By: Mindy Seiffert, LCTA Board Member
Five weeks ago, on the first beautiful day of spring, I broke my right collarbone in a bicycle accident on the Cedar River Trail-South.
Always Wear a Bike Helmet!
This was my first serious bike accident (after about 15 years of riding). I am relieved that all I had was a broken collarbone along with some bruising, scrapes, and soreness. On that day–like every day that I ride–I was wearing a helmet. And thank goodness! I landed on my helmet and my right-shoulder. I knew immediately that my collarbone was broken.
Luckily, the young man that I collided with was not injured. However, he was not wearing a helmet. Hopefully, this accident will be enough to make him start wearing one.
Pass with Care!
Teaching kids about trail safety is critical in order to create an enjoyable experience for all trail users. It is very important that children understand they should always ride their bikes on the right-hand side of the trail. Frequently, younger children do not understand the speed that others may be traveling at or even be aware that others may be coming towards them.
And just like on roads, there are certain times when you should NEVER pass on the trails. For example, if you are approaching a tunnel and can’t see if someone is coming out of the tunnel, you should stay in your own lane.
On the day of my accident, the young man I mentioned earlier went to pass some pedestrians as he was approaching the tunnel on the trail. I am confident he had no clue that someone was coming out of the tunnel. And unfortunately, that someone was me.
There was not enough time or space for me to react in order to avoid the situation completely but I did manage to slow down, avoid the pedestrians, and avoid injuring the other biker.
Be a Good Trail Citizen!
Thankfully, there was no shortage of good trail citizens on that day.
I would like to thank the very kind bikers who happened to be out on the trail that day. Numerous people stopped to see if they could assist and offered everything from phones to ibuprofen. Many of them even stayed and waited until my husband arrived to take me to the hospital.
Get Back Out There!
Until this happened, I hadn’t realized how common broken collarbones are for cyclists. Apparently, I was lucky to make it as long as I did!
Today, my damaged bike is still leaning up against the wall in the garage (not that I could ride anyway). Soon, I will take it in to Hall Bicycle to get repaired. But in the meantime, I am still using the trail—now just as a walker instead of a biker.