"I didn't see you"
In April 2009 whilst riding my bike I was involved in an accident. I was travelling on the A515 between Ashbourne and Buxton, in Derbyshire.
I'd seen the van approaching from a minor road to my left and instinctively slowed – in case the driver hadn't seen me. The fact that I was riding a fully-dressed Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic with more chrome and lights than you could shake a stick at should have negated this – but I've been riding a good few years and know the score.
The speed limit was 50mph, I was doing 45. Witnesses confirmed my speed.
As we converged I slowed. The van came to a halt. I accelerated back up to 45. Around 15 feet from the junction the van exited directly into my path. I had milliseconds to act and no time to hit the horn.
I swerved, clipping the van's front bumper. The bike and I parted company, it went right and I went over the van's bonnet.
An hour later I was in Macclesfield A&E, nursing a fractured tibia and fibula of my left leg, a double fractured left wrist and several detached tendons.
I spent nearly a month in hospital and three months in a wheelchair. During this time I only left my home by ambulance to attend hospital. Three years on, I'm walking with the aid of a stick, but unable to work.
I was riding a Silver Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic with more lights and chrome than you could shake a stick at – yet the van driver said she hadn't seen me!
The case finally came to court several months later. The driver was found guilty of driving without due care and fined just £117.00 with costs of £58.00 and 8 penalty points.