Byrne starts unorthodox training after pile-up fright
09:49 27 January 2012
A fortnight after he was involved in a terrifying head-on car crash Sheppey motorcyclist Shane Byrne is back in training for the new season - by hobbling around on crutches as he takes his dog for a series of long walks.
Byrne is happy just to be back on his feet after he was hit by a car while trying to move his wife Petra to safety during a multi-vehicle pile-up in Spain two weeks ago.
“There were some roadworks but no street lights, I drove alongside a lorry and was overtaking but it turned out somebody had already crashed and the car was side on,” he said.
“I looked up and there was this parked car. I hit it at 60 to 70 mph and my wife [Petra] was knocked out. I was telling the kids everything was OK and got out of the car to try and get her to safety.”
Having escaped serious injury in the initial impact, Byrne climbed out, only to see another car heading straight for his family‘s vehicle.
“I saw it and was waving my arms trying to get it stop, but it didn’t see me,” he said. “It glanced off my car and bashed into me.
“I suffered a broken foot, broken toes and smashed the back of my head open.”
His two children were unharmed, but Petra suffered two cracked ribs and facial bruising.
Byrne said it had been a “really tough time”, although the brush with mortality has not made him reconsider his future as a rider.
The 35-year-old came third in the British Superbike Championship (BSB) last year and his Paul Bird Motorsport team have delayed testing by a fortnight to allow him some extra time to recover.
“From a training point of view it’s an absolute disaster,” Byrne admitted. “But in the first week of January I’d cycled 430 kilometeres and done about 20k running, so that’s in the bank if you like.”
He should be fit to ride again in time for testing in five weeks’ time, but for the moment Byrne is getting any exercise he can.
“It might sound a bit weird, but hobbling around on crutches while I take the dog for a long walk is actually pretty cool,” he said.
Photo by NICK DUNGAN