Community and cycle club help Keynsham cyclist on road to recovery

Published on: 07 Aug 2015

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A keen cyclist from Keynsham recovering from a serious accident says he couldn’t ask to live in a better community.

Richard Franklin, who owns Franks Window Cleaning Services, says he has been overwhelmed by messages of support and acts of kindness following a crash during a road cycling race in Gloucestershire in May.

The accident, in which a driver knocked him from his bike after turning into his path, left him with two fractured bones in his neck, two fractured vertebrae and injuries to his face and hand, which meant he has been unable to work or take part in any of the sports he loves.

Richard has previously featured in Keynshamvoice when he completed a gruelling Ironman challenge, including a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26-mile marathon run, raising £2,000 for Keynsham and District Mencap Society, inspired by his stepson Ryan, who attends clubs run by the charity.

After news of the accident spread around his hometown, Richard has received more than 120 get well cards, gifts, countless visits from well-wishers and has even had people mowing his grass, cutting hedges and carrying out odd jobs.

Fellow window cleaners have rallied round to keep his business going while cyclists from Salt and Sham, the cycling club Richard helped to found two years ago, surprised him with a fundraising cycle ride in his honour. Around 20 members, sponsored by other colleagues, cycled around 125 miles through the night, completing laps of Chew Valley Lake before joining the rest of the group’s regular Saturday morning ride to the lake at 7am.

Richard said: “I couldn’t ask to live in a better place, it’s really hit home that it’s such a great community and I just can’t thank people enough.”

The sponsored ride raised £1,700, with some going towards a family break for Richard, wife Julie and Ryan, while Richard says he plans to put the rest towards completing coaching accreditation with British Cycling to “give something back” to the club.

Salt and Sham member Gary Roethenbaugh said: “As cyclists we know this accident could have happened to anyone of us.

“Rich is a very popular guy in the club and is one of the founding members, by finishing off his coaching [accreditation] it gives something back and it comes full circle.”

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