Pretty tough hit they took. Two points emphasised - helmets, and the need to keep a constant lookout even for side-approaching traffic. And or course, luck; Yew Li Lin was unfortunate - two broken ribs and a hairline pelvic fracture.
CYCLIST Yew Li Lin is a stickler for safety. So, as usual, she donned bright clothes, switched on her bicycle lights and rode single file when she went cycling with friends on Sunday morning. But, despite these measures, Madam Yew and one of her riding companions were hit by a car on West Coast Highway around 6.30 am.
The 41-year-old homemaker suffered two broken ribs and a hairline pelvic fracture. The other victim, Dr David Lau, 40, took a direct hit but somehow escaped with only cuts on his legs.
Speaking to The Straits Times from her bed in National University Hospital yesterday, Madam Yew said: 'All four of us were dressed in bright cycling outfits to ensure that we could be seen.' She and her three companions were riding single file in the extreme left lane in front of the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre, when a car travelling on the other side of the road suddenly turned right to enter a side road the four cyclists were passing.
'I was third in line, about 1 1/2 bicycle lengths behind David, who bore the brunt of the collision,' Madam Yew said. 'David was thrown up and landed on the bonnet of the car, smashing the windscreen. 'I tried to swerve but hit the car with my right side of the body and fell awkwardly.'
Miraculously, Dr Lau suffered only cuts on his legs and was discharged late Sunday morning. His riding helmet was wrecked though. 'There is a big gash on it and I think the helmet saved me from severe head injuries,' he said.
An exasperated Madam Yew appealed to motorists: 'We can take all sorts of safety measures but we need the cooperation of motorists because in an accident we are usually worst off.' Madam Yew, who took up cycling a year ago and always made it a point to adopt all the safety measures, said safety for cyclists should be improved and motorists should be educated on the vulnerability of cyclists.
Police said investigations were continuing.
Latest figures available revealed that 17 cyclists died in accidents in 2003 and 2004. Just a fortnight ago, on Jan 4, a 71-year-old cyclist died of head injuries after he was hit by a car on Upper East Coast Road.
And cycling enthusiast Sylvester Ang, a keen advocate of greater road safety for cyclists, was himself an accident victim. The 37-year-old store designer died of severe injuries after he was hit by a bus, pinned under and dragged for about 7m while cycling along Lim Chu Kang Road on Dec 19, 2004
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