With a positive attitude and an amazing support system of family and friends, Dale Stetina is riding again. It was nearly a year ago that a driver of an SUV crossed the center lane of a two-lane canyon road causing Stetina to lose control of his bicycle, propel over the handlebars and slam onto the road. Despite wearing a helmet, he suffered brain damage along with severe face and eye injuries.
As anyone who's been in a severe accident on the bike (especially one involving a vehicle) can attest, recovery can be a l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g, slow, frustrating, challenge. But this professional cyclist didn't make it to the Olympics (and inducted into the Bicycling Hall of Fame) by shying away from challenges.
Donald Hobbs (close friend of Stetina) sent us this update of a recent ride:
Dale continues to improve his strength, coordination and fitness, and is increasingly engaged in diverse life activities. The long and challenging rehab continues, but the improvements are amazing in the nearly eleven months since the vehicle-caused crash on the descent from Ward.
Dale Stetina's (United Healthcare jersey) friends and frequent tandem riding buddies were joined by cycling luminaries and former teammates or competitors Clark Sheehan (far left, white jersey), Hugh Walton (Ag2R jersey), Thomas Prehn (center, Peaks Group jersey), Doug Smith Fitch (yellow jersey, he piloted the tandem this time) and Andy Hampsten (dark mb riding shorts).
[Editor's note] When Donald says, "long and challenging" he means it. To give you an idea of just how long and challenging this process has been, check out the time frame alone from the articles below that we've posted on Dale's crash.
- Dale Stetina in Accident, Aug 2013
- Dale's Update, Oct 2013
- Driver Ticketed from Crash, Nov 2013
- Dale Stetina Returns to the bike, Feb 2014
We are so happy to hear that Dale is rolling again. Thanks to Donald Hobbs and the Stetina family for keeping us updated. You can follow Dale's ongoing progress on Twitter. Happy, healing thoughts your way, Dale. From the entire 303 community and beyond.