The only bicyclist to participate in all 33 “Horrible Hundred Bike Rides” across Lake County nearly had his streak broken recently when he had his own horrible bike ride early this month. Stephen Rooks is a 56-year-old Cocoa Beach resident and an avid bicyclist who was involved in a serious bicycle accident when a driver failed to yield the right of way and turned directly in front of him. The driver was turning into her driveway and claims that she didn’t see the rider when she caused the accident that broke Rooks’ left clavicle and three ribs and destroyed his beloved bike.
"I do remember asking the age-old question, ‘Is my bike OK?’. One girl [who rushed to help] laughed and said, ‘No, it’s in two pieces, but you’re in one piece, so be happy,’" Rooks said ruefully.
Rooks’ doctor ordered him to stay off bicycles for at least four to six weeks, but he says that even broken bones and a ruined bike will not stop him from participating in the Horrible Hundred Bike Ride scheduled for Nov. 18. The race is sponsored by the Florida Freewheelers riding group and begins at 8 a.m. at Waterfront Park Pavilion in Clermont. The annual ride is one of the premier events of the year for Florida bicyclists and draws more than 2,000 participants each year. There are 20 rest stops along the 100-mile route, and volunteers often dress up in themed costumes to hand snacks and beverages to riders along the way. Sugarloaf Mountain, Florida’s highest peak at 312 feet above sea level, is the most grueling climb along the “horrible” route, and the rider with the fastest ascent of the mountain wins a $100 prize.
Rooks has been riding a stationary bike to train for the event in spite of his doctor’s orders and was on his way to meet with fellow riders for a training run when the accident occurred. He claims that he still plans to participate this year even without clearance from his doctor.
“I don’t think it would qualify as clearance,” Rooks said. “[My doctor] is not in Orlando though so he’s not gonna read [the paper].”
It is easy to admire Mr. Rooks’ tenacity and dedication to riding, but he is very fortunate that his injuries were not severe. Many Floridians are not so lucky and suffer devastating injuries in bicycle accidents that prevent them from riding and enjoying their other favorite activities ever again. If you or a member of your family has been injured in a bicycle accident and you would like to speak with an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney, call James O. Cunningham today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587). Mr. Cunningham is an Orlando bicycle accident lawyer dedicated to helping clients receive the maximum possible compensation for their injuries.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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