Of Susan Rodetis

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Anonymous's picture


Susan (the lady on the website frontpage photo)is heartily recovering from injuries during last Saturday's NYCC Escape New York bike event. She helped out on an A18 group for 80 miles before the accident. Let's pray and give a kind word or two for her. Let's have faith that there are good people in this world, esp. cyclists, like ourselves, who care for other cyclist's well being. Let's hope for a quick recovery and a comeback journey on the two-wheeler for her.

Susan's email is:
[email protected]


Anonymous's picture
Barbara (not verified)
get well soon!


I am so sorry to hear that you had an accident!
Best wishes for the speediest of recoveries!

I emailed you as well.
please let me know if there is anything i can do.


Anonymous's picture
hal eskenazi (not verified)
alone out there?

saw susan tonight and aside from being a slightly damaged woman she looked
well and seemed to have rma, thinking about her next ride.
2 things certainly bothered me about her accident. 1st, since when do we let anyone go to the hospital alone, without someone who knows them to be their advocate and be sure they get home ok? 2nd, this being a supported ride why didn’t anyone call the sag wag and take care of her bike and make sure she got home ok not having to run ¾ mi, alone, to catch a bus to the port. Really we need to take better care of each other.

Anonymous's picture
Janette (not verified)
Not Alone

I appreciate your concern for Susan. As one of the ride leaders, I just want to assure you that we did everything we could to take good care of our riders. Susan was the second--and far less serious--accident on our ride. One of our leaders did accompany the earlier injured rider to the hospital so we were already short of leaders by the time we hit mile 50. Susan was a sort of ""replacement"" leader by that point in the ride, having joined the B-17s from her original A ride. One of the problems with the ENY this year was that telephone numbers for SAG or rest areas were not circulated. This has been noted in the post-ride discussions. Secondly, we happened to be right in front of a major ""Oktoberfest"" event and a passing pedestrian (and doctor) offered to look after her and take her to the hospital. This seemed appropriate and the offer was accepted. How Susan got back to the city is entirely her business as it would have been had anyone else gone with her. In the case of an unconscious victim, there was no question about accompaniment to the hospital. In the case of a conscious and articulate victim, it seemed a decision could be reached that allowed the rest of the large group to continue without loosing 2 out of 3 leaders while the injured party was well taken care of by a good Samaritan.
Rides are always complicated and this one was particularly so."

Anonymous's picture
Ron Gentile (not verified)

That's horrible news, but I'm glad to hear the injuries weren't very serious. I hope you recover quickly, Susan!

Anonymous's picture
Katie (not verified)

As being one of the organizers for this ride I want to express my sympathy to Susan for the injuries she sustained while on the ride.

I would like to go on record and say that SAG support was not offered at ENY and no mention was made to this year's committee by anyone from the NYCC board about offering any sort of SAG service. The limited ENY resources do not allow the running of this type of service. Specifically the difficulties of supplying adequate vehicular support, mechanically inclined volunteers, plus we are not medical staff. We struggled enough getting volunteers to man the posts, and I'm sadden to hear that some of the mainstay staffer's won't be returning next year.

In terms of communication, I am assuming the ride leaders had Mark's phone number. Mark had my number, as did every rest stop. Failing to reach Mark, a representative could have traveled to the nearest stop and contacted any one of the organizers.

In any medical emergency the first call should always be to 911. The ride leaders acted accordingly and in the best interest of Susan. Janette and her fellow co-leaders handled the situation well.

Anonymous's picture
Barbara (not verified)

As a previous organizer of ENY I can more than appreciate your efforts. It was a very rewarding experience for me but one that did require a lot of work to put together the event.

In past years we put phone numbers of the key contact person at each rest stop as well as a few others on the cue sheet. That way if something came up such as a major mechanical or an accident on the road those persons could be contacted and they could arrange for a person with a car to come to the rescue when they were able.

It worked well for us and I recall we were able to provide some assistance. I am sorry that someone on the committee was not able to pass that along. As this had been done in previous years I don't think that the Board could be expected to know this wasn't being handled in the same way. As far as I know that is all we've offered in the way of SAG'ing for ENY.

Of course you can't be prepared for every situation and I am sure that everyone exercised their best judgement in the situation.

Anonymous's picture
Chuck (not verified)
Fallen Riders

>1st, since when do we let anyone go to the hospital alone<

I can’t comment on this because I wasn’t there and I didn’t see what condition Susan was in. Janette and More did a yeoman's job of leading the largest group out that morning. As mentioned, there was already one earlier accident involving a rider colliding with a pickup truck. It happened at Mott Farm Rd. / Rt. 118, on the descend to 9W going south. EG is doing quite well considering what his bike looks like.

I was not a witness to the accident; here is the short version, as I understood what happened. Mott Farm is a very scenic and has a moderate descend with lots of curves. EG might have been passing a slower cyclist around a right curve when he saw the pickup truck coming up the hill and braked hard. He fishtailed and made hard contact with the back left of the truck. The bike went under the truck and the front wheel and fork was trashed. He landed hard on the pavement and the helmet saved him from serious injury to his cranium.

The driver (who identified himself as a fireman) and several riders worked together to take immediate action to stop traffic at both ends. When I–a co-leader–arrived on the scene, they already had some support to immobilize his head and neck from further possible injury. The ambulance and Stony Point police came within a few (seem more than 10?) minutes. The EMS wanted to take him to Nyack (15/20 mins), later on I found out there was a closer hospital (5 mins on 9W). As EG’s condition was unknown at that point, I rode in the ambulance with him to Nyack hospital. His bike and mine went in the cruiser to the SPPD.

Fortunately, EG was conscious and coherent. I called his parents (2 hrs. away) and informed them their son was injured, but was not in serious condition. They replied they were heading our way immediately. The doctor did a bunch of test on EG, and wanted to get some X-rays. He was able to stand on his own strength to get a chest X-ray, which was a great sign.

With his parents on the way, I had to plan my own escape from Rockland back to NYC. My first call was to a co-worker who lives in Bergen County, NJ. She WAS home and generously took time from her Sat afternoon to shuttle me around for 1.5 hrs. She dropped me off in Bergen Co. and I was able to finish a Metric and enjoyed a late lunch of tasty burgers and sandwiches at Sakura Park.

I received a phone call from his parents, and an email from EG over the weekend. He is banged up and bruised, but no broken bones or tissue damage except for road rash.

Let’s hope for speedy recoveries for all who saw asphalt up close on Sat.


Thank you to the organizers/volunteers who take on the Herculean task to put ENY together each year. With hindsight being 20/20, it would help for ENY ‘07 to have…

ONE central number for ride leaders to call in case of emergency so actions can be coordinated by someone who has access to other available volunteers and vehicles.

Emergency contact numbers as part of ENY registration, if it’s not already required.

Have fun, and ride safe out on the road, afterall we ARE playing in traffic.

Anonymous's picture
Perry Roubaix (not verified)

you're probably thinking of Helen Hayes Hosp on 9W, which is a rehab hosp. and has no emergency room. Nyack is the hospital best equipped for most emergencies in Rockland; really severe traumas are airlifted across the river to Valhalla.

Anonymous's picture
Susan Rodetis (not verified)
"this ""fallen"" rider-ette"

"Hi, and thnx, to everyone who's been contacting me on/off-BB and wishing me well; all is highly appreciated. It's not fun to be the cyclist who went down!

Overviewing the comments plus the post-ride suggestions of ENY leaders - -

In my case, I'd like to affirm that my co-leaders and fellow cyclists did things well given my situation.

I was sweeping for More & Janette (Chuck was off helping with a diff accident; my own original group with Kim & Richard had disappated for a variety of reasons) when I went down hard on my left side (all on my own account; darn, that ashphalt is a lot more firm than snow!). I was fine enough riding on for several miles, but L. elbow started not to work, and when I stopped the group to strip the sleeve and look - - EGADS, truly ugly and bleeding, with swelling like a hard boiled egg (possible bone break and/or fluids). NOT good.

Luckily, a local Doc (pediatrician) and family were on site (N. of duck/geese pond @ Hardenburg, on County Road; approx Mile #84.) They brought me ice, plus agreed to store my bike (a cyclist walked it the 100+ yards to their home; in advance of that, More had wonderfully offered to walk it the 2 miles to Piermont Bike shop). The Doc drove me to the E.R. (neighboring town of Westfield: Pascack Valley Hospital).

I waited solo almost 2 hrs before being helped @ the E.R; a merciful cop went behind the scenes when I arrived to procure a regular/full ice bag (I was RICEing the best possible).

NET: XRAYs showed no bone breaks, so fluids had massively swelled the bursa, a (what should be little) protective sac on outer elbow. I rec'd prophylactic shot of tetanus, 'scrip for antibiotics (very real risk of infection which usually happens and truly damages the joint), ingested motrin, and was released on my own accord.

Was a bit of a scramble getting home; didn't have enough $$ to take a cab all the way, so I patched together with multiple phone calls and help from emapathetic staff and my using hosp. phones enough NJT bus schedule/route info. Shuffle-jogged in bike cleats the 3/4 miles so as not to miss the bus to Port Auth, took subway shuttle X town, Madison Ave bus to my corner. Good to be home and out of bike clothes/shoes. Then long walk/wait to get 'scrip filled at 24-hour pharmacy (bless you for ""being there"", D.Reade.) Next day, a cyclist on that trip so very helpfully drove me to the family's residence and we car-transported my bike home.

It is improving and I'm mending, with all my resplendent psychedilic bruise colors and architecturally interesting, dissapating swellings.

I was lucky; it could have been a lot worse - - worse accident, injury, longer hosp. stay, no money, etc. It certainly was lonely being there solo, especially when I was hurting and not knowing what was the exact problem. Where's ""mom"" in such times?

Luckily, I had I.D., insurance info, and at least a bit of cash (plus my ENY 100 cue sheet!)and a touch of the resourcefulness we NYers must have. So I got back.

Would I have liked some parts to be different? Sure.

Did the others around me do the right things? Yes, they were also listening to me as a cyclist and leader taking a lot of responsibility for myself.

Would I do it differently next time? Yes.

Could we as a club have some more standardized procedures in events/rides/accidents? Yes.

My only soapbox comment here - - loose affinity collections such as ours rely on voluntary participation. There's also often no ""institutional memory"" or clearly/widely understood procedures about what has been done, and/or could be done better, for events, rides, emergencies, etc.

For instance, wonderful pragmatic suggestions about improving parts of ENY have been communicated via group emails within the mail-list of ENY leaders -- why not organize stash those into a"

Anonymous's picture
Ron Torok (not verified)
Not to be provocative . . .

Hopefully this is a productive post:

West Point had three accidents out of how many participants?

ENY had three accidents out of how many participants?

Other accidents on our group rides?

Is this a reasonable and acceptable ratio?

How does it compare to other regional clubs?

Are we not doing something as a club or doing something wrong when it comes to safety?

Just wondering out loud.


Anonymous's picture
Ron Torok (not verified)
ignore this post

I posted as a separate thread.

Anonymous's picture
hal eskenazi (not verified)
we've all learned from this

I received an e-mail from someone saying my posting on the message board might not be a good idea since someone was hurt. I respectively disagree. We see posting / links all the time regarding people getting hurt. It happens. And certainly my intention here was not to point fingers at anyone on or leading the ride, but to create a dialogue on the event and a learning experience for everyone. I appreciate that fact that as ride leaders you were dealing with multiple accidents and “short” leaders. I was not on that ride so I would not be presumptuous to second guess those on the spot. Many things are happening at the time of an accident and decisions have to be made by those that are there. Sometimes those decisions turn out well. Sometimes they could have turned out better. We never know, we just make the best decisions possible with the info at hand and our experiences. Of course in this particular situation it may have created a false sense of everything being ok as the rider continued to ride. I knew who the leaders were but never mentioned them as this was not about finger pointing. the dialogue itself seems to have gotten everyone thinking, what would I do and how could it be made better? That’s the point.
I take a little different approach leading / riding when it comes to a rider hurt. I simply count the number of riders in the group and consider each of us responsible for each other, unless I’m leading minors. As you saw, it’s not just going to the hospital, it’s being alone there even if a good sermeritian, who happened to be a dr. offers to take you. It’s having someone to advocate for you as you don’t know what’s really wrong until you get there. it’s having someone to help you make decisions when you might be otherwise preoccupied, in pain or possibly on drugs, ie pain killers. Having to fend for yourself may not be as easy.
That doesn’t mean it falls squarely on the shoulders of the ride leaders. Part of riding with a group is knowing that if something happens to you on the road you’re not alone. You’ll be cared for. That being said I repeat my earlier thought that it’s always easier to comment if you’re not the one on the hot seat. leaders were dealing with a lot going on that day and I have no doubt they do the best under the circumstances.

Anonymous's picture
Susan Rodetis (not verified)
Good points, Hal!

Thnx for raising some more good points, Hal. I've certainly learned from this event, both on my own account and on behalf of rides I'm involved in either as a cyclist or leader.

One immediate change is that I'm revising and expanding slightly the paper copies of things/info I carry on my person. I've had help from my sis who's been a trauma nurse and run triage desks, and I'm writing up a note/list for 5BBC on some good (and easy) things to have/bring. Happy to share it.

Best to all,
(still sporting kaleidascope of bruise colors, albeit a tad muted now, plus elbow/knee are getting less swollen, YAYYYYYYYY; I'll also be re-debuting on bike in a private bike ride this w/e)

Anonymous's picture
Jim Zisfein (not verified)
First-aid stuff to bring on rides

My tiny first-aid kit consists of:
alcohol wipes
non-sting antibacterial wet wipes (also good for cleaning hands after flat fixing or using portapotty)
4x4 gauze pads, sterile if possible, or at least clean
adhesive tape, pref the kind that does not pull hair
small scissors
latex disposable gloves

Thanks to Ed Fishkin
for some of these ideas


Anonymous's picture
jc (not verified)
Crash and Burn Kit
Anonymous's picture
Geoff Baere (not verified)

Just for the record, last year I volunteered to be the guy with a car in Rockland Co. Got rained out. I was looking forward to volunteering again this year but had a committment I couldn't escape.
I volunteered fully expecting to ferry broken riders and bikes to hospitals, homes, and shops. Not claiming great sacrifice or altruism on my part, since it never happened, but that is what I assumed I was going to do.
It's asking a lot for a fellow rider to take on this chore, having their own bike and ride home (possibly in the dark) to worry about. I think there should be a couple of volunteers with cars in Rockland and Bergen for this event, and hope I will be able to help next year.

Anonymous's picture
Susan Rodetis (not verified)
vehicular support and/or SAG

As we NYers tend not to have cars - - it's not all that bad renting a van with some of the seats removed to accommodate sets of [cyclists+bikes].

OR perhaps SAG/Emergency support can be aided by whomever stocked/supplied tables and food/bev.


Anonymous's picture
Derek (not verified)
I was there

"Glad to read that the injured are on the road to recovery (no pun) with no lasting physical damage.

Thanks again to Chuck, Janette, More and Susan for staying calm and keeping the B17 ENY group cohesive and focused in spite of the various incidents.

Ride on, y'all!

""When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking."" - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, January 18, 1896, Scientific American Magazine"

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