A 66-year-old Andover cyclist remains in Brigham & Women’s Hospital after being thrown from his bike during a lengthy ride Sunday, Sept. 2.
Now friends are hoping the best for injured cyclist Roger Smith.
Potential trouble is a given for any serious cyclist, as riders must negotiate dangerous car traffic, blind driveways and sunlight, said Ken Shapiro of Andover, who witnessed the accident.
“With a bike, it’s a given that you will have an incident...we all talk about it,” he said.
Smith and Shapiro and two other cyclists from Andover met at 6:30 a.m. in town and headed out for a ride last Sunday, Shapiro said.
In Ipswich, about 20 miles into the group’s bike ride, Smith, 66, of Wildwood Road, was seriously hurt as his front bike wheel hit Shapiro’s back bike wheel, Shapiro said. The bikes were going 22 to 23 m.p.h. when the accident happened, Shapiro said.
Ipswich police reported the accident happened on Topsfield Road at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Smith was medlfighted from the grounds of the former Cable Hospital in Ipswich to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Smith was listed in fair condition on Tuesday afternoon.
The properly helmeted Smith was thrown from his bike and suffered severe head trauma and other injuries, including a broken forearm, according to police.
“One minute we’re riding down the road towards Ipswich on a beautiful Labor Day weekend, the next minute became pure chaos with 911 calls, police and fire rescue units and a Med Flight into Boston,” Shapiro said. “It happened so fast. Those few moments have changed so much.”
Shapiro also lives on Wildwood Road and is a neighbor and a friend of Smith.
“Roger has ridden some 4,000 miles (on his bike) this year and this was just one misstep...just one incident,” Shapiro said.
Smith, who is married to Susan Smith and has two daughters, is described as a fitness buff and quick with a witty remark and a big smile, Shapiro said.
“He’s a regular at the Y and rides about 200 to 250 miles a week on his bike. He’s strong, real strong. Those of us that ride with him regularly call him ‘Roger, the rocket,’” Shapiro said.
Andover’s cycling community along with friends and neighbors have started a website for carpools to the hospital for visits. Chores and meals are being assigned to help the Smith family.
“Roger has it pretty bad right now. But he’s strong. We’re thinking positive thoughts toward his recovery,” Shapiro said.