Leader of Fort Lauderdale Critical Mass Hurt in Bicycling Accident

Categories: Broward

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When Adam Sohn came upon an accident scene on Oakland Park Boulevard yesterday afternoon, he saw a messed-up bicycle and an injured man on the ground. He took a few pictures and posted them to the Facebook page for Fort Lauderdale Critical Mass -- a movement of cyclists who get together for a group bike ride once a month in protest of car culture and in celebration of bikes.

It was only after he posted it that he realized: The injured man was Critical Mass ride leader Ray Strack.

(Well, technically, Critical Mass is "leaderless," but he's usually the guy in front setting the route at the rides.)

Sohn, who has met Strack at rides but doesn't know him well, said in an email:

I came upon accident a few minutes after it happened before the emergency services arrived. I wanted to take an image and more importantly also wanted to stay out of everybody's way as the group looked like they were doing a good job tending to him and the emergency vehicles were still not at the scene. I didn't know it was Ray until after I posted the image to the Fort Lauderdale Critical Mass Facebook page. One man was holding the towels to his head stopping the blood. Ray was wringing with pain and he looked conscious. Other members of the group of people around him were calming him. It looked like a couple people were trying to prevent him from moving around which in hind sight was the very right thing to do because according to a Facebook post he suffered a back injury.

Strack was taken to the emergency room, where he was treated for fracture of the T9 vertebrae in his back and several deep cuts in his head. He had several staples and stitches put in his head.

Strack's daughter Emily Denise-Mairéad Strack told New Times that he had been going westbound on the bridge "when he was hit from behind. The driver was a young man around 20; my dad said he didn't even sense any danger. He blacked out, doesn't remember anything. He's in pain but in good spirits." She said he would remain in the hospital for a few days.

Emily told supporters on Facebook: "The first thing he said to me was, 'I'm pretty fucked up, huh?' So his sense of humor is intact... unluckily they had to shave off part of his signature long hair... He's not too happy about that. Your love & support is amazing. Thank you all. He can feel all the positive vibes! Wear your helmet, it saved his life!"

Bike advocacy group the Green Mobility Network has called South Florida "one of the most dangerous places in the country for bicyclists and pedestrians."

We're getting the police report and will have more on this in the coming days.

Send story tips to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com



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34 comments
rredd
rredd

Here's a thought:  Motorists pay for road with use taxes.  mostly by fuel.


Since bikes are vehicles how are they paying for the roads they use?  (AFAIK, they don't).


Add a ROAD tax to all bike sales to fund the future bike lanes.  (or mandate bike license fees)


-pretty simple, you want to have bike lanes on roads,  then bikers need to pay for the bike lanes. 



so far, I think the bike riders are getting a free pass... - correct me if I'm wrong here.


PS: hope the rider recovers....   was he wearing a helmet?

azizaperi
azizaperi

Monday through Friday, with the exception of those days it rains, I am cut off by unyielding drivers making a right onto Broward Blvd from NW 15 Ave. No matter how I make myself noticeable, people just want to rush through that light. This happens around 5:00 pm when people cut through Dorsey Riverbend to bypass Broward Blvd to get to I95. Since the police dept is right there, there is a CONSTANT flow of police officers exiting the police station and heading west. Not once in six years have I seen an officer stop a driver for not yielding to me crossing Broward Blvd; not to mention the women with baby carriages, adults and other kids crossing Broward Blvd. Thank God I wasn't injured badly when I was hit while attempting to cross a couple months ago. I never cross unless I have the walk sign.

Maybe it's because it's in a predominantly black neighborhood. Maybe the cops just don't give a shit. Maybe someone has to be killed.

Whatever the reason, there are too many cops at that intersection and across the street at the Dunkin Donuts for them not to notice.

мирса алэманй
мирса алэманй

here is the reaction of one local driver, but many are like this person, uneducated in road rules, and callous in regards to others. Most people will avoid pot holes, and debris in the road if they are paying attention. It really is the most minimal thing that a driver should hold most important, watch the road in front of you, avoid collisions with the living as well as inanimate objects.

мирса алэманй
мирса алэманй

likely the guy that plowed into him is reconsidering how well he pays attention to what’s in front of him.

Chris Schaaff
Chris Schaaff

I bet he's got a critical mass situation going on right now

virgin
virgin

 Its not one of the most dangerous places, it is the most dangerous place for pedestrians and cyclist. A cyclist is killed every 70 hours in FL. Between the lack of enforcement by the FLPD and a unyielding FDOT to do anything for cyclist it's no wonder. FDOT is refusing to put in bike lanes on Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale because they said if they put them in a cyclist might ride in the wrong direction. You can contact FDOT'S southeast  director and ask him for yourself.


Jim Wolfe

3400 West Commercial Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309 
(954) 777-4110

мирса алэманй
мирса алэманй

This was Ray, one person, not the once monthly “Critical Mass” ride that he happens to take part in. The author mentioned his participation, but it has nothing to do with the collision. Ray isn’t the sort of person that brake checks, he’s an older, mature, experienced cyclist that has ridden around the world. He was traveling East on Oakland as anyone does to get across to A1A, the person driving behind him changed lanes, then the man driving the Mazda behind that car plowed into Ray without even having looked for traffic, if he had, he’d have seen Ray and likely not hit him.

Sam Smith
Sam Smith

I hope he is ok. Yes CM uses in your face tactics, but that is the whole point to bring attention to the lack of bike and pedi infrastructure. Florida is a very dangerous place for both.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Is this a case of bike rider brake checks a vehicle and pays dearly for it? If not the car driver was in the wrong either aggressively following or simply not paying attention. If it is the "brake check" version then he deserves his injury for being a douche... Hopefully that isn't the case because those types of riders give you good riders a bad name.

Lorraine Saunders
Lorraine Saunders

That was a really rude comment. Unneccessary considering the person was seriously injured. No matter how you may feel you can opt to keep it classy and keep your opinion to yourself.

Henry Chris Larsen
Henry Chris Larsen

All my experiences with critical mass has done nothing but prove what assholes they are.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

So THATS why there has been people riding bikes in the middle of the road..you would think they would have learned thats a bad idea back when they were kids.

Evan Snow
Evan Snow

Damn hope everyones alright Juan Mayra

Alex Johnson
Alex Johnson

There doesnt seem to be a bike lane. I notice that when the City of Fort Lauderdale replaces the Sunrise bridge over the middle river, they are not going to put in a bike lane there either.

thedogatehim2
thedogatehim2

@rredd everyone pays taxes, and most cyclist are also car drivers as well as motorcycle drivers as I am.


He always wears a helmet as well as constantly lecture those that don’t, even though wearing a helmet is a personal choice and would not have prevented his t9 from being broken in the collision.

thedogatehim2
thedogatehim2

@azizaperi Right on, it’s all about enforcement and education. If it’s revenue the need and want they’ll get it if they only start pulling over and applying fines to dangerous drivers, but somehow seat belts and parking tickets deserve more attention… (?) Ride safe.

virgin
virgin

@smdrpepper Bikes are riding in the middle of the lane because they are considered vehicles by law in Florida. That is where they are supposed to be. Good thing you posted now you have learned something. 

thedogatehim2
thedogatehim2

@smdrpepper People ride in the road because that is how you get from point a to b. A bad idea is driving when you are incapable of doing so safely without harming living creatures and hitting other objects.

virgin
virgin

It's not the city its FDOT they said there are no bike lanes near the bridge.The bike lane ends at the bridge. There excuse for not putting bike lanes on Sunrise is a cyclist may ride in the wrong direction. Another excuse is too many cars to put in bike lanes. There reason for not putting bike plates on the Las Olas bridge noise for the waterfront homes nearby. Call Jim Wolf FDOT and ask him (954) 777-4110

redd
redd

@thedogatehim2

fwiw, I drive a hybrid, and I know FDOT is having a funding problem as cars become more efficient (and more people switch over to hybrid / EV vehicles).

many states DOT's are considering going to a pay to play or mileage tax based on how much you drive (in fla that will be a problem since there are no inspections to collect the mileages).

What I am saying, is Bike lane are paid out of Motor Vehicle taxes, and not from the users of the bike lanes (bike riders).

if there was a tax on bikes, and that was the source of funding for these lanes, we would have a better say on how the money is spent.

-currently Bike riders are benefiting  from generosity of FDOT, and others that fund FDOT.



 

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

@virgin@smdrpepperUmm, no.  Bikes are supposed to be as close to the curb as possible riding against traffic.  How is it that you people do not know this?  I was taught this as a child.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

@thedogatehim2@smdrpepperThis reminds me of the original Karate Kid.."Go left side, safe..Right side, safe..In the middle, squished just like grape."

thedogatehim2
thedogatehim2

@smdrpepper @virgin you respond as if driving within the limit, watching the road for other people and hazards, and the ability to change lanes and slow down are not reasonable. This is why collisions occur, not because there are people and other cars there, but from the carelessness and inability to handle a vehicle.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

@virgin@smdrpepperIt bloody common sense!  A car can only drive on certain areas and your bike should not be on those areas because you are asking to be hit.  Damn, now I know why Florida is so damned moronic.

virgin
virgin

@smdrpepper @virgin Was it to difficult to read? I don't tell you where to drive your vehicle don't tell me where to ride mine. I obey the law. You should try it or do you just like to argue. 

smdrpepper
smdrpepper topcommenter

@virgin@smdrpepperYou cannot be that daft.  Its common sense, if you go run out into the middle of the street your going to be hit.  Your argument is you can walk onto an active gun range and you would be all upset when you get shot.  Use your head if your on a bike, DONT ride it out in the middle of the street.  The consequence of your actions is on YOU, not the drivers.

thedogatehim2
thedogatehim2

@smdrpepper @virgin  ok, I get it now, you’re just one more person who doesn’t know the law. Most people were raised like that too. Next time you take your driving test check it out, or look it up now. Most people are disinterested in knowing what’s safe, and within the law. They “feel” safe in their cars, so other people are unimportant. 


http://flbikelaw.org

thedogatehim2
thedogatehim2

@smdrpepper would you argue that that it is the inattentiveness and lack of care on behalf of the driver that brought about the accident? You can walk or cycle on the sidewalk and still be hit by drivers that are careless or incompetent.

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