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johnson
26-07-2006, 11:27 AM
As many of you may now have heard, 70-year-old rider Pat Pepper, a former competitor in British and world road racing in the 1960's, who was injured in a time trial accident with another rider last Sunday week, has now sadly died in Addenbrookes Hospital.

It is said that no motor vehicle was involved.

A number of you may have known Pat or seen her at events, perhaps as just another veteran competitor. But in her day she achieved two second place finishes in the British Road Race Championships, in 1962 and 1963. Beryl Burton was then the dominant lady rider and beat her in the 1963 event. Pat competed seven times in the Women's World Road Racing Championships and I believe her best placing was fifth.

It seems to have been a freak accident of which we will no doubt learn more in due course and I don't want to comment on how it occurred. It's relevant that you road racers should note, however, that Pat normally wore a helmet and I expect she was wearing one at the time. They don't necessarily save you! She suffered severe head injuries including fractures and brain damage, together with multiple fractures to her ankle, though obviously it was the head injuries that led becoming unconscious and eventually passing away.

My thoughts are with Mick Pepper, Pat's husband, who had ridden the same event (as I did too). I didn't know Pat very well but saw her often, as they were both regular time trial riders. It hits quite hard when something so sad happens in a sport we share, especially when one took part in the same event. Also spare a thought for the other rider involved in this disastrous accident.

Perhaps one should not mix this very sad news and small tribute with other issues. Nevertheless I will. As one of the helpers in the recent Velo Club Baracchi Beccles Road Race in which most observers agree not all competitors rode with enough regard for self-preservation and the safety of others, I reckon it is worth my pointing out what can happen if you are unfortunate enough to fall on your head! It may seem obvious to all, but unfortunately some competitors clearly disregarded personal safety and the rule of the road at Beccles and (apart from anything else) have given the organisers and British Cycling officials a hard time with the police. So perhaps yet another observation about it won't go amiss. How the riders who were responsible for this had the nerve to do so while being followed round the course by a uniformed police sargeant in a marked car defeats me! We don't close roads here in Suffolk!

Please all take special care of yourselves. Let's do what we can to limit the risks, even if, as usual, they then come out of the blue and get you all the same!

Hopefully my further contributions to this excellent site will be more cheerful!! As our club's publicity officer I always look for good news to report and to promote the sport.

Regards to all!

Nick E
28-07-2006, 07:50 PM
You do a cracking job John.

Even 60 mile training rides on cold winter mornings sound like fun to readers in the local paper. :lol:

Keep up the good work. :wink:

johnson
02-08-2006, 11:18 AM
I am informed that Pat Pepper's funeral is on Monday August 6 at 2.30pm at St Michael & All Saints Church, (just off The Square), Martlesham Heath, nr Ipswich, followed by refreshments in the church complex.

Cycling clothes welcome.

Family flowers only.
Donations if desired to:
"The Fund for Addenbrookes" (NCCU) - (this is the neurological unit)
c/o Co-operative Funeral Service
64 New Street
Woodbridge
IP12 1DX

Some of you may like to have these details.

johnson
07-08-2006, 07:31 PM
It may be a small comfort to learn that our club representative has now reported "funeral very well attended with a full house."