CYCLIST Steve Lewis is reminding people to take care on the roads after an accident left him with difficulties feeding himself.
The 52-year-old from Gorse Hill suffers with fibromyalgia which means he spends a lot of time on his own at home, and when he does go out he travels on his electric bicycle.
But last Saturday Steve was knocked from his bike along Cricklade Road after a woman suddenly opened a car door.
Steve said: “It was raining and I was cycling along Cricklade Road towards Penhill. I had just turned out of Beatrice Street and I was by the old police station and a woman opened her car door right in front of me, so I went straight into the open door.
“Next thing I knew I opened my eyes and I was in the middle of the road, staring at the sky.
“At the time I just thought I had hit the door but now I think I must have gone right over it and my handlebars because they are all twisted now.”
The woman pulled Steve and his bike to the side of the road and they both waited for an ambulance.
He said: “I was feeling a bit dazed and I knew my right hand was bleeding but I thought I was OK.
“I didn’t really want much of a fuss. It didn’t seem too bad at the time and I think it was just that British thing of not wanting any trouble.
“I was more worried about how I was going to get the bike home again.”
But as the afternoon progressed the pain in Steve’s arm got worse, and eventually he called NHS Direct who advised him to go to the Walk-In Centre in Carfax Street.
Steve said: “I went to the walk-in centre at about 7pm. It was empty so I thought I would be seen pretty quickly, but I ended up waiting for an hour and a half. They just told me I would have to go to A&E.”
But Steve had to wait several more hours before he was seen, and doctors said that he had a small fracture in his arm. He was put in a cast and took a taxi back home just after midnight.
Since then Steve has struggled to look after himself with just the one hand.
He said: “I live on my own and I have fibromyalgia which means I am jet lagged all the time, and now I don’t have the use of one of my arms, so I can’t eat a yoghurt or hold a pen or a mouse or lift any feeding implement to feed myself that needs the other hand to hold something else.”
Because of his ordeal Steve is now urging other cyclists to wear a helmet, and for those who are involved in an accident to make sure they take the other person’s details.
He said:” I am definitely going to wear a helmet in future, no matter how silly other people say it looks.
“It’s also told me that if you have a traffic incident you should always swap details, even if you feel OK at the time.”