Cyclist rides into unmarked wire

Dr Jacques Visser was knocked unconscious when he rode through an unmarked wire at the exit of a footpath he was advised to take by park personnel.

 

A local veterinarian has been left with severe injuries to his eye after he was cycling through Innesfree Park and rode into a wire.

On 5 January, Dr Jacques Visser of the Oaklands Veterinary Clinic was cycling on his mountain bike towards Rivonia in the hopes of riding along the Braamfontein Spruit, the longest stream in Johannesburg which splits into other tributaries.

The laceration Dr Jacques Visser sustained above his eye when he rode through the footpath exit.

The laceration Dr Jacques Visser sustained above his eye when he rode through the footpath exit.

Read Cyclist dies after completing Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge

Visser soon realised that he could not access the spruit from Grayston Drive. “I went to the guard hut at Innesfree Park and asked the people there how to proceed. They told me that if I go down, there’s a footpath and if I follow this path right to the bottom, there’s an exit,” Visser said.

“I asked the City of Joburg for permission and I was told we are allowed to cycle there. I even looked at the board to make sure.”

The wire that was left behind at the exit of a footpath in Innesfree Park.

The wire that was left behind at the exit of a footpath in Innesfree Park.

Visser suspects that the City of Joburg had been placing poles for fencing purposes at an earlier stage. “They had strung a piece of wire across the exit between the two poles; they didn’t mark the area or put a board there to warn people and they obviously went on holiday and left it. So as I rode through the gate, and [into the wire]. I completely passed out and I eventually woke up on my back.”

Read Police issue tips for cyclists

Visser sustained a deep laceration above his left eye and believes that it could be much worse for the next unsuspecting cyclist. He contacted the City of Joburg to raise the issue of the unmarked wire and the danger it poses. “I’ve also reported it to the police and they couldn’t laugh harder at me! The City of Joburg is not at all interested – even just to say ‘we are sorry’. I mean, I could’ve been killed! Why do I pay tax?”

Dr Jacques Visser sustained lacerations to the eye, as well as bruising, from an unmarked wire.

Dr Jacques Visser sustained lacerations to the eye, as well as bruising, from an unmarked wire.

Jerome Ogle, a senior manager at Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo for Sandton, told Visser that personnel would be sent out to the site to address the issue and acknowledged that the exit was once fully fenced. “It seems like they cut the other wires and left the top wire,” Ogle said.

The exit of a footpath that was once enclosed at Innesfree Park.

The exit of a footpath that was once enclosed at Innesfree Park.

“I think Joburg people should know about it; we pay rates and taxes and if they could just say to me ‘we were busy constructing something and we are so sorry’ but they couldn’t care less,” said Visser, angrily.

He’s left disappointed by the lack of action from City officials and enraged that the exit from the footpath was left with a dangerous obstruction.

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