GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A local cycling advocate is recovering after being hit by a car on Nov. 21.
Steven Hardy-Braz is well-known throughout the community for his efforts to organize rides and memorials for cyclists killed on the roads. He’s recovering at Vidant Rehab Center and expects to be there for a couple more weeks.
“Ninety-nine percent of the time, all motorists pass me just fine,” said Hardy-Braz.
This time, that wasn’t the case for him. Like he often does, the cyclist was riding his bike home from Greenville on Hwy. 264 Alternate.
“As I’m riding along, I hear a loud bang and then I’m hitting the ground,” he said. “I was flipped up over a car and then I’m in the asphalt and dirt in a great deal of pain.”
A woman hit Hardy-Braz with her car. It’s a fear he’s always had in the back of his mind, but never imagined would happen to him.
“I don’t know if I’ll have the confidence to go riding again,” he said. “There’s a lot of difficulty with that. Plus a destroyed bike.”
Hardy-Braz spent two days in the emergency room and two days in the surgical trauma room. He has several scrapes and bruises and a fracture in his spine. He said there’s also some significant damage to his hip and pelvis, as well as possible brain damage.
“What’s going through my head is, this is maybe changing my life, changing my careers, the impact on my family, my finances,” said Hardy-Braz.
After dedicating much of his life to rally for safer roads, he said he’s ready now more than ever to continue his advocacy efforts.
“I’m going to be a much more passionate advocate because I can speak from personal experience much more now and it’s lit a fire under me to push for more,” he said.
Now, Hardy-Braz is looking forward.
“Healing, getting out of the hospital, going home to be with my wife and kids, my wife’s cooking at home,” he said. “Maybe someday riding again. I don’t know when that will happen.”
There will be a community bike ride to honor Hardy-Braz on Saturday. Cyclists will ride from the Greenville Bicycle Company to Vidant Medical Center at 3:00 p.m.