Hit-and-run cyclist on the mend

Ren Brand recovering at his Fish Hoek home.

Fish Hoek cyclist, Renford Brand, 76, has been released from hospital and is recovering well at home after he was involved in a hit-and-run on Sunday November 5.

Mr Brand, known to the cycling fraternity as Ren, cycles with a prosthetic leg after he lost his leg in another hit-and-run incident on Ou Kaapse Weg in 2010.

He had to undergo surgery at the 2 Military hospital on Monday November 6 after the accident caused a bad break of the femur below the hip joint in his stump.

Mr Brand was cycling near the quarry at Sunny Cove from Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town when he was hit from behind.

There were no witnesses (“Cyclist in hit-and-run for second time,” Echo, November 9).

During the Echo’s visit on Thursday November 16, Mr Brand, who is a member of the Recyclers club for retired cyclists and the 5F Cycling club in Fish Hoek, was in high spirits and said he was very grateful to the members of the Cape Medical Response (CMR) team as well as fellow cyclists from 5F who helped to carry him up 52 stairs to his front door after his release from hospital.

“Although the road to recovery will be long, I’m making progress every day,” he said.

He said it would take approx- imately six weeks before he could start using his prosthetic leg again. Then about three months for 80% recovery and about 18 months for a full recovery. His prosthetic leg did not break during the impact but there are many factors that will determine if and when he can use it again and before use, its alignment must be checked.

He said he was extremely grateful for members of CMR for their response time and the critical treatment he received on route to the hospital.

Mr Brand, who is described by fellow cyclists as an “extremely careful cyclist”, said he could not understand how someone could just smash into a cyclist or pedestrian and speed off.

“There is no excuse for it,” he said adding that he wanted to see something done about the carnage on the roads.

Although the driver that hit Mr Brand in 2010 was later located, he was acquitted on all counts, despite his number plate having been found at the scene and Mr Brand’s blood found on his car’s headlight. “There was no justice last time and I just want to see justice done, not just for me but for all the cyclists on the road,” he said.

Chairman of the Recyclers club for retired cyclists in Fish Hoek, Simon Brooke was also present during the Echo’s visit and said he had no doubt that Mr Brand would be back on a bicycle soon.

“The first time he got onto a bicycle was on the Fish Hoek soccer field and he had such determination,” Mr Brooke said.

Mr Brooke brought Mr Brand the proof of a book, the Genesis of the Recyclers, containing the history of the Fish Hoek cycling group which started in 1997.

Apart for Mr Brooke, Mr Brand was the first to see the proof before it will be printed in hardcover in December.

Fish Hoek station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Johnson confirmed that a case had been opened at the Fish Hoek police station and that the matter was being investigated.

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call Hansie Linde at 083 243 5311 or the Pedal Power Association on 021 671 6340/4079.