A sportswoman who was thrown from her bicycle in an accident says her safety helmet may have saved her life.
But doctors at Kettering General Hospital, where she woke up hours later, told her that without her helmet she would have been much worse off.
Mrs Ryding, of Wellingborough, who lost nearly 30kg after taking up triathlon and has represented Great Britain for the past three years, said: “From what I can gather it was quite a hefty knock on the head I got – the helmet has actually broken into three pieces.
“I was about 25 minutes into my bike ride and I was approaching a small roundabout in the village.
“That’s the last thing I can remember before waking up in hospital.
“The doctors in A&E said it would have been a different story if I hadn’t had my helmet on.
“There are so many people who don’t wear helmets but I would encourage people to wear them, even if they are just going on a short journey.”
Mrs Ryding was found by a driver some time after the accident but there were no witnesses and nobody seems to know what really happened.
Mrs Ryding said: “I was found motionless in the middle of the road by a lady driving a van. I want to say thank you to her because she called the emergency services and not everyone would stop to help. It’s a route I ride regularly because it’s mostly back roads and helps you avoid the traffic – I didn’t expect to wake up in hospital.
“I still feel unwell so I’m off work at the moment.
“If there were any witnesses I would really like to know what happened because I can’t remember anything.”