would know this more than Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.
Being a British professional road and track racing cyclist, Wiggins has spent nearly his whole life on the open road therefore its shocking to believe that such an inspirational figure for young athletes could begin his career and come close to ending it, ironically in the same place. Only a few months after we hear the news that he has uniquely won both the Tour de France and an Olympic Gold Medal in the same year we also hear the same person has been left in excruciating pain in hospital, after being knocked off his bike, all because of the careless actions of a member of the public. On a normal Wednesday evening around 16:00 no one, let alone garage attendant, Yasmin Smith, could ever have predicted that they would be dropping everything to rush outside and help the 32 year old Team Sky rider to his feet, in agony, after a later recognised broken rib. The collision involved a vehicle close to a petrol station near his home in Lancashire and the witness said that with all the commotion of the accident she “didn’t realise who it was at first.”
Could it be that with all the focus upon the celebrities that are gaining publicity through their outrageous and controversial actions, we are not learning from and aiming towards the goals of the determined and motivating? Perhaps those who should be famous due to their achievements are being side-lined by the footballers and pop-stars of our generation. Although, this event shouldn’t be wished upon any person, it does show that even the famous can be treated as “normal” because after all, they were once just like everybody else and on average there are an unbelievable 1.6 million police-reported accidents a year. Or do people see this as a way of emphasizing the dangers and recklessness of the drivers on our roads today? That nobody is safe anymore?