Biker Describes Accident, Recommends Safety During Bike Month

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- It's Bike Safety Month, which is a chance for drivers and bikers to talk about ways to be safe on the road. One local biker shares her recovery after her daily bike ride home turned into a trip to multiple hospitals.

The accident isn't stopping the James Madison University math professor from getting back onto her bike.

Dooring, which is where someone opens a door and a bicyclist runs into it, is not illegal in Virginia. However, it is a crime in other states.

It's caused a long journey of recovery for one family.

"And I flew over the door and over my bike, and landed on my head," said Rebecca Field.

Field's helmet cracked in the back after a person opened their car door hitting her as she rode by on South Mason Street in March. Field ended up with a concussion and a subdural hematoma.

"Haven't been able to teach, partially because I haven't been able to read, touch a computer, do math," said Field.

Now she goes on walks with her wife Anne and meditates per doctors' orders.

"When I first got home, I couldn't even wash dishes. because they confused me," said Field.

Anne Lorimer says getting the call about the accident was upsetting.

"Shock, but also feeling fairly confident in all the people around us," said Lorimer, who has supported Field through the recovery.

As a driver, Field said people need to be aware.

"Bicyclists also do need to know that not everyone in a car is going to be aware all the time. This was a ten year old kid. These things are going to happen," said Lorimer.

Eventually, Field said she'll approach biking differently.

"From now on I'm definitely going to ride in the middle of the lane," said Field.

Field hopes others won't get into accidents. She urges people to stay alert when they're driving and biking.

"Look back and see if there's a bicycle. Because in a lot of places the bike lanes are in fact right where people will open their doors," said Field.

Through it all, Field said she is also thankful the support of friends and co-workers. Field should be able to get back to teaching in the fall.


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