The words no bike-ride director wants to hear

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Amber Travsky is the ride director for Tour de Wyoming, an annual week-long mass bicycle tour that for 18 years has ushered cyclists around the Cowboy State.

Bicyclist in 2014 Tour de Wyoming

Bicyclist in 2014 Tour de Wyoming

During this year’s tour of the Wind River Mountains, Travsky heard the words that no ride director wants to hear:

“Amber, someone’s been hit.”

She writes about the collision and the aftermath in her outdoor column at the Laramie Boomerang — “Tour de Wyoming has its first cyclist/vehicle crash.”

The victim, Karen Beshara of Boise, ID, is now recovering at home after spending weeks at the University of Utah. Her friends and family are donating items for a silent auction on her behalf on Sept. 3. A short ride to show support for her recovery is also scheduled on that date. More details at the Karen Beshara support website.

Travsky was checking out the shower facilities at that night’s host high school when she got the news. She learned that the collision occurred at a rest stop where the cyclist had turned left in front of a pickup truck. The motorist swerved and missed her, but she got clipped by the trailer-camper the pickup was towing.

Among the crowd of cyclists at the rest stop were an emergency room physician from California and an emergency room nurse from Laramie. They witnessed the crash and began attending to Beshara immediately.

Travsky explains her role in reminding cyclists to be safe during the tour and concludes:

“In the case of our first accident involving a motorist, it appears the driver did everything right and was not at fault. The cyclist made a terrible error and she’s paying for it dearly. Such is the world of cycling, where — no matter who is at fault — the cyclist is the big loser. We all need to make safety our top priority — rather than the desire to get to our destinations as quickly as possible.”

Although not all bike rides will encounter highway rumble strips or cattle guards, the Tour de Wyoming safety video below has suggestions that apply to all rides.

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