Bike club offers reward for information on cycle crash

Monday, April 27, 2009
Erin Schroeder

She remembers the car whizzing by her bicycle on K-64. She remembers a huge impact on her left side. She was struck by a full can of beer and maybe a car. Then her memory goes black.

The next thing Erin Schroeder saw as she regained consciousness sprawled in the lane of oncoming traffic, was a full can of beer, spinning around on the pavement.

"I really don't know why I'm alive," said Schroeder, an avid cyclist. "I'm just thankful to be well."

Now the local bicycle club is offering a reward for someone who can provide more information on the crash.

Schroeder had been biking along K-64 near C-60, about 12 miles from her home around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11, when a car came zooming up behind her.

"I remember seeing an ash blue car with a lot of people. They were going very fast," Schroeder said. "A full beer can hit me. I don't know if the car caught my back tire. I flew across the road."

She was knocked out for a moment. When she came to, she found that the impact and sliding on the road tore through three layers of her cycling clothes, specially designed to be strong and protective. She had scrapes and bruises from road burn.

"I ended up in the middle of the other side of the road. A car could have easily come and," she said. "I could hardly breathe. I think I was in shock."

Her bike wasn't rideable, so she walked to a nearby farm. She tried calling her husband on her cell phone, but he didn't answer. At the farm, she got help.

"I had road burn down my left side," she said. "I'm still dealing with my pelvis and back."

Living through the crash doesn't change Schroeder's opinion of cycling.

"It's my No. 1 passion," she said. "I started in junior high. If I have any free time, that's what I do. It's just sad that this was intentional."

Schroeder said she's just happy to be alive, but fellow Plymouth County Cyclist Club members don't want to let the incident go unnoticed.

They are offering a reward for information brought into the authorities that leads to a conviction.

"If a reward would be offered, that could generate some activity and could possibly bring the violators to some public scrutiny and try to show public concern over this behavior," Clayton Hodgson, of the cyclist club, said. "If it isn't pursued, we felt like the folks that did that deed would feel that it is not a big deal. Pursuing it would indicate this is not acceptable."

People with tips can contact Crimestoppers at 548-4968 (and calls can be anonymous) or the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office at 546-8191.

As summer approaches, a lot more cyclists will be on the roads, Schroeder added, so the club wanted to help drivers be aware of cyclists.

"Just give bicyclists plenty of room. We are a moving vehicle, so we go with traffic," Schroeder said.

And if you're behind a bicyclist going up a hill, slow down and wait to pass until after you've crested the hill, she suggested.

And for cyclists, Schroeder advised them to protect themselves.

"That helmet saved my life," she said, adding that she's a physical therapist and has seen head injuries before. "And I understand why we wear bike clothes."

Cyclists should wear bright colors, have a flashing light on their bike, and travel with a cell phone, along with wearing protective bike gear, she said.

"All of that really played a huge role," she said.

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