One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Rider "Caught Out" By Bend and Sunlight
A Hertfordshire motorcyclist riding through France was killed after falling from his machine and colliding with an on-coming car.
A combination of coming out of a shady, tight bend into low direct sunlight may have caused David Marchant to lose control, an inquest heard yesterday/today Thursday.
The 35 year old and his Triumph 675 slid across the road and into the path of a car coming in the opposite direction.
Hatfield coroner's court in Hertfordshire heard that Mr Marchant, a senior manager with Orange Mobile, was on a motorcycle trip with two friends in the south of France.
He was an experienced motorcyclist, who lived with his partner Lydia in Coombe Hill Road, Rickmansworth, Herts.
On June 3 2009 the court heard he and his friends were riding their bikes on the N85 in the direction of Grenoble when disaster struck.
At the time of the accident the sun was low in the sky and causing a glare for road users.
Mr Marchant had just negotiated a left hand bend that was in shade and had driven into a sharp right hand bend, with low direct sunlight suddenly hitting him, when he lost control.
John Kaffenberger, who was riding in front of him, said the right hand bend got tighter as the turn continued and the sunlight made visibilty poor.
A statement he made was read out in court in which he said he had looked in his rear view mirror to see Mr Marchant sliding across the road.
Despite CPR being performed at the scene of the crash he died from his injuries.
A post mortem examination performed in the UK revealed the cause of death to be traumatic injuries.
Coroner Graham Danbury recorded a verdict of accidental death. He said: "He was clearly an experienced and careful rider."
But, said Mr Danbury, he had been "caught out" by the bend and coming out of the shade into low sunlight.
"He went down and there was nothing he could do once the bike was sliding," he said.
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