It is inspiring when we get to read about, or even experience the kindness of strangers, but even better when you live in the city and are able to experience that kindness firsthand by someone who shares your passions. In Omaha, cycling has become a passion shared by many, and the City of Omaha has taken that passion seriously, especially in recent years as new bike lanes have been added to give cyclists even more opportunities to stay healthy and enjoy their passion. Unfortunately, cyclists still must use the street system for commuting, accessing the trails, recreational trips and other purposes.
On May 20, 2013, Thomas Burbach was using the street system on “L” Street to train for RAGBRAI, the annual bike ride across Iowa, when he was struck by a car, which immediately sped away. Thankfully, he survived, despite massive injuries and complications from those injuries and is grateful to a fellow cyclist, Marshall Stewart, for stopping to render aid. Mr. Stewart called 911, issued emergency first aid to prevent shock and distracted him from pain while they waited for an ambulance. But Stewart wasn’t the only cyclist to come to Burbach’s aid after his hit-and-run. The local cycling community has offered support and donations to help with his medical bills.
As much as the City of Omaha has progressed and decreased the number of bicycle-vehicle crashes since the 1990s, there are still around 250 per year. According to Craig Kelley, co-founder of the Dundee Chain Gang Cycling Club and accident attorney, the new bicycle lanes in Omaha offer more room for bicyclists, but care and attention is still a priority for motorists in order to avoid accidents such as Mr. Burbach’s.
Inserra & Kelley wishes Mr. Burbach a quick and complete recovery!