An 86-year-old Lands End to John o’Groats rider died while undertaking the endurance challenge after suffering a head injury in a crash.
Victor Paget, a passionate cyclist for almost 70 years, was found at the side of the road by a passing motorist Devon last summer, having fallen off his bike.
After refusing any assistance from the driver, Mr Paget was later airlifted to hospital, where he died a week later, Devon Live (opens in new tab) reports.
An inquest into Mr Paget’s death was held on Friday (April 12), where the coroner said the retired painter and decorator suffered a head injury while falling off his bike “on a couple of occasions,” which caused his death.
Mr Paget, from Leamington Spa, was undertaking the 874-mile cycling challenge, riding from Land’s End in Cornwall to John o’Groats in the far north of Scotland, having previously completed the ride in 14 days at the age of 77.
During his ride last year, Mr Paget was hoping to complete the ride in just 12 days, when he came off his bike on August 28.
A motorist then reported seeing Mr Paget lying in a grass verge at around 7.30pm, after he had fallen from his bike.
In a statement heard by the coroner’s court, the driver offered to help Mr Paget, but he declined and struggled to get back on his bike.
He then dismounted and was seen “limping quite badly.” The driver said she last saw Mr Paget walking in the direction of a nearby petrol station.
Paying tribute to the rider, his family said: “Unfortunately he has died in a tragic accident, his last living action was pushing the pedals.
“Vic was a noble spirit who will be sadly missed by his family and saluted by fellow cyclists.”
A post mortem examination found that Mr Paget suffered a traumatic head injury and other injuries during the crash.
Ruling Mr Paget’s death accidental, coroner Ian Arrow said: “Sadly, on August 28, on the outskirts of Okehampton, Mr Paget has fallen off his bike on a couple of occasions.
“It appears to me in falling from his bike he has particularly injured his head.
“Had he not fallen from his bike and hit his head he would not have died at the time he did.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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