I survived a cycling accident; will you? 

July 20, 2021

On June 9 I had just completed a 40-mile bike ride from my home in Rehoboth Beach down to Millville and the Bethany Beach area. 

It was a great ride until I turned into our development, which is off Country Club Road. It was almost an hour until my head cleared and I woke up in the ER at Beebe Healthcare. 

I still have no real idea what happened other than for some reason I went over the handlebars of my bike, landed on my back, and smashed my head into the pavement. Whether it was dehydration, how fast I took a turn, or whatever, I will never know. What I do know is that my helmet saved my life. And thanks to a program through Trek bicycles, the Bontrager helmet I was wearing was replaced at no cost because it was used in an accident. 

I came away with a broken vertebrae in my neck, two broken ribs, a laceration on my skull needing four staples, major bruising on my lower back, and my life! 

There is a blessing that came out of this accident: How kind people can be. People like Lewis Dawley, Derek DiRisio, Justin Baumgardner and two vacationers from Northern Virginia, Jennifer and Fred, who all stopped and took care of me until the ambulance came. They also brought my bike to my house and notified my wife. In many ways we are a small town, and I will be forever grateful to those who stopped and assisted me, and the crew on the ambulance. 

What really happened in this accident is I became a statistic. I recently learned is that, according to Street Light Data (report at the end of this letter), Delaware ranks first in the nation as the most dangerous state to ride a bicycle, and second only to Florida in bicycle fatalities. And yet we do not require cyclists to wear a helmet. 

There will be several upcoming DelDOT bicycle safety stops on Route 1 that will allow cyclists to have their bikes checked, obtain a free helmet, and review safety rules. I can only infer from the safety stops that DelDOT realizes how important helmets are to cycling safety, since they are willing to give them away for free. 

I lived to ride another day, and not become a tragic ghost bike on the side of the road. Will you? 

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Ray Bryant is a resident of Rehoboth Beach.



  • Cape Gazette commentaries are written by readers whose occupations, education, community positions or demonstrated focus in particular areas offer an opportunity to expand our readership's understanding or awareness of issues of interest.

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