Richard Branson has a new lease on life.
The 66-year-old billionaire and Virgin Group founder survived a terrible bike accident in the British Virgin Islands this week, and turned to social media and his company's website on Friday to share how he miraculously cheated death.
"I was heading down a hill towards Leverick Bay when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a 'sleeping policeman' hump in the road head on," Branson explained on his Virgin.com blog. "The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes. I really thought I was going to die. I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life."
Branson was cycling with friends and his two adult children, Holly and Sam, at the time of the accident. The group was training for the upcoming Virgin Strive Challenge, a month-long journey that will see participants hike, cycle, swim, mountain bike and complete a half-marathon run through Italy for charity.
"I really couldn't believe I was alive, let alone not paralyzed," he added. "I traveled to Miami for X-rays and scans, but have been extremely fortunate that apart from a cracked cheek and some torn ligaments, I hopefully will be able to complete the Virgin Strive Challenge next month."
"My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward," he concluded. "All you have to do is get back up and try again. At least I'm practicing what I preach – though a little too literally!"