Chai cyclist makes Paris after high-speed crash
Joey Kolirin and a bloodied Simon Albert
A charity bike rider has recalled the moment his riding partner was in a horrific crash during a London-to- Paris cycling event.
North Londoners Joey Kolirin, 29, and his brother-in-law Simon Albert, 42, were riding to raise money for Chai Cancer Care. They were on the second day of the ride when Mr Albert, who is director of Charity Challenge, the organising company, had the high-speed accident while cycling downhill.
"He was riding over a bridge, probably at about 30 miles an hour, when his front wheel became locked in a drain which runs parallel to the road," Mr Kolirin reported. "He was catapulted over the handlebars, breaking his nose and suffering cuts to his lips and tongue. "I was half-a-mile ahead. By the time I had pedalled back, the ambulance had arrived. He was conscious but couldn't walk or speak. His helmet had cracked and he must have lost about half-a-pint of blood."
But it could have been much worse. "Simon could easily have been thrown into the path of oncoming traffic or thrown off the bridge completely."
After his brother-in-law was taken to hospital, Mr Kolirin decided to continue the bike ride while providing updates on Mr Albert's condition to concerned family and friends. "He needed supervision and I was the only link with home. However, I managed to make it to Paris and Simon followed in the support vehicle, despite being in pain and not being able to talk or eat. So we both made it to Paris and had our picture taken at the Eiffel Tower."
Mr Albert is expected to make a full recovery and the pair managed to raise nearly £5,000 for Chai.
"My father passed away from cancer a few years ago and Chai helped him an awful lot," Mr Kolirin explained. "I did this in aid of others who are suffering like he did."