A 54-year-old Californian set out Saturday for his regular bike ride. He knew the roads he would follow; he often takes the same route. When preparing to make a turn while heading downhill, he eased on the brakes. Suddenly his front wheel jarred and the rear tire jumped into the air.
A giant pothole, hidden in the white lettering warning of a nearby school crossing upended the man’s bicycle. The rider, clad in a safety helmet was thrown in the bicycle accident. The rider crashed to the pavement, shattering his collar bone. Several of the man’s ribs broke; his lung was punctured. Obviously the bicyclist suffered cuts and abrasions as he hit the pavement. Although he was wearing a safety helmet the man sustained a concussion in the accident.
Bicyclists in any part of California can face numerous hazards on the road. Passing vehicles often do not leave enough room and clip a bike rider, causing personal injury. Severe injuries, especially head injuries and broken bones, can lead to extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
The 54-year-old Petaluma bike rider is an avid outdoorsman and dreads the limitations his injuries may play in his ability to participate in outdoor activities. In Petaluma, the issue of potholes has received some notoriety. A 2010-2011 Grand Jury Report says an epidemic of potholes in the city is due, at least in part, to “staff reductions, due to budgetary priorities, [which] have left the city without the proper resources required to adequately maintain all city infrastructure.”
The outdoorsman’s bicycle accident was not the only one that occurred in Petaluma Saturday. A 52-year-old man was admitted to the same hospital with personal injuries from a second pothole-related bicycle crash occurring across town.
The city plans a bicycle and pedestrian safety campaign, which is expected to launch in October.
Source: Petaluma Argus Courier, “Bicyclist seriously injured when he hits big pothole,” John Jackson, Sept. 2, 2011