HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A number of bicycle wrecks have been in headlines — and the Tennessee Valley’s cyclist community is saying enough is enough. More than 200 cyclists are set to ride through Redstone Arsenal on Wednesday, September 17.
“It’s an ongoing issue in our community, bicyclists and motorists need to figure out how to share the roads,” said Tony Osani, vice president of the Team Rocket Tri Club.
The bike ride hopes to help make that happen. The Team Rocket Tri Club is sponsoring and providing insurance for participants in support of their fellow triathletes.
“We are the host for the event. Two of our club members, Jennifer Carroll and Joanna Whisenant, were involved in an accident where they were hit by a vehicle.”
The ride is an effort to promote road safety for bikes and cars alike. With registered cyclists aged 2-80, everything down to possible flat tires has been covered. Bicycle Cove is providing Support and Gear (SAG) for riders.
Both women injured in that wreck plan to be at Wednesday’s ride, even though only one of them is capable of getting on a bike.
“Maybe this’ll help bring some understanding to both of us, the motorists and the cyclists, that we need to work together,” said Joanna Whisenant, the other cyclist in the summer wreck at Redstone Arsenal.
Whisenant will lead the 10-mile ride while Carroll will attend for support.
“She’s still in the hospital and will probably be in rehabilitation for the next three to six months,” explained Suzanne Taylor, owner of Fleet Feet in Huntsville.
“By law, we’re not allowed on sidewalks and I think that’s a big misconception in north Alabama,” said Pierson. “We are not just cyclists that slow you down on your way to work. We are people. We are Sunday school teachers. We are business owners in the community. We’re your neighbor next door.”
Support for the event goes beyond its participants, shirts for sale at Fleet Feet go toward medical expenses for one of the victims of the wreck.
“We ordered 225 shirts to sell to help raise money for medical expenses and we just have a handful left,” said Taylor.
Fleet Feet donated the cost of printing the shirts — so ALL of the money will help Jennifer Carroll on her road to recovery.
“I’m really excited for Jennifer that she’s going to have some of the burden taken off of her,” said Whisenant.
Taylor says she didn’t think twice about the fundraiser because cyclists, runners, and motorists alike need to be better at keeping everyone safe on the roads.
Wheels will begin to roll at 5:30 Wednesday evening. Registration for the ride closed Sunday for Redstone Arsenal security reasons — but the public is invited to support the cause by purchasing the Share The Road shirts.