In what seems to be a never-ending stream of incidents involving motorists running down tandem teams, we learned via some friends whom we met at the Chattanooga Santana Rally this past May — Shirley & Dick D. — that another couple whom we’d first met and spent time riding with at the Santana Rally in Chattanooga, and who we met again at the Tandems East Tandem Rally in early July — Tom G. & Cheryl F. from Pennsylvania — were stuck by a car on Saturday!!!
Cutting to the chase here, let me note Tom was released from the hospital with minor injuries and has shared some notes with me and Cheryl is in the hospital, but with “only” fractures in her pelvis and stitches in her left elbow. Bad enough, but thankfully no worse than that and already starting physical therapy.
Cheryl had just “friended me” on Facebook this past Friday and I’d finally had a minute to write back this morning, not knowing about the incident. Then, lo and behold, this morning Shirley D. posted a comment to my recent Blog entries on the Wisconsin couple’s tragic encounter with a car to let me know that, “Tom & Cheryl were also hit yesterday on their tandem!!” As Shirley noted, both Debbie and I felt sick to hear that yet another tandem team had been hit, only more so and at such a more personal level than before since they were friends!
From Tom we learned a little bit more today. It seems they were rear-ended by an 83-year old motorist on Saturday and stuck hard enough that their tandem’s rear wheel was destroyed (the crumple-zone, as Tom called it), the rear triangle was damaged, and the front-end of the car that hit them had also been damaged. Although Tom did not get into any details regarding his injuries, he noted he’d been discharged while Cheryl remained hospitalized and was starting physical therapy to deal with a fractured pelvis and was also sporting stitches in her left elbow.
Tom and Cheryl are rugged individuals, to say the least, and Tom’s sense of humor seems to be in fine shape as he remains positive and never misses a chance to interject a little humor or light heartedness into our correspondence. Ironically, they had apparently been discussing the recent incidents involving tandems being run down by motorists shortly before they were hit, which is one of those bothersome things that always makes me think twice about karma and all. For that reason, I’m not even going to discuss my own encounters with cars or list the other friends who have been struck by cars while tandeming or cycling other than to note it’s far too many.
We only wish we were closer so we could be of some help. Morale support is all well and good, but it won’t get groceries or give anyone a ride anywhere, so we’re feeling a little helpless but are confident Tom & Cheryl have a very good support system with family and friends back at home. Fingers crossed that both of our friends will have speedy and full recoveries in short order and that “the system” will make them whole on all fronts.
Again, we’re just thankful that we’re able to correspond with Tom and to hear that he and Cheryl are already leaning on their doctor to find out when he thinks Cheryl will be able to resume cycling! Like I said, rugged individuals.