St Albans skiing accident victim cycling back to health

New gadget to help recovery

A DETERMINED young man from St Albans who was badly injured in a skiing accident has a new gadget to help him on the road to recovery.

George Watkins, 24, of Beeson End, broke his back in three places following an accident in the Swiss Alps in March when he fell 150 metres down the side of a rocky mountain while skiing with friends,

But ever since the accident George, who spent four weeks in a Swiss hospital before being flown back to England where he was treated at Spire Harpenden Hospital, has been trying to get back to full fitness and as well as taking part in the Ironman triathlon challenge recently, he is also regularly out and about in Harpenden on his elliptical bicycle.

George’s ElliptiGO, a peculiar-looking machine which is a cross between a bicycle and a cross trainer, is a fitness device that emulates running outdoors without the associated impact.

George, who works in marketing, said that he thinks he is the only person currently using one in the UK.

“Elliptical bicycles are only made in America and its thanks to Spire that the company send me one over to try.

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“It’s similar to a bike - you still have to pedal - but it goes a little slower and, because you operate it standing up, you don’t end up with a sore backside!

“It’s basically the closest you can get to running without actually doing it, which suits me and my injuries down to a tee,”

He added: “I’m on my ElliptiGO most days after work, and wherever I go people always stop and stare. It’s certainly worthy of a double take and it’s really helping me on the road to full recovery.

“I pushed myself to the max doing the Ironman challenge and I think I need to sit back and take things easier now. Hopefully this new invention will help me get back to top condition gradually.”

To find out more information about ElliptiGO, visit the website at