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Prayer Request for a Fellow 50+ Cyclist injured on Saturday's Ride

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Prayer Request for a Fellow 50+ Cyclist injured on Saturday's Ride

Old 08-24-10, 10:17 AM
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Prayer Request for a Fellow 50+ Cyclist injured on Saturday's Ride

See the details below. Several of us (BikeWNC, NealH, JPPE) did this event Saturday but were on a slightly different route as we did the 105 miler. It sounds like this could have happened to about anyone. I also feel for the organizers of this event as this was their first year and had taken every precaution imaginable. The route and scenery is absolutely incredible but the weather got so bad midway through the ride they had to discontinue the ride due to the heavy rain and fog on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There were a number of long climbs at 5%-7% grades and some quick downhills as well-it's the NC mountains so that is what you get. Unfortunately the organizers had more than a normal share of incidents to deal with but they had lots of volunteers, ham radio operators and emergency personnel around. I do hope Mr Williams recovers from his accident. I know he and his family will appreciate your thoughts and prayers!


Gaston Memorial worker fighting for life after cycling wreck
by Michael Barrett


A pursuit of a healthier lifestyle steered Gary Wayne Williams toward cycling 18 years ago.

But the Belmont man has also found a way to make all his pedaling pay off for others, by participating in bicycle rides to fight diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

“Dad is a very giving, caring person,” said Williams’ daughter, Charlene Williams Maiers of Bessemer City. “He donates money to different missions. He likes to ride to help with different charities.

“He just loves to help people in need.”

Williams who will turn 62 on Wednesday, is now fighting for his life in an Asheville hospital after being severely injured in a cycling accident Saturday afternoon. He has been in a coma since the incident in the trauma center at Mission Hospital in Asheville, where he was still in critical condition Monday.

A project manager for the last 23 years at Gaston Memorial Hospital, Williams was riding in the inaugural Blue Ridge Breakaway, a bicycle ride sponsored by the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce. He was on Stamey Cove Road near Waynesville and was close to completing the 66-mile course when he hit a rock or some gravel about noon or 1 p.m., causing him to wreck, according to Maiers.

Williams had been traveling at a high speed and was wearing a helmet, but he struck the asphalt face first. He suffered a severe injury to his left eye, a broken nose, a broken pelvis, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Surgeons had to remove part of his skull to account for swelling on the right side of his brain, Maiers said.

Living on two wheels

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce organized the Blue Ridge Breakaway to showcase the outdoors and cultural attractions of its region. Cyclists had four road courses to choose from Saturday, ranging from 24- to 105-miles long.

Williams arrived and registered Saturday morning for the challenging 66-mile route that took cyclists on a round-way trip from Lake Junaluska to Lake Logan, said chamber director CeCe Hipps. He was riding alone when the wreck occurred.

“There were no eye-witnesses to the accident,” said Hipps. “There was a cyclist who was coming up behind (Williams) and heard him go down. He immediately called 911.”

Emergency personnel who were stationed at intervals along the course immediately responded and transported Williams by ambulance to the hospital, she said.

Doc Bradshaw met Williams through cycling here years ago. They are part of a group of local cyclists who get together for long rides around Gaston County about four times a week. They also participate in charity events such as the MS 150, a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis research that takes riders from the Charlotte area to Myrtle Beach over two days each September.

Bradshaw said he was shocked to hear about the accident. Williams demonstrates an excellent sense of road awareness and is a good, strong bike rider, he said.

“He’s the kind of guy you don’t worry about riding alongside,” he said.
“He knows what he’s doing. He always would take the right line in a curve.”

A cyclist riding on a level plane can easily reach speeds of 20 mph to
25 mph. Going downhill can increase speed substantially, Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw said he has received concerned e-mails from numerous fellow cyclists in the last two days.

“When one of us gets hurt, we all feel it,” he said.

Asking for prayers

Maiers, the youngest of Williams’ two daughters, said her father has had a few minor cycling accidents before, but nothing serious.

Her father is a vegetarian who began cycling to lose weight and stay in shape, Maiers said.

“He’s a very health-conscious person,” she said.

Williams and his wife Gail have been married 42 years and have two children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, with a seventh on the way, Maiers said. The couple are longtime members of Belmont Church of God, where Williams has played drums for many years.

Maiers is in Asheville with other family members, but said she appreciates the support they are receiving from friends here. Nurses have told them to remain “cautiously hopeful” that Williams will survive.

“I would just like people to continue praying for him and know we really appreciate it,” she said. “We know the prayers are helping.”
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Old 08-24-10, 10:29 AM
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This is a very sad a sobering situation. I just hope that recovery will be possible.
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Old 08-24-10, 10:34 AM
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It is not clear what happened, although irrelevant to the need the OP identified, it will be interesting to understand what went wrong, flat tire, slick pavement, animal?
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Old 08-24-10, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
It is not clear what happened, although irrelevant to the need the OP identified, it will be interesting to understand what went wrong, flat tire, slick pavement, animal?
While there was no witness to the accident the information I'm getting from some others is he probably hit some gravel. I'm also guessing the road was very, very wet by then. I had very limited braking ability on the downhills after the rain when things got really wet--but I don't know if poor braking contributed to his accident or not.
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Old 08-24-10, 11:39 AM
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Most certainly in my prayers.
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Old 08-24-10, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
It is not clear what happened, although irrelevant to the need the OP identified, it will be interesting to understand what went wrong, flat tire, slick pavement, animal?
He was on Stamey Cove Road near Waynesville and was close to completing the 66-mile course when he hit a rock or some gravel about noon or 1 p.m., causing him to wreck, according to Maiers.

Williams had been traveling at a high speed and was wearing a helmet, but he struck the asphalt face first. He suffered a severe injury to his left eye, a broken nose, a broken pelvis, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Surgeons had to remove part of his skull to account for swelling on the right side of his brain, Maiers said.
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Old 08-24-10, 12:02 PM
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Spent a moment.. Lit a Candle and Incense... Prayed to who ever was listening.. Keeping him in my thoughts.
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Old 08-24-10, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
He was on Stamey Cove Road near Waynesville ...
See what I get for speed reading these things.
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Old 08-24-10, 12:13 PM
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Oh so sorry to hear. There were lot sof cycling accidents this weekend (I did an event on Saturday where 2 women were struck by a truck)... so please people be safe out there!

Mr. Williams and his family are definitely in my prayers. May God heal him and protect his love ones from tragedy.
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Old 08-24-10, 01:36 PM
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I hope he recovers well from his injuries. As hard as it rained, there could have been any kind of debris in the road. My thoughts are with him and his family.
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Old 08-24-10, 02:19 PM
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Praying......
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Old 08-24-10, 04:22 PM
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He's in my thoughts.
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Old 08-24-10, 04:53 PM
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Prayers for Mr. Williams.

I'm from the Asheville area and recently had a similar crash on a descent, though with less serious injuries. I was treated in the same hospital. He's in good hands and I hope he'll have a swift and complete recovery.
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Old 08-24-10, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
See what I get for speed reading these things.
Don't feel too bad I did the same thing just didn't post about it.

To the OP....I sure will pray for him. I hate to hear about stuff like this happening to cyclists. Just goes to show though that it can happen to anyone. Be careful out there.
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Old 08-24-10, 05:47 PM
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Prayers are on the way. North Carolina has been a very dangerous state to ride in the last couple of months. Their have been several deaths and serious injuries. Two deaths and a serious injury within 20 miles from my home in the last 5 weeks.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:44 PM
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Prayer offered and will continue.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:50 PM
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Prayers from us all

Prayers go out from my family to his.
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Old 08-25-10, 08:02 AM
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Absolutley will remember Mr Williams and his family
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Old 08-25-10, 08:45 PM
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My prayers and thoughts are with the williams family.
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Old 08-25-10, 09:02 PM
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jppe, any update on his condition?
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Old 08-25-10, 09:06 PM
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http://www.citizen-times.com/article...NEWS/308250042
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Old 08-25-10, 09:51 PM
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I will add my prayers to the others.
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Old 08-27-10, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
jppe, any update on his condition?
Unfortunately the news is not great. He was doing okay-at least remaining stable until last night. Apparently he now has a staph infection and has a fever and some lung/breathing issues. He had been responding to his wife and doctors by squeezing their hands. This morning he was not responsive. Let's hope he can fight off this infection but the medical team is not encouraged.
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Old 08-27-10, 04:21 PM
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jppe -
We will spin the prayer wheel here. Glad to know you're OK as well, was worried a bit as I read early ride reports. I'd given this ride a fair bit of thought, guess the cycling gods were looking out for me last weekend.
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Old 08-27-10, 04:55 PM
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Praying for him and his family
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