There are some who might have thought that Colleen Kelly Alexander, after getting run over by a freight truck last October while she was riding her bike at the intersection of Boston Post Road and Neck Road in Madison, would never want to ride again.
They would be wrong. After flat-lining twice after the accident, being brought back to life, and enduring a year-long process of recovery that has involved multiple painful and frightening surgeries, she is back riding. As time and her recovery allows, she's also advocating for bike safety, encouraging bike riders to wear bike helmets, and talking with law enforcement officials in Madison about ways to improve conditions for bikers and walkers on the road. She's also been tapped as a spokesperson to encourage people to give blood and is talking with emergency responders in town about how she might support them. This, all while the area's top surgeons are piecing her back together, with one excruciating surgery after another.
She says she'll never forget her first day back on a bike, an adaptive bike she used while undergoing physical rehabilitation at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, which is based in Wallingford, CT.
Colleen is so thankful for that bike, and for the care she received at Gaylord, that she is giving back in yet another way, by helping Gaylord put on its first annual Cycling Tour.
The tour will raise money to help Gaylord Specialty Healthcare patients. Specifically, Colleen would like to raise enough money to pay for four adaptive bikes. Costing around $3,000 each, these bikes can be used by people with many different kinds of disabilities to ride bike paths, trails, and road.
The Cycling Tour will happen October 20 will take place at the Farmington Canal Linear Trail in Simsbury beginning at 8:00 a.m. The event is a tour, not a race. It will start at Chubb Insurance, at 82 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, CT and is designed so that everyone can have fun while helping to raise funds for this great cause.
Writer and Editor Pem McNerney's note: I'm guessing that the anniversary of the accident is not going to be an easy day for Colleen, who is not only a role model for me but now also a friend. I'm going to honor her that day by signing up for this ride. I hope you'll consider doing so as well.
How to register:
Here is the information from Gaylord Specialty Healthcare Sports Association website about how to register:
2012 Gaylord Hospital Sports Association Cycling Tour
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Farmington Canal Linear Trail
Simsbury, CT 06070
Enjoy the fall foliage with a cycling tour along the Farmington Canal Linear Trail and help the Sports Association at Gaylord Hospital continue to bring quality adaptive sports programming to people with physical disabilities. Proceeds from this event will help purchase adaptive bikes for the Gaylord Sports Association. Choose from the 10-mile ride ($50), 25-mile ride ($100) or 50-mile ride ($100). Registration deadline: October 18, 2012. Register at: http://www.active.com/cycling/simsbury-ct/sports-association-of-gaylord-hospital-cycling-tour-2012