Heartfelt tributes paid to Holloway cycle accident victim

Tragic cyclist Sam Harding was entering a new phase in his life when he died, his grieving father said this week.

The 25-year-old was on his way to move in with his girlfriend in Blackheath when he was killed on August 6, in a collision with an open car door and a bus in Holloway Road, Holloway.

And he had just signed a permanent contract with his employer, the online travel firm Voyage Priv�, based in Wharf Road, Islington.

Keith Harding, who also spoke of his great love and admiration for his son this week, said: “He was very much on the cusp of a new, more grown-up phase in his life. It makes it very sad, but it is almost a cause for comfort because I felt he had arrived, even if he didn’t get the chance to enjoy the destination.”

Sam grew up in Hornsey and had been living in Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park.

He attended Highgate Wood School and La Swap Sixth Form, and as a teenager had been a talented archer who competed in the London Youth Games.

His father painted a picture of a caring man with a large circle of friends, whose biggest passion was travel and tourism.

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“He was very popular with friends and had a big social network,” he said. “The support and love he gave to me and to his friends was very strong. They all feel it very strongly, and many people will miss him.”

Sam’s mother Jenny died from breast cancer when he was 14, and his father added: “Bringing him up on my own, my priority was always that I wanted him to be a caring, sociable individual. I can look back and be very proud of what he was.”

Mr Harding said he did not necessarily support calls to cut the speed limit on main roads to 20mph, recently made by Green Party campaigners and the Islington Cyclists Action Group. He continued: “I’m not an advocate of specific measures and I’m not sure reducing the speed limit is the answer.

“But I’m aware the streets are dangerous for cyclists. As a society we are quite rightly encouraging people to cycle because it is healthy and good for the environment, but what we’re not doing is creating streets safe for cyclists.

“The main thing is to have a big look at what we want our city streets to be. There’s no simple solution.”