A GRIEVING father training for a marathon cycle ride in his son's memory was badly injured after being knocked off his bike by a hit and run driver.

Steve Abrams, 48, of Taunton, is in a race against time to get fit again for the 1,000-mile ride from John o'Groats to Land's End after fracturing two vertebrae and smashing his hip socket.

Mr Abrams, whose son, chef Carl, 24, took his own life last March, is hoping to raise £5,000 for mental health charity MIND on the sponsored adventure with friends Darren Kneeshaw and Simon Autton from May 12 to 19.

He was returning home from a training ride when he was jettisoned onto the grass verge by a car overtaking him opposite Norton Manor Camp on Sunday morning. As well as his injuries, his £3,200 bike, which he has only owned for four months, was a write off.

The driver failed to stop, but another motorist noted down his registration number and he has since been interviewed by police.

Mr Abrams, who returned home after treatment at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: "I was feeling good on the ride, but all of a sudden there was an almighty bang and next thing I'm face down on the grass. The man just drove off.

"I was showered in glass from his broken mirror.

"Fortunately, a consultant and three doctors were passing in separate cars and stopped to help me before I was taken to hospital."

He is back home and work as a truck driver for three weeks.

"I'm on strong painkillers and at the moment I'm only shuffling around the house. It's a job to stand up and sleep. I can't get comfortable," added Mr Abrams.

"I'm determined to do the ride, but everything depends on my recovery. I'm a bit worried my nerves could be shot to pieces when I get back on a bike.

"I only took up cycling last June after what happened with Carl and it's been a saviour - it's helped keep my mind occupied."

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "We have traced the driver and interviewed him. Our inquiries are ongoing."

Witnesses should call police on 101 quoting crime reference number 5219005162.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Mr Abrams on his ride should visit justgiving.com/fundraising/steve-abrams