Sir Richard Branson in bike crash, thought he was 'going to die'

Sir Richard Branson after the crash (richardbranson/Twitter)
Sir Richard Branson after the crash (richardbranson/Twitter)

Billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson says he's lucky to be alive after a brutal bike crash in the British Virgin Islands earlier this week.

The Virgin airline owner was out cycling when things got "really dark" and he hit a hump in the road.

"I really thought I was going to die," he writes in a post online.

"I went flying head-first towards the concrete road... fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life."

X-rays and scans in Miami found Sir Richard had a cracked cheek and some torn ligaments, and his body was also "severely cut".

"My biggest hardship is having to drink tea out of a straw… and being called elephant man by a six-year-old.

As for his bicycle, it's been recovered but is "completely destroyed".