The managing director of Orange Mountain Bikes, Michael Bonney, was airlifted to hospital on Sunday after a crash at a sportive. His condition remains critical.
Bonney, widely seen as the lynchpin behind Orange’s market growth, was riding the 60-mile Eden Valley Epic, in Cumbria, when the crash occurred about 15 miles from Penrith.
Details of the incident remain unclear. A police statement said a 54-year-old man fell from off his bike and sustained serious injuries. It confirmed no other vehicles were involved. The hospital where Bonney is now a patient told BikeRadar that he was an inpatient but wouldn’t confirm any details, other than that his condition was still critical.
Messages of support quickly poured in on the company’s Facebook page, where fans had been notified that Bonney had been in an accident. He was described as an extremely popular person with a huge number of friends. Bonney played a key role in establishing Orange’s links with the Animal MTB team, which helped popularise the brand.
In an interview with What Mountain Bike earlier this year, Bonney said: “We went from being a quirky UK brand, where wearing an Orange T-shirt was quite cool in the US, to massive global exposure effectively overnight. Our sales figures didn’t change though, as we were so busy making team bikes.”
The company currently sells about 4,000 bikes a year, mostly in the UK.