Another local bicyclist was struck by a car and injured on Saturday, this time on North Main Street in downtown Davidson. The accident came just a week after another local cyclist was struck from behind while cycling on a rural road in Mount Mourne. Davidson’s police chief Monday offered this reminder: Bicycles have the same status as other vehicles, and drivers and cyclists must share the road.
In the latest incident, cyclist Anna Freuler of Cornelius was finishing up a ride in downtown Davidson just after 11 a.m. Saturday when a driver apparently cut in front of her to pull into a parallel parking spot. As she cycled south in the 100 block of North Main Street, in front of the Cats on Main and Cairn Industries storefronts, she ran into the car. Her bicycle went down and hit a second vehicle that was parked, according to police. Witnesses and emergency workers said her head may have struck a wheel or gone under one of the cars.
Ms. Freuler, 30, was taken by ambulance to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where she was treated for a concussion, a bruised shoulder, and scrapes and bruises.
“I was very, very lucky and I’m healing quickly,” Ms. Freuler told DavidsonNews.net Monday. “I’m still a little shaken up but I hope to be riding again soon.”
The driver of the car, a 25-year-old woman from Mooresville, was not charged.
[A second bicycle accident also was reported Saturday. Two women bicyclists had minor cuts after colliding with one another at the roundabout at East Rocky River and Davidson-Concord Roads, according to emergency personnel who were at the scene. No vehicles were involved.]
Saturday’s crash came just a week after an even more serious crash on Faith Road in Mount Mourne that left a Davidson woman with life-threatening injuries. (See July 5, “Local cyclist struck by SUV, badly hurt on Faith Road.”) Julie Zimmerman, who lives in the McConnell neighborhood, was flown to the hospital in Charlotte with spinal fractures, a punctured lung and other injuries.
Another Davidson woman later was charged with careless and reckless driving in the incident, in which the woman’s SUV struck Ms. Zimmerman from behind.
UPDATE ON JULIE Z.
Ms. Zimmerman is still hospitalized, but “is doing fantastically well,” her husband said Monday. Matt Zimmerman, a local chiropractor, said Julie was moved into a Mount Holly rehabilitation center over the weekend and is now walking with the aid of a walker, just a week after the accident.
“She’s up and about with a walker,” Dr. Zimmerman said. “To be going from being on the ground … almost dead, to walking with a walker … doctors are pretty taken with her amazing recovery.”
Meanwhile, those accidents, plus others in recent months across the area, have many people in the region taking a fresh look at bicycle safety.
Dr. Zimmerman said he heard from two fellow cyclists this weekend who told him they’ve observed drivers being more careful, giving them “a wider berth on the road.”
CHIEF: SHARE THE ROAD
Meanwhile, Davidson Police Chief Jeanne Miller offered this clarification of the rights of drivers vs. bicyclists:
“Keep in mind that bicycles have the legal status of a vehicle. This means that bicyclists have full rights and responsibilities on the roadway and are subject to the regulations governing the operation of a motor vehicle. There is no law that requires bicyclists to ride single file, nor is there a law that gives cyclists the right to ride two or more abreast. It is important to ride responsibly and courteously, so that cars may pass safely.
“Sharing the road (and having patience) is key to safety for both the driver of a motor vehicle and the cyclist. Taking the time to slow and wait for a safe distance to open up to pass, and giving the cyclists plenty of room is very important,” the chief said.
LAKE NORMAN EXCURSION
Recent accidents also have added a new twist to this weekend’s annual Lake Norman Excursion, a series of 10-mile to 100-mile bicycle rides around the Lake Norman area that begin and end at Lowe’s Corporate Center in Mount Mourne.
Organizers and folks from Cool Breeze Cyclery in Moorsesville are planning to use the ride to help raise awareness about cyclists on the road. They’ll be handing out large “share the road” stickers bearing Julie Zimmerman’s “JZ” initials that can be worn on the back of riders’ jerseys.
They’ll also talk to riders at the start about cycling safety and etiquette, and promoting the “Share the Road” message.