PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - The warnings are everywhere and yet collisions between cyclists and vehicles occur often on south Florida roads. The incidents can be deadly; but they can also serve as a life-saving lesson.
Every time Gerald Carroll hits the road to ride he doesn't expect to literally 'hit the road'. "I can actually recall being on the hood of the car," said Carroll of what happened last week in Tequesta. He was hit from behind by a car. "It was a very rude awakening to say the least," he said. "It's one of those moments you reflect back on and realize it could have been so much worse."
Carroll landed hard, sustaining road rash and two broken ribs. He was just thankful to be alive. "There is no doubt that anytime you get on a bicycle, that you increase the odds that you're going to have an accident," he said.
Proof of how quickly cycling can become dangerous unfolded on the Treasure Coast this week. Two cyclists were killed in two separate incidents.
Rudy Robaina, owner of Real Deal Bicycles in Jupiter says flashing lights, reflective clothing - and of course the helmet - are essentials for any serious cyclist. "I think when you increase the visibility, you are really cutting the odds down," said Robaina.
A banged up bike and body, Carroll is otherwise okay. When it comes to cyclists and motorists sharing the road safely, he knows now more than ever that it is a two-way street. "Cyclists are also guilty," he said. "I see a lot of cyclists who think they own the road and they don't."
On Saturday, Carroll will compete in the Loop the Lake for Literacy race. He had been planning to compete in the 115 mile race, but because of his recovery, he will race 68 miles instead.