Virgin Group billionaire Richard Branson said his life was “literally flashing before his eyes” when he was launched off his bike while cycling in the British Virgin Islands.
In a blog post, Branson explains he was heading down a hill when his bike hit a speed bump, hurdling him head-first over the handlebars and onto the road in front of him.
“I really thought I was going to die. I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life,” he wrote.
Branson posted pictures of his bruised and bloodied face on his blog post, and said that his injuries included a cracked cheek and torn ligaments. He also wrote that his knee, chin, shoulder, and body was severely cut.
Branson’s bicycle, however, wasn’t so luckily. The British entrepreneur said that after his crash, his bike went flying off a cliff and disappeared. It was later found completely destroyed, he wrote.
Branson’s cycling trip to Virgin Gorda was a part of his training for the Virgin Strive Challenge, a month-long Virgin-branded fundraising event. Branson said he hopes he will still be able to compete despite his injuries.
Making light of the incident, Branson wrote: “My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again. At least I’m practicing what I preach – though a little too literally!”
Other than being a businessman, Branson has long been known for his adventurous spirit. In 1987, he crossed the Atlantic in a hot-air ballon, but had to be rescued after it went down off the western coast of Scotland. He also set the record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel by an amphibious vehicle in 2004.