Neile Weissman

25 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

While I was on vacation last week, Neile sent me an e-mail asking if I wanted to ride with him this coming Saturday. I left some messages for him, and today I found out that he's in the hospital after having an accident on Friday. I was so stunned at the news that I forgot to get info as to where he is being treated. I will attempt to get more info, but if anyone knows what's going on with Neile, please post or e-mail me.


Anonymous's picture
Alfredo Garcia (not verified)
sorry to hear


I've seen Neile several weeks ago, at the 23rd St. Tekserve Store (sells Apple computers & Ipods), in Manhattan. He gave several NYCC, 5BBC, TA and Recycle a Bicycle notables nice club riding jerseys. He showed off his new bike--a recumbent that he put together.

Before thanking him for the jersey (it looked great on my Lincoln Tunnel ride last Sat. nite) and saying goodbye at Tekserve, I wished him good luck on his new cycling endeavor with brevet rides.

Hope he's okay,

Anonymous's picture
Ron Thomson (not verified)

"I was also shocked to hear of Neile's accident. I work with Neile but had been away for a long weekend doing the Mt. Equinox hill climb and playing some golf. I went directly to San Francisco for the Apple developers conference and did not stop at Tekserve. When I arrived at JFK and met my fellow workers they told me that Neile had been in a serious accident.
He is in Bellvue (emergency ward #8).
He went head first over the handlebars of his bike, broke a bone in his vertebrae and had a ""contusion"" on his spinal cord. He was of course wearing a helmet. He was very fortunate that the accident occurred near Bellevue and a doctor from Bellevue who was walking by was the first to reach him.

Anonymous's picture
Rob Marcus (not verified)

"Wow, Neile is one of the Greatest leaders I have known.
I am amazed, actually always amazed at his ""MAC"" like brain that can rattle off biking directions as if he was a computer.

NEILE, Ya better get better soon, who else will lead us on a killer ""NO CUE SHEET"" ride when it's 15 degrees in the dead of winter on a Sunday morning.

You Da MAN Neile


Anonymous's picture
Kay Gunn (not verified)
Neile's the best

He rode his new recumbent on my Sergeantsville B ride on 7/29. My co-leader was sick and couldn't make it, so Neile stepped in and pulled for almost half of the ride.

My best to him. Please keep us updated on his condition.

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
How did it happen?

The injury sounds serious. How did it happen? Car? Pot hole?

Anonymous's picture
Nick (not verified)

According to the hospital, Neile was discharged on the 11th of August. Can anyone else verify this?

Anonymous's picture
Ron Thomson (not verified)

moved to Rusk rehabilitation building at NYU Medical Center.

Anonymous's picture
Susan Rodetis (not verified)
Is Neile in Bellevue still and can he receive calls/visitors?

Does anyone know his whereabouts and ability to receive contacts?


Anonymous's picture
Danny Lieberman (not verified)
Neile doesnt want visitors

Susan - I just spoke with Neile (he called me), and he asks that people not visit at this time.
He also emphasized that he wants no cards or flowers or candy!! (I should have offered books!!)

He thinks he will be there for 3-6 weeks and will let
us know about visiting in a few days. But he was emphatic no visitors at this time!


Anonymous's picture
Kay Gunn (not verified)

I thought that might be the case. I imagine I'd want to be left alone for awhile too.

I called Bellevue and got a number for him, but I'm reluctant to call.

I suppose the best thing to do is to send a card and maybe a book/magazines. If you know his tastes for literature, please let us know.

Anonymous's picture
Kim Jenkins (not verified)

"I saw Neile this morning and he is in good spirits. He was on his way for an xray to help determine the damage to his neck (he was in a collar). He has feeling in his arms and legs but also indicated he has some ""tingling"".

As previously posted, he wasn't up for visitors."

Anonymous's picture
Gary McGraime (not verified)
Get Well

Wow, I've been out of town and never thanked Neile for my Tekserve bike jersey.

If you read this Neile, thank you the jersey and your generousity in promoting cycling.

PS I luv the new intel macbook pro you configured.... it really screams....oops, maybe I should use another word.

But seriously, get well soon.

Anonymous's picture
Bob Mirell (not verified)


I know you'll read this at some point and just wanted to wish you a speedy recovery and looking forward to riding with you again.

With your attention to detail and the professional way you approach cycling, it was a pleasure riding with you on the A-19 SIG this past season.

All my best.

Anonymous's picture
Hindy and Irv Schachter (not verified)

We wish you a speedy recovery.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Neile goes home from the hospital tomorrow, Thurs., 8/17

He describes himself as very lucky--and it seems he is. In short: no paralysis.

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)

"""He describes himself as very lucky""

I was quite worried reading this thread for the past few days. I witnessed an accident of a buddy years ago. A ""bruised"" spinal cord could have been very much worse. My friend was not able to bike any more.

I'm so glad Neile come off well. I'll sure be glad to see him on the road again."

Anonymous's picture
Ron Thomson (not verified)

spoke to Neile today. He's home and doing well.
He still requests no calls, cards or visits.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Warning: a good ending, but scary getting there ...


I've been holding off writing about this, but I've been getting a number of inquiries so I thought I'd finally go public.

Hopefully, the exercise will prove instructive, not voyeuristic.



The accident happened on Friday, 8/4, a little before noon, on 18th Street & 3rd Avenue. I was transporting my bike to work, prior to training out to western NJ that night for a 200K RUSA ride Saturday.

Stupidly, I carried a plastic bag with a change of clothes in my left hand -- which caught in the front spokes. The front wheel locked and I went over handlebars. Landed on my back and then flopped over onto my stomach. There was no loss of consciousness, but I quickly realized I could not feel or move anything below the the neck (ie; full quadriplegia).

Per Ed Fishkin's class, I started screaming ""Don't Move Me!"", to prevent making a hopefully temporary situation permanent. Remarkably, a doctor on staff at Bellevue happened to be walking by and took charge of the situation; getting my info and calling the EMS/Police. Reports to the contrary notwithstanding, the police's first questions were if I was hit by a vehicle. They also offered to take my bike over to my workplace.

In fifteen minutes I was neck-braced and loaded into an ambulance. EMS technicians started poking my extremities -- which I felt. I could also manage some movement in my toes.

In half an hour, I was at Bellevue where they quickly threw every possible test at me; MRI, X-Ray and CAT scan. The diagnosi was two broken vertebrae and a contused spine cord. Remarkably, the two broken vertebrae were not ""surgical"" and posed no further risk of damage to the spinal cord. Was placed on a high dose steroid regimen to mitigate cord swelling and afford me the best chances for long term recovery.

Late that evening, one of the doctors came to visit, observed minimal finger movement, and confided I was the best thing he'd seen all day. Earlier, they admitted the woman who had fallen between the LIRR railroad car and the platform. She didn't make it.

At three days, I was transferred out of intensive care to a regular room. It was my first hospital stay of any length and I quickly learned to a) memorize everyone's name and b) be extremely respectful to the nurse's aides. In lieu of a formal rehab program, I improvised what therapy I could; finger tapping, leg stretches, isometrics, etc. Once I gained some balance, did 10-15 minute walks around the hallways. My first shower was as exhausting a workout as I've ever had.

On day seven, I was transferred to the NYU's Rusk Rehabilitative Institute for five days of physical and occupational therapy before being upgraded to ""high functioning"" so I could be return home. Then two weeks of rest/exercise to get my endurance back before returning to work a day before Labor Day ... or one month after the accident.

The main ongoing area of disability is arms and hands. There's massive tingling/weakness which makes even mundane tasks like eating, writing and typing comparable in effort to lifting weights.

The other area is walking. Balance is functional but I cannot take it for granted -- particularly living in a five flight walkup. Can walk fast, but not run. While there is no guarantee, current prognosis is that I will regain 90% of my pre-accident capability in 6-18 months as my spinal cord heals.


Pre-existing condition

It turns out that I already had a not uncommon, pre-existing condition called cervical spondylosis (an age-related narrowing of the spinal canal) which made me particularly susceptible to this type of injury:

Even before the accident I had been experiencing numbness in the hands after an hour or so of riding in the d"

Anonymous's picture
bill (not verified)

Wow. Good luck to you.

I was hit by a car a year ago yesterday. Fortunately the worst of it was a separated shoulder.

Hope you have a speedy recovery!

Anonymous's picture
[email protected] (not verified)
Titanium upgrade

"Completing the 9/12 narrative. Last Wednesday at NYU Medical Center, I underwent a cervical laminectomy on the C3-7/T-1 vertebrae with a lateral mass fusion.

Spine University


Reason for surgery. While damage from the 8/4 accident was healing, the underlying narrowing of spinal canal was progressing. Pressing chin to chest produced shocks to torso. Raising hands over head precipitated leg spasms. (See ""spondylosis"" above in 9/12 post.)

Was unable to exercise and remained vulnerable to repeat cord injury from relatively minor incidents (bumping hard into someone, slipping on ice, etc.). Could work but had to wear a cervical collar 24/7. After a repeat MRI, two well regarded neurosurgeons separately advised I undergo the procedure ASAP.

Said surgery went well and the recovery has been rapid. Laps around hospital hallways Friday. Walked the mile home Sunday. Migrated off the serious painkillers Tuesday and hope to ditch the milder ones soon. Return to work early next week.


Lesson learned?

Beginning to think August accident was one of those god-damned-blessings-in-disguise. And, rather than blame the sport of cycling for the injury, the opposite may be true.

In hindsight, I WAS symptomatic prior to the accident; the give being numbness of hands on long rides. Barring a similar accident at a later date (without rapid access to world-class care), the underlying spondylosis would not have been caught until the symptoms progessed and my wherewithal to tolerate corrective surgery diminished. Also, without cycling, I would not have the conditioning to regain ambulatory status as quickly as I did.

Still a very lucky SOB.


Anonymous's picture
Rob Marcus (not verified)
Titanium Frame

"Of course you are lucky, my frame set is only
good ole Steel.

I really am sorry you are going through this but I guess it was ""Basheret""(meant to be).

I worked in a Hotel in the Catskilles during college, where in the middle of the nite an employee stabbed and robbed the owner. During Surgery they found a tumor near the wound which was removed and he lived another 15 years.

The world goes round and round so enjoy the ride and feel better.

Robert Marcus"

Anonymous's picture
Morene (not verified)

I don't know you, Neile, but I read the threads, beginning to end, and want to thank you for sharing your brave journey with all of us. I never want to lose sight of the fact that we ALL should be grateful for every second we can breathe, walk, run, cycle, or go to the bathroom on our own, let alone get much joy from our lives. Sometimes it takes awful (seeming) setbacks to recognize and be grateful for what we DO have that really means something to our lives. I try NEVER to take anything I have or experience for granted. It's all on loan...for God-only-knows how long.
I wish you a painless recovery, and if you ever need any help, PLEASE feel free to email me directly. (I even do windows!)

Anonymous's picture
carl (not verified)
Amen to that!

I've ridden with you a couple of times (UAR rides) and don't know you too well, but , like many others, am pulling for you. I greatly appreciate hearing about your progress, and hope to see you back on your feet.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
But the most important lesson for us all...

Never carry a plastic bag over your handlebars. Anything which can stop your front wheel can result in an endo if you are going fast enough.

If you have a plastic bag, try to put it behind your back by putting your arms through each loop, as you would a musette bag.

Cycling through city traffic requires your full attention. Carrying awkward things only adds to risk.

Anonymous's picture
Dick Hughes (not verified)

Much good healing post surgery. - Best, dh

cycling trips