Laura Baker: Fundraiser for much-loved bike advocate seriously injured in crash
Denver residents who want to support a good cycling cause will have a chance to do so this weekend at a fundraiser for Laura Baker, a local bike advocate on a slow path to recovery after a very serious crash in August.
Much of the concern around biking in Denver, the topic of our recent feature, "On a Roll," centers on the tensions between bikes and cars, which sometimes result in fatal and devastating consequences.
But even when cyclists do everything right, things can still go very wrong.
This appears to be the case with Baker, a 25-year-old University of Denver student who got into a bad accident on August 26 when she was cycling as part of the Venus de Miles ride in Longmont.
Her friend Kathleen Burkhardt, who was cycling behind her on the 55-mile ride, says that they had just gone over several hills and were going down a particularly steep one with limited visibility toward the bottom.
Courtesy of Kathleen Burkhardt Laura Baker
It seems that Baker, who doesn't remember the incident today, didn't realize there was a traffic light at the bottom of the hill until the very last minute and braked short to avoid possibly colliding with traffic.
"She tried to stop suddenly...and she did a complete somersault and hit her head on the pavement," says Burkhardt. According to a tracking device she was wearing, Burkhardt was traveling at 32 miles per hour behind Baker, who was probably going a good deal faster.
Baker was wearing a helmet, but the damage was still very severe.
Burkhardt says that Baker cracked three vertebrae, broke her orbital bone under her eye, and suffered serious brain trauma.
She is still recovering in the hospital today, and medical bills have added up, which is partly why members of several bike organizations are coming together for a fundraiser tomorrow night.
Continue to read more about the fundraiser for Laura Baker.