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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ontario Trails News - Cycling Safety

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A Blyth woman continues to recover in a London hospital after a crash in involving a car and a bike.
But for Julie Sawchuck, the life-changing injuries she suffered will not easily be overcome.
On July 29, the 41-year old was riding her triathlon style racing bike on Blyth Road, northeast of Goderich when it was clipped by a car from behind.   She is currently in a London hospital.
“I am paralyzed from the chest down. I have no feeling at all what so ever, can’t walk, can’t turn myself over in bed,” says Sawchuck. “The healing that has to happen is in the fracture in my back. They did surgery on that and fused my vertebrae together so T2 to T5 are fused with rods and screws.”
She suffered many other injuries to her head and face but says her brain is okay.
She has started physio.
Now she wants people to talk about how society can move towards better infrastructure for cyclists and better education for motorists.
“Maybe the county needs to have a designated riding route that all the shoulders are paved so we have at least an extra meter. To be riding on a county road and riding on the white line or just inside the white line and be passed really closely, there is nowhere for us to go.”
And she is also hoping a conversation will continue, not only about keeping an eye out for cyclists while driving, but being better when on the road.
“We got to slow down, we got to be mindful of what we’re doing when we’re doing it and focus on that one thing. When we are driving, we’re operating however many ton solid metal vehicle going 100 km/h.”
Sawchuck says she is overwhelmed by the messages she has received in support of the challenge ahead.

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