A YOUNG mountain biker was killed in a freak accident at a steep track he had designed himself, an inquest heard today(thurs).

Outdoors lover Ryan Bullimore, from Griffithstown, hit his head on a tree at the bike park he dreamed of making into “a mini Whistler” for top riders.

His helmet was shattered in the blow at the trail Mr Bullimore, 23, had lovingly made at a nature reserve near his home.

The hearing was told Britain's best riders had used the track where Mr Bullimore spent hours carving trails in the woods with friends and his father Jason, 55.


But tragedy struck when Jason Bullimore arrived at the hillside one evening - to find son being carried down on a stretcher by paramedics and friends.

The dad-of-three said: “I called out ‘What have you done now?’ as he has been in several mountain bike accidents over the years.

“I was not aware how serious it was and I was met with silence.”

Mr Bullimore said he could see an ECG machine showing his son had no heartbeat.

He said: “I called out to him: ‘Don’t leave me’”.

The heartbroken dad said: “I could see an ECG machine and I couldn’t see a direct fibrillation but I couldn’t see a flatline either, it was like a little squiggle at the bottom of the screen.

“At that time we were about seven minutes away from the ambulance and I already knew Ryan’s chances of surviving were zero - the damage to his brain was too great.”

Apprentice plumber Ryan Bullimore was taken from the Tirpentwys trails in near Pontypool to Newport's Royal Gwent Hospital where he was pronounced dead on June 5, 2018.

Jason Bullimore said his son and girlfriend Ceri Edmunds would spend as much time outdoors as possible climbing, exploring and riding bikes outside as well as making trails for others to use.

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The track Ryan Bullimore designed. Picture: Wales News Service

He said: “The bike park became talked about across the UK and many of the top UK mountain bikers came to practice on Ryan’s track.

“He loved nature and the views of what he created.”

Mr Bullimore said there was also an area of safer trails for younger riders to use and improve their bike riding skills.

Ryan Bullimore, of Griffithstown, had been in contact with forestry officials over plans to improve the area further.

Collision investigator PC David Thomas went to the woodland to inspect the scene and said Mr Bullimore had collided with a large tree in the middle of a compacted mound of dirt known as a “berm”.

PC Thomas said Mr Bullimore’s friend heard “a big bang” before finding him unconscious with blood coming from his head and face and dialled 999.

PC Thomas said the helmet Mr Bullimore was taken away for examination but no safety faults were found.

The Newport hearing was told paramedics took almost an hour to reach him after the initial 999 call and had to walk up the forest hill on foot as it couldn’t be accessed by ambulance.

Paramedics took more than an hour to reach the site after his friend’s 999 call was not listed as a top priority until he stopped breathing.

Ambulance staff then had to make their way the forest trail by leaving their vehicles in a car park and climbing half a mile up a steep trail to find him.

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The track Ryan Bullimore designed. Picture: Wales News Service

They then had to make the tricky descent down to the ambulances in the dark while Mr Bullimore suffered cardiac arrest.

The inquest heard Ryan’s helmet was shattered in the high-speed crash.

Darren Panniers, of the Welsh Ambulance Service saying “the front part of the helmet was completely destroyed and there was extensive damage to the helmet.”

The court heard Mr Bullimore was a regular cannabis smoker and toxicology reports found he had taken the drug in the hours before the fatal crash.

Pathologist Majid Rashid said the effects of the drug could have caused “slower reaction times, reduced coordination and drowsiness”.

He gave the cause of death as cerebral contusion with subarachnoid haemorrhage and blunt force trauma contributed by cannabinoid intake.

But coroner Sarah LeFevre said there was “little evidence” that Mr Bullimore had been under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash, as he’d previously made his way safely down the trail and disregarded cannabis as a contributory factor.

Assistant Gwent Coroner Ms LeFevre said: “Ryan had a passion for climbing and downhill mountain biking, a passion shared with his older brother and father.

“He put time and energy developing these woods and thanks to his efforts it became a UK recognised bike trail area.”

Giving a verdict or accidental death, she said Mr Bullimore died “while riding down a bike trail he collided with a tree and sustained serious head injuries.”