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Anorak | Petronella Wyatt and the cyclists: three broken arms and two muggings

Petronella Wyatt and the cyclists: three broken arms and two muggings

by | 12th, September 2012

COMPARE and contrast:

PETRONELLA WYATT, 19 February 2010, Daily Mail:

Last week I met a friend for coffee. ‘How is your mother?’ she asked. I stared into my latte. ‘Um, she had a serious accident. Her arm is broken.’ ‘Oh, no. What on earth happened?’ ‘She was run down by a bicycle.’

The inevitable convulsion took place in the nerves of my friend’s face. She looked as if she was going to laugh. She could not suppress a gurgling sound before she managed to compose her features into the correct position of commiseration and shock, and say: ‘How awful!’

But once you stop laughing, it isn’t really funny at all. My mother is elderly and frail. She lives in North London, and was crossing the road after dark when she was hit by a cyclist who did not have his lights on.

She fell on her back and hit her head. She was bleeding. The cyclist didn’t bother to stop. A kind passer-by took my mother to hospital, where was told she was lucky to have escaped concussion or a broken back.

Wyatt tells us that three days after that, her mum was knocked over by another bicycle, which further damaged her already broken arm.

She goes on:

Bicyclists on the other hand, are heroes of the highways. To many of us, moreover, there is something intrinsically endearing, sometimes even comical, about bicycles. Is it because they conjure up pictures of Edwardians in silly pantaloons, old maids cycling to church and irrepressible London Mayor Boris Johnson, perched on the saddle like a baked potato with cheddar on top?

And:

The bicycle has also become a favoured tool of muggers. It is the perfect instrument from which to surprise the unsuspecting victim and make a successful getaway. When I was mugged two years ago in Kensington, [2008] West London, it was by a youth on a bike who rode on to the pavement, snatched my bag and disappeared at high speed. No one could stop him, even after I yelled that the bag was a fake.

PETRONELLA WYATT, 8 September 2012, Daily Mail:

On August 16, my mother was hit by a Lycra lout. She was crossing the road when a youth on a bicycle shot a red light, knocked her to the ground and left her with a broken arm. Yesterday, a friend telephoned to ask about her health. ‘She would be feeling better,’ I replied, ‘if she hadn’t been hit by another bicycle the other evening.’

I could hear a convulsion in his voice. It sounded like stifled laughter. He could not repress a gurgling sound before he managed to compose himself to express sympathy and shock. ‘Again? How awful!’

But it isn’t amusing. My mother is elderly. She was shopping in London’s Regent Street when she was hit by the first cyclist, who failed to stop. He didn’t even look back.

She fell on her back and hit her head. She was bleeding. The cyclist didn’t bother to stop. A kind passer-by took my mother to hospital, where was told she was lucky to have escaped concussion or a broken back.

Go on:

Cyclists, on the other hand, are heroes, particularly in the wake of our Olympic triumphs. Consider dashing Bradley Wiggins and glowing Victoria Pendleton. And to many of us, there is something charming about bicycles. They conjure up images of Edwardians in tweed knickerbockers, and our own irrepressible and endearing Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. But this halcyon haze enveloping cyclists hides a disturbing truth.

And:

In 2012, I had my handbag stolen by a gang of youths on bikes.

Blimey. She really is unlucky, eh….

Spotter: @ManAboutWoking



Posted: 12th, September 2012 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink