VETERAN charity cyclist Ian Toulson has had to cut short a 3,000 mile ride – after getting knocked off his bike twice.
Ian, 66, who has done several long distance rides, called this one his Kumfy Karsy Kwest because he was raising money for new toilets in the village hall at Walsham-le-Willows where he lives.
He set off on April 17 and planned to take the Rhein cycle route from Rotterdam to Lake Constance, cross to the source of the Danube to follow it to Budapest then go into Poland to pick up the Vistula with the plan to cycle to Gdansk, then along the coast to Denmark for the ferry to Harwich.
In two weeks, he had completed the Rhein section when he was knocked off his bike by another cyclist. A bruised leg meant he had to rest for three days.
But real disaster struck last week as, having crossed the Tartras mountains into Poland, he was heading for Gdansk.
Ian explained that Polish roads are rough for cycling, so when he heard something big coming up behind him he would move over.
“I cycled along the rough area at the side of the road, as I’d done before,” he said. “Suddenly I found myself flying through the air.
“When someone released me from the tangle of my bike, we found a stick wedged in the wheel. I don’t know where it came from.
“I wasn’t seriously hurt enough to stop me cycling that day and went on for another 25 miles or so, but it was difficult stopping because I couldn’t use the brakes very well.”
The fall had also left him bruised and stiff and, deciding it might not be third time lucky, he decided to call a halt about 800 miles short of his target.
A hotel manageress in Poland not only arranged a hospital check for him but helped him get his train ticket for Warsaw. “I met some very, very nice people,” he said.
He thinks he has raised about £3,000.