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Richmond Park training after dusk

concerned82concerned82 Posts: 2
Richmond Park is a fantastic place to train after dusk when all those in their metal boxes have gone home, and the roads are quiet except for a few deer. It's especially inviting on these long summer evenings.

However, a few days ago (while out on a training ride myself) I helped with an incident in the park that required an ambulance immediately. Because the gates were closed the police had to travel from central London with the keys to let the ambulance in, and the ambulance therefore didn't arrive for half an hour at least. This was a scary revelation to me. There are many injuries you could incur (heavy bleeding from broken pelvis / broken legs, collapsed lung, cardiac problems etc.) that could prove fatal if you didn't receive medical help within 10-15mins.

So.. the current situation (although this will hopefully change) is that if you get into trouble in the park after dusk you could be on your own for a long time before help gets to you. This is something you might not expect in London. Stay safe out there guys, always take identification and a mobile phone with you, and take plenty of water in this hot weather. If you feel unwell, and it's after dusk, consider calling it a day.

(I debated whether or not to post this on the forum in order to protect those involved, but I have been deliberately vague with the details of the incident. On balance, I considered the issue needed wider attention amongst the cycling community so that people know the risks when they go out training alone in the dark).


  • Gavin GilbertGavin Gilbert Posts: 4,019

    AFAIK the keys are held at the 2 local stations and at the lodges in the park.
  • BigDarbsBigDarbs Posts: 132
    Don't worry about it.

    I (and lots of other people around the UK) regularly ride alone in large tracts of remote forest, woodland and moorland on mountain bikes, where the risk of coming off and sustaining a serious injury is far greater than on the road. If I had an accident in some parts of my local forest the first person that would know about it would be my wife when I didn't return home.

    I would then have to be searched for, which could take several hours until I was eventually found, and even when I was found, getting an ambulance in would be extremely difficult, which is why our local fire brigade have an 8 wheel drive rescue vehicle for reaching difficult locations.

    Compare that to Richmond Park and you will see it’s not so bad! You are in a far better location for rapid medical care than many other riders around the UK.
  • Gavin GilbertGavin Gilbert Posts: 4,019
    Aye, I still recall with great fondness the 40 mile ride home with cracked ribs I needed to do a few summers back.

    I suspect the OP is one of the anti-cycling 'locals' :wink:
  • pinkbikinipinkbikini Posts: 861
    I have heard the details of the incident - assuming what I have heard was correct, the OP is definitely not an anti-cycling local and has every reason to raise his concerns.
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