Cyclists inspired to hit the streets by Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic stars have left medics battling a 50 per cent rise in bike accidents.
Figures collected by Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital showed falls from bikes had increased from an average of 20 per month last year to 30 this year.
And more than 70 people went to the A&E department last month suffering cycle-related injuries, while four people died in collisions.
The passion for cycling was fuelled by stars like Bradley Wiggins, who became the first British winner of the Tour de France earlier this year and then won Olympic gold in the men’s time trial.
The GB team won eight gold medals in the sport in London, seven of which came in the Velodrome.
And the success continued at the Paralympics, with Birmingham’s David Stone winning gold and Jon-Allan Butterworth claiming three silvers.
QE staff are dealing with so many biking accidents that the hospital has launched a cycle safety campaign with store chain Halfords and safety charity RoSPA.
It aims to encourage motorists and cyclists to take more care on the roads and urges them to wear protective gear such as helmets and high-visibility clothing.
Around 100 people attended the first clinic yesterday and Margaret Garbett, the hospital trust’s matron for A&E, said she was delighted with the turnout
She added: “We really feel passionately about this. Over the last two months we have seen minor injuries, such as cuts and broken bones, and some very serious injuries, including four fatalities.
“The majority of those patients were not wearing protective equipment such as helmets or brightly-coloured clothing.
“Cycling is a great sport and we actively encourage our staff and the public to keep fit by cycling but, first and foremost, we want people to be safe on their bikes.
“We hope our campaign will encourage cyclists to wear protective equipment and clothing, to ride safely on the roads. We also hope motorists will be more aware of cyclists when they are driving.”