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Posted Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2012  Print Reprints

Fort Worth mayor returns to City Hall after bike crash

FORT WORTH -- Mayor Betsy Price returned to City Hall on Wednesday, although she continues to struggle with blurred vision after suffering a concussion in a weekend bike crash.

Price was injured Saturday when she hit a rut and slammed into the ground on the Trinity Trails near Interstate 30 and Beach Street.

She said her husband, Tom, who was riding with her, estimated that she was unconscious for as long as two minutes after the fall.

Tests confirmed that she had a concussion and two small cracks in her right collarbone.

"The headaches are about gone," Price, 62, said Tuesday afternoon. Her shoulder, she said, initially "hurt like the dickens."

The mayor said her vision continues to improve, but doctors told her that the problems could last anywhere from 24 hours to two weeks.

The longer-term problem is her collarbone. She will wear a sling for a couple of weeks and must stay off the roads for four to six weeks, which threatens to end her streak of riding every day during the Tour de France.

After a couple of days of stronger pain medication, she said she is now taking only Aleve.

"I'm anxious to get back to city business," she said. "I'm not one to sit still very long; that's always hard for me."

Mayor Pro Tem Zim Zimmerman had offered to postpone a scheduled trip but Price said she is able to perform any necessary duties.

The City Council is in the midst of a three-week break.

Price was wearing a helmet, which cracked upon impact but prevented further damage to her head, she said in a post on the city website.

Her husband called 911, bringing firefighters from Rescue 14, MedStar and staff members from the Tarrant Regional Water District to her aid. She was treated and released from Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

Price kept a scheduled Monday appointment for follow-up tests, which included an MRI.

"Today's MRI confirmed the concussion but no other damage, which is great news," Price wrote Monday on her Facebook page. "I also now have a good sling for my right arm to help keep me from moving that broken collarbone as it heals."

The mayor, whose yellow bike helmet bearing her name was destroyed in the crash, said she is scraped and bruised but considers herself "a lucky gal."

"I don't take that for granted," she wrote in a post titled "Don't take shortcuts when it comes to bike safety" on the city website.

"If anything good can come from this accident, I hope our citizens who love to ride as much as I do see just how important it is to take safety seriously and never ride without a helmet."

Price has been cycling for 25 years and regularly logs more than 100 miles a week in the summer months.

Saturday's accident was her worst, she said, although she did suffer a mild concussion in a crash several years ago. She has never gone more than a few days without riding, she said.

She plans to stay in shape with stationary cycling, walking and a bit of swimming, she said.

But, for the first time in years, she will be unable to get out for daily rides to coincide with the three-week-long Tour de France, which starts June 30.

"I'm trying to figure out what to do," she said, adding that she might climb aboard her stationary bike to get the rides in each day.

Price also hosts weekly mayor's rides, dubbed the Tour de Fort Worth, on Wednesday nights, and said she plans to be at the T&P Tavern this week to "send off the riders."

After thanking the emergency personnel who treated her and reminding everyone to wear their helmets, Price had one last word for those wondering whether she is too old or too valuable to be tooling around on a bike:

"I'm just as safe on my bike as I am in a car," she said. "Somebody could hit the car and take me out tomorrow.

"You're never too old until you just quit doing things. I'm no good to anyone without my exercise."

Kathy Vetter, 817-390-7380, @30bike

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