Appalachian cyclist hurt while on team ride Saturday in Wilkes - journalpatriot: News
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Appalachian cyclist hurt while on team ride Saturday in Wilkes

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Posted: Monday, January 30, 2012 4:28 pm

A member of Appalachian State University’s cycling team was treated and released Saturday at Wilkes Regional Medical Center’s emergency room after an accident on Champion Road in the Mount Pleasant community.

Craig Stewart of Raleigh was among about 35 members of ASU’s cycling team that had just started an 80-mile training ride on Wilkes County’s backroads when his bike struck a pit bull dog that ran onto the roadway, said another member of the team.

The front wheel of Stewart’s bike hit the dog square on, causing him to flip over the handle bars while traveling about 33 mph.

A Wilkes EMS spokesman said Stewart was bruised and scraped but wasn’t seriously hurt. His helmet was cracked.

Two other cyclists also went down but had even less serious injuries.

Wilkes EMS Director Gregg Hendren said Wilkes EMS responds to several bicycle accidents every year.

Hendren said many of the accidents occur in the Brushy Mountains, often when cyclists lose control on gravel.

According to the Watauga Democrat newspaper in Boone, the president of ASU’s cycling team was hospitalized with a concussion after being struck by a pickup while riding about 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24 on Poplar Grove Road in Boone and headed toward campus to meeting other cyclists.

The pickup, operated by Charles William Farthing, 56, was turning into an entrance of Appalachian Heights apartments from the opposite lane when King’s  bike struck it and he was ejected, stated an ASU security report.

King was flown to Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee. The Watauga Democrat quoted another team officer as saying King is expected to fully recover and be released from the hospital this week.

Farthing was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The Watauga Democrat reported that Lees-McRae College cycling team member Mike Rozelle was bruised in a hit and run accident involving a Subaru Legacy on Jan. 20. The Subaru swerved across the center line of Hickory Nut Gap Road in Banner Elk and hit Rozelle.

On Dec. 15, Lees-McRae freshman cycling team member Megan Baab was killed when hit by a pickup driven by an ASU student while training on U.S. 221. The driver was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

On July 8, Dr. Erik Lie-Nielsen of Winston-Salem died when his bicycle crashed into an oncoming vehicle in the Grizzly Bike Ride, whch is part of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

In January 2011, Lees-McRae Cycling Team senior Carla Swart died after she was struck by a truck while training in her native South Africa. 

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