A teacher who flipped his handlebars and broke his collarbone after puncturing his front tire on a bike ride through the middle of nowhere thanked a locator app for quickly guiding the paramedics to the scene.
Passionate cyclist Adrian Ballard, 47, was enjoying an invigorating ride along the top of Somerset’s Cheddar Gorge on a winter’s day when the dramatic crash occurred.
With a broken rib and collarbone, worried motorists stopped to help Adrian, but it was one man’s suggestion to use the what3words app, which locates a location in a ten-foot radius, which he says saved the day. day.
Now a huge fan of the app, which Adrian, of Wells, Somerset, uses on a regular basis, so teacher wife Veronica Ballard, 45, and their children George, 15 and Henry, 12, know where she is when she rides a bike. he said: “If we hadn’t used what3words, I could have been lying there much longer, adding hypothermia to my injury list.
“I am now an active user and I tell all my friends and family about it.
“I use it to share my location with my wife when my kids and I go on long hikes or go wild camping in remote areas.”
He added: “They know how to use it too, so we’re all a lot safer. Honestly, it’s a real cure-all. “
This was the first serious cycling accident Adrian had experienced.
He said: “I have always loved cycling, alone or with children. We cycle regularly ”.
He added: “It’s great fun and great exercise. Until the accident, I used to cycle to work every day. “
But it was in January 2021, while traveling along Cheddar Gorge, that the disaster struck.
He said, “I was driving from Wells to Cheddar Gorge alone and I remember it was a cold January day.”
He added: “I was going up a steep path near the road and I was going as fast as possible to get the bike moving.
“I reached the top and started pedaling downhill at about 45mph when, out of nowhere, I had a puncture in the front tire.
“When that happens, you can’t control the bike or brake effectively and I just completely lost control.”
He added: “I drifted across the road and flipped the front of my bike, landing on my back before bouncing and flipping back onto my front.
“When I first landed on my back, I broke the back of my helmet. If I hadn’t worn it, that would have been my skull and I would have died. “
Unable to stand, Adrian managed to push himself onto his back as motorists stopped to help him.
He said, “One of them called an ambulance, but we were in the middle of nowhere, so someone suggested using what3words to help the paramedics find us.
“I was lying there in agony, not having the faintest idea what the app was. I had never heard of it before, but the ambulance arrived in 30 minutes.
“I convinced one of the people to call my wife and she drove with our children to meet me at the hospital.”
Adrian was taken to Somerset’s Yeovil District Hospital, where he discovered he suffered a broken rib and collarbone.
He said: “I was sent home the same day but returned for a consultation on my broken collarbone, which I had surgery a week later.
“Since then I have recovered”.
He added: “It took me about six months before I got back on my bike, but I walked and ran mostly for exercise.
“The recovery process has been very, very slow and I’m not at 100% yet, but I hope to get back to pedaling regularly soon.
“As soon as I got up and back in shape, I bought the exact same model of helmet, because it saved my life and only cost £ 25.”
Thanks the helmet, helpful drivers and what3words app for saving the day.
He said, “I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it before, but now I wouldn’t be without it.
“I have walked a lot since the accident to strengthen my strength and have done a couple of wild camping trips. I always give my wife my what3words address so that she knows where I am.
He added: “I also recently went for a walk with my children and made sure to give them the address in case something happened.
“It’s valuable to have and use if you’re into adventurous recreational pursuits, but it’s also a godsend during emergency relief. It gave me a lot of peace of mind. “