Durban - Two young Pietermaritzburg cyclists had to have urgent medical treatment after they were hit by a motorist in Howick. Andrew Edwards, 17, and Christopher Mlothswa, 22, both of Cyclesphere cycling club, were reportedly on a routine training ride in single file in the Howick town centre when a motorist driving a Ford Laser trying to pass them hit them.
Edwards sustained a broken clavicle while Mlotshwa was thrown to the ground, receiving scrapes and bruises. Edwards underwent surgery at Howick Private Hospital on Sunday night. Mlotshwa was discharged.
Edwards’s father, Nick, told The Mercury he was worried that his son’s cycling career had been ruined.
“He’s a top junior cyclist and this injury could put him out of training for eight weeks. He will miss the SA championships he is supposed to participate in, in a few weeks.”
Edwards estimated the young men - who had been friends since childhood - had lost up to R150 000 in gear, including crash helmets, cycle equipment and bikes.
The incident had been reported to the police, who had interviewed the cyclists before Andrew’s surgery, Edwards said.
“This is a serious issue. Some motorists should not be driving. They are impatient and clearly unsafe. My son and his friend could have paid the ultimate price today.”
The surgery, he said, would involve putting in a plate in his son’s collar bone area. Nick Edwards said he had sustained a similar injury as a mountain biker, and the recovery after the surgery could be long and uncomfortable.
“Andrew was very nervous before going into surgery. It’s his first operation. He’s also despondent and worried about his career. Being out of training for the recovery period is going to make it difficult to get back into top form.”
Last month cyclists’ safety was thrust in to the spotlight when two cyclists were killed by a motorist on the M4 near Durban North. Their deaths sparked furious debate about the safety and the legality of using certain routes for cycling.