Laura Baker: Fundraiser for much-loved bike advocate seriously injured in crash

Baker, who worked as an intern at BikeDenver, the city's main advocacy group, and also did customer service for Denver Bike Sharing, which operates B-cycle, is an avid cyclist and still hopes to get back on her bike. Burkhardt says she is doing better than expected, and thanks to therapy can now walk on her own. But after the accident, she struggled with post-traumatic amnesia and is still having difficulty with short-term memory.

Laura with Bike.jpg
Laura Baker
Tomorrow's fundraiser, "Laura Baker's Ride to Recovery," takes place at the Studios at Overland Crossing, with suggested donations of $20 ($10 for students). Proceeds will go directly to helping Baker with medical costs. Donations can be made beforehand online. In addition, cash and checks will be accepted at the door.

Friends organizing the event have gotten a lot of donations -- there will be live music, beer from Great Divide Brewing and food from Serendipity and Rocky Mountain Popcorn. Also on tap is a prize drawing, sponsored by Denver Bike Sharing, BikeDenver, The Pioneer, Marriott Hotels of Denver, Badgley and Mischka, Rocky Mountain Popcorn and Elements Massage.

"Honestly, it's been absolutely incredible -- the bike community is just so amazing," says Burkhardt, who also goes to DU. "The work and encouragement...has meant the world to her friends and her family."

Baker, who has an independent design major in the Media, Film and Journalism Studies Department at DU, faces student loans, too, says Burkhardt, and that makes financial support all the more important. All proceeds go directly to Baker, she adds.

Her friends are trying to raise $14,000 this year, and have collected about $9,000 so far.

Baker doesn't remember much about the accident, but Burkhardt does and says it's still tough to think about.

"The scariest thing about it is, she was doing everything right. She was wearing a helmet and still had this traumatic thing happen," says Burkhardt.

She adds of Baker, "She is super-eager to get back on the bike."

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In my experience they are rarely doing everything they can to keep safe, in fact they are usually breaking the traffic laws in some way. This girl was going way to fast and not paying attention, like they usually dont. I'm just glad she didnt slam into some poor car that would then be charged with the wrong doing. I hope this girl gets better but for the most part I hate bikers, stay on your pathways that the tax dollars bought you instead of up in the mountains trying to ride with cars going double wide.

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