Paralysed handcyclist’s second serious crash
Ian Mark Walker has survived a horror cycling crash while on a routine trip on his handcycle but faces a long recovery.
The crash on Wednesday follows another cycling accident in 2006 that left Walker permanently paralysed.
The wellknown Christchurch handcyclist was on a routine trip from his home near Leeston when he was struck by a 4WD. He suffered major injuries to his head, neck, pelvis, legs and feet and is still under sedation in Christchurch Hospital.
His younger brother, Mike Walker, said it was ‘‘very early days’’ and doctors were not sure how extensive his injuries were. ‘‘Obviously it’s been a major accident . . . and so he’s pretty banged up.’’
Ian Walker’s partner, Louise, had been overseas and arrived back in Christchurch on Saturday.
Mike Walker said Ian had always been a keen sportsman who took part in triathlons but his real passion was football and he worked as a referee and referee trainer for years.
‘‘The idea he couldn’t participate in sports or exercise drove him nuts.’’
He continued as a football referee trainer for some time after his accident but then took up handcycling which had given him renewed purpose and enjoyment after becoming a paraplegic.
‘‘Pretty much every day he would do 30-40km bike rides unless he was sick or it was freezing.’’
Mike Walker said his brother was mindful of the risks but tried hard to keep himself safe. ‘‘He did everything that he could to make himself as visible as possible. He wore fluro and had a triangle on the back of the bike and a big flag on the top of it.’’
Ian Walker last year won the wheelchair section of the Christchurch marathon.
Ian Walker riding his handcycle.