Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Regina Update

I got some terrible news last night.  Gina, who's photo I posted yesterday was hit by a car last night on the northside of Chicago.  It was a pretty major accident and she was hospitalized. I have very little details but just wanted to send some well wishes her way.  Get well soon Gina.



Gina's accident really has made me reevaluate my blog.  The main reason I started this blog was to raise the visibility of female commuter cyclists inspired by this Scientific American Article.  
The Chicago Tribune also recently wrote about the same topic saying that women are the "indicator species" in urban cycling. As a population, women are more risk adverse, and they cycle more when they feel safe.  When I hear about friends and acquaintances getting hit by cars, I realize that Chicago still has a LONG way to go to make cycling safe for everyone.  The truth is that it can be very dangerous.  I've been doored, clipped, and ended up on the hood of the car, and it is terrifying.  To anyone that has been hit, Active Trans offers crash support Take care and be safe out there!

30 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear this! Get well soon, Gina!
    -Stephanie (from the Ladies who Bike)

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  2. Get well soon, Gina!

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  3. We wish you well from BikeCommuters.com and we're glad you're ok.

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  4. Sending lots of good vibes your way.

    -Becky

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  5. This is very sad. My thoughts are with her and I hope she has a speedy recovery.

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  6. This could have been any one of us - each time I ride I thank my lucky stars that I'm not hit but I know crashes happen all too frequently.

    Good luck Gina - all your fellow lady cyclists are thinking of you.

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  7. I wish you a speedy and complete recovery!

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  8. Gina! So sorry that you were hit. Make sure that when you feel up to it you contact Active Trans crash support center: http://www.activetrans.org/crashsupport

    They hold bi-monthly face to face meetings with others who have been hit and it could really help to bring you some peace.

    Also, if you haven't already, I cannot recommend enough that you contact Lawyer Jim. He is a staunch bike advocate and will fight hard for you.

    Have a speedy recovery and let us know if you need any deliveries or ice cream or cupcakes!

    -Ash (and your friends the Women Who Bike)

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  9. Gina I am so sorry to hear about you crash! Along with all the other Women Who Bike I send well wishes and hope you feel better soon! -April

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  10. hang in there Gina, we are all thinking about you. M

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  11. Gina! Ouch! I've been hit myself a few times, and I always flinch when I hear about someone getting hit.

    Get better soon, and get back on that fabulous bike. Remember, these things happen in life. Fall down nine times, get up ten.

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  12. Dear Gina,
    I ditto Ash's comments above and wish you a speedy recovery of body, mind and heart. I imagine you have suffered a huge loss on many levels.
    --Gin

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  13. Gina - I've been knocked about by cars while cycling badly enough to end up in the hospital 3 times. That's over the course of 50 years and all in the first 30.

    Interestingly I've had about the same number of hospitalizations from being IN the damn car. I've lost one cycling friend struck by a car, and several friends who were in the cars.

    Hang tough, get well and get back on the horse.

    Martha - Don't lose sight of what the problem is. The cars. More people walking and cycling are part of the solution. Go watch the movie Gandhi again before you decide about any changes in your efforts. Maybe the change needed is to intensify them, for while a few people may be hurt while cycling, if they don't they will surely be hurt by cars anyway.

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  14. I was riding a short distance behind her and saw her get hit. She had the light, but got caught by a car turning left. I have never seen anything like that, and hope never to again. I saw her bike break apart, and then saw her go flying. She hit the windshield and roof of the car and then bounced impossibly high and landed on the trunk of the car which sent her helmet flying. The police were there within 2 minutes and the ambulance in under 5. I was glad to see her looking as good as she was because I thought she was going to be dead. I think she is very lucky she landed on the car instead of the ground. I hope she recovers well and fast.

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  15. Gina-
    I hope that you are hanging in there. I remember the tough first days after getting hit by a car. I got hit long ago by two young Mormon gentleman who cut me off as they turned right into me without looking. Two days later they rang my Grandmother's doorbell Let's just say you didn't ever want to get told off by my Grandmother....
    You fellow womwn who bike are thinking of you- Jennifer

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  16. Re-evaluation is always a good thing. Not everyone should ride a bike for transport and some locations are just too dangerous for the indicator species, whatever it may be.
    Whatever you decide to do, I've enjoyed the stories and pictures.

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  17. Despite the tragedies that can occur while riding, we all must remember just how safe (statistically) riding a bike can be. As posted on the Ride of Silence FB page:

    A great blog post that gives great stats on how safe bicycling is compared to other activities; helps give some balance to the topic of bike safety which can oftentimes be quite alarming especially after tragic fatalities like we have all over the country (had 2 in the Detroit area just last week; both cyclists were practicing safe riding skills/ strategies too). (by T. Potter)
    http://overthebarsinmilwaukee.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/fear-mongers-be-gone-riding-a-bike-is-safe/

    I wish you a speedy recovery and hope to see you back out to enjoy the ride.

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  18. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughtful responses. Much appreciated!

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  19. Ugh, ugh, ugh! Poor Gina! Thank you, Martha for spreading awareness, as a fellow blogger myself I totally understand your pause. Please know we are so happy you to what you do. At least her accident has not been for naught.

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  20. Gina - I echo so many others sentiments when I say that I'm so sorry about your crash, and I that wish your the speediest and least painful of recoveries. We're all thinking about you and sending you our best vibes.

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  21. Thank you for posting this and doing your part to raise awareness about the safety issue. Being a biker myself I find it pretty sad that reading these stories doesn't surprise me. I nearly get hit every single time I ride. I live in Monterey CA where the majority drives, and badly I must say.

    I really hope the best for Gina, not only that she gets physically better but also that this incident doesn't stop her from being a biker in the future.

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  22. We wish Gina a speedy recovery.
    lem & friends

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  23. I have a titanium rod in my left leg (Tibia) from being T-Boned by a car.

    My best wishes and thoughts go out to ANYONE hit by a car, no matter how minor or major the injury!

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  24. Hi everyone,

    Gina wanted me to thank you for all of the well wishes. In spite of how bad it could have been, she is doing fine. She is due to go home from the hospital sometime today.

    She has a black eye and some broken bones (left shoulder, both big toes and another bone in her foot).

    I know it meant a lot to her to have all of your love and support. Please be careful out there!

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  25. Maybe you can take this as an opportunity to address bike safety here? Specifically, helmets, and how can we make them fashionable? It looks like about 90% of your photos feature women without helmets, and even if they do wear them normally, it gives the impression that helmets are not a part of daily biking or commuting. I have known too many people now who have cracked their helmets in accidents that I wear one every time, and I leave it on for photos, even if it looks dorkier. Bern helmets are perhaps the most fashionable, but Nutcases are so adorable. I would love to see all these pretty cycling ladies wearing helmets! Or at least...HOLDING the helmets in their hands while they pose?

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  26. Liz- I never ask someone to hide their helmet when I photograph them, and if they are wearing one, I always show it. That said, I do often find people that DON'T wear helmets. Maybe it is because I look for more fashionably dressed people, and might they tend to choose not to wear a helmet.

    I've always worn a helmet, but have considered it a personal choice that each person makes for themselves. I am totally willing to reconsider that.

    People put a lot of trust in me when they allow me (a complete stranger) to photograph them. I can't really turn around and criticize them for not wearing a helmet or allow commenters to berate them. That said, do think everyone should wear a helmet and I'll look for more helmet wearing people in the future.

    (oddly enough the next few people are helmetless)

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  27. After reading your post about dodging the car and now this story - how sad. Here's wishing Gina a speedy recovery. I broke an elbow many years ago, trying to avoid a car coming straight at me. It took me awhile to get back on my bike, but I did, slowly. It takes time to heal, but you will come back stronger.

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  28. Gina, I hope you are on the mend and feel better soon!

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  29. I just discovered your blog right now and came across this post. I agree with the "women cycle more when they feel safe"...I don't bike everywhere but have been biking more than I have been in the past. I am terrified of getting hit. My BF got hit last year and a former roommate of mine has gotten doored as well. Thanks for the link to the crash support site!

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