‘I don’t want to kill a horse’: Motorcyclist’s fears for riders hacking in the dark

  • A motorcyclist who came across two riders hacking in the dark without any high-vis has appealed to others to ensure they are visible on the roads.

    Gary Hancock was on his way home from work in Lincolnshire at about 9.30pm on 9 November when he suddenly saw the two riders.

    He says neither had light-coloured clothing on, let alone high-vis, and one of the girls was not wearing a helmet.

    “I braked, but it was too late,” he said. “I spooked the first horse, making it rear and drop the rider.

    “Thankfully, it was the one wearing a hat who came off, otherwise it might have been a very different type of incident.”

    Gary, 31, told H&H he uses the road concerned frequently, that most of the local riders know him and his bike, and that although he does not ride himself, his partner Steph Welham does, and “I’m getting used to them”.

    “I stopped as I wanted to make sure the girl was ok,” he said. “She seemed a bit shocked, although she was getting up, but the other one was screaming at me, saying I’d been tearing around like an idiot.

    “That was so annoying. I was wearing full high-vis, had my full beam on and had dropped a gear so I was louder, which I do so wildlife can hear me coming.

    “I was doing 40mph on a 60mph limit road, there wasn’t much else I could have done.”

    Continued below…

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    Gary said he had to “bite his tongue” to stop himself telling the girls what he thought.

    “I did say it would help if I could see them,” he said.

    “It was a bit of a risk. Some riders do go out at night, but they’re lit up like Christmas trees.

    “I don’t mind them doing that if they’re safe but if I couldn’t see them, the articulated lorry driver isn’t going to be able to either.

    “It’s the same as cyclists and motorcyclists, it’s our responsibility to be seen. It’s not in the eyes of the law, but it is in the view of us surviving.

    “I may not be an animal person but I do not want to kill a horse – my mount is replaceable, yours isn’t.”

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