I had just qualified for the Kona, Hawaii, Ironman Triathlon World Championships at the Florida Half-Ironman and was celebrating! A month earlier I had run the Boston Marathon. On July 4th I was traveling to Sweden with Team USA for the Long Distance Triathlon Championships,and now, after a week's recovery from the Half-Iron, I was ready to go for a long training ride to prepare for Kona. I rode 75 miles with a friend and then decided to go 10 more miles by myself. I made sure I was wearing my Road ID.
It is said that most accidents occur close to home, but it was a sunny Sunday and I was feeling great! I stopped at a four-way intersection, and when the light changed I continued my ride. A car turned in front of me, and fortunately I was able to slow down enough to avoid a collision.
I was determined to memorize the license plate of that car and report it to the Police. I did not see the teenaged boy racing behind the first car. He also turned in front of me, but this time I couldn't avoid slamming into the side of the car. The Patrolman said I was 5 seconds from going over the hood of the car and through the windshield.
The impact of the car caused me to flip off my bike, and I landed on my back in the middle of a very busy intersection. I realized I could not move, and the tire of the teenager's car was right next to my head.
Thankfully, the Emergency Squad arrived within minutes. I mumbled to them..."Look at my Road ID!" I remember being very grateful I was wearing the ID at the time as I had no other identification with me.
I suffered a five day concussion, multiple contusions, broken teeth, and a sprained neck. After four months of almost daily physical therapy and dental work, I did compete in Kona and placed 10th in my age group.
I've been an elementary teacher for many years and bicycle safety instruction is required in many of the grade levels that I have taught. I've also given bicycle safety classes to the Girl Scouts of Ohio. This will be my 10th year of competing in multisport, and I am a Certified USAT Triathlon Coach, Level I. I know the rules of the road and this accident was completely unpreventable! I also often run at night due to my teaching commitments, my family appreciates the fact that I am wearing a flashing light along with my Road ID! Thanks Road ID for providing an extra measure of security for all of us. I am blessed to be here telling this story...I think my Guardian Angel is getting tired!
- Patricia (Pat) .P from Gahanna, OH