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Richard Branson Crashes His Bike Hard in Triathlon, Credits Helmet With Saving His Life

Even among cyclists, wearing a helmet is a hot-button topic. For Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin and proud, self-funded space explorer, it’s not up for debate: wearing a helmet saved his life. Again.
Sir Richard Branson crashed "hard" during triathlon, says bike helmet saved his life again 6 photos
Sir Richard Branson crashed "hard" during triathlon, says bike helmet saved his life againSir Richard Branson crashed "hard" during triathlon, says bike helmet saved his life againSir Richard Branson crashed "hard" during triathlon, says bike helmet saved his life againSir Richard Branson crashed "hard" during triathlon, says bike helmet saved his life againSir Richard Branson rode a custom Trek bike ahead of his launch to the edge of space
Sir Richard Branson is a known and proud adventurer, one who keeps himself in top physical shape (the fact that he’s 68 makes his accomplishment even more impressive) and often takes part in all types of challenges. The most recent was Strive BVI in Tortola, the British Virgin Islands, with proceeds from it going to the Big Change foundation.

It was also the scene of his most recent bicycle crash, one that Branson himself describes as “colossal.” The potential consequences of the crash would have been dire had he not worn his helmet, Branson says in a recent blog post on Virgin, detailing the crash and its aftermath.

Part of the challenge was a 60-km (37-mile) bike ride up and down hills. Coming down on one, he saw fellow rider Felix Stellmaszek up ahead, passing by a car that was coming up from the opposite direction. To Branson’s left was a massive cliff drop. In short, this is the worst kind of scenario in which, as a rider, you notice that your brakes are not working, and Branson was suddenly forced to choose between crashing to his left and falling off the cliff, crashing into the car, or “braking” by taking out Steve. He chose option number three.

“We crashed – hard,” Branson writes. “We both fell off our bikes and our heads and bodies slammed into the concrete road. There is no question that wearing helmets saved our lives – not the first time that has been the case. We both lay flat out on the road as the rest of the team gathered around us. I stayed still, hoping I hadn’t broken my back or paralyzed myself.”

Luckily, Branson wasn’t left paralyzed and neither was Felix. Both did sustain severe road rash and bruising, but were still in decent enough shape to laugh about Branson’s courtesy (apologizing in advance for crashing into Steve). Branson was eventually able to return to the final stretch of the challenge and complete the event.



 
 
 
 
 

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