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S. Boston bicyclist rebounds from accident to ride in 'Hub on Wheels'

Posted by Patrick Rosso  September 6, 2011 04:34 PM

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(Patrick Rosso/

Jodi Sperber next to her trusty Jamis bike.

When South Boston resident Jodi Sperber was lying on Route 20 next to her bike after being struck by a car on year ago, participating in a bicycle race was probably the last thing on her mind.

But come Sept. 25, she will be riding through Boston on a 50-mile Hub on Wheels, “Hub on Wheels” fun ride, part of the mayor’s daylong celebration of cycling.

“This year, I wanted to mark the one-year anniversary of me getting hit, with something, and it was all too convenient that Hub on Wheels was just five days after that anniversary. It made perfect sense,” she said.

When Jodi experienced her accident, she was making her routine commute to Brandeis University, where she was studying for her doctorate. She was blindsided by a car turning at an intersection.

Even though it took Jodi nearly a year to recover from her injuries, including a broken wrist and toes, this determined commuter has not stopped using her bike, although she has grown a little more aware.

“For the first few months I was super sensitive to everything around me,'' she said in an interview. "But the irony of me getting hit was that out of all my friends, I am the safest one. I’m the one who always stops at every traffic light, wears a helmet, and obeys all the rules.

"But I will say now I wear twice as many lights and bright clothing, and ride a little more aggressively,” she added.

Sperber commutes everywhere from her home in South Boston on her bike, and says both drivers and bikers need to be aware.

“I think it’s just bikers not understanding the rules, just as much as drivers not understanding the rules,” she said.

Though the potholes can be monstrous and drivers a little aggressive at times, Sperber said it would be hard to give up her bike and her daily commute.

“It’s a free gym for one thing and it’s time and space to myself. You become more connected with your surroundings when you’re on your bike,” she added.

You can see Jodi and the rest of the riders, or join in on the fun yourself at the “Hub on Wheels” event at Boston City Plaza, Sept. 25. The free all-day event includes everything from a kids race to the “TD Bank Mayor's Cup Criterium,” featuring some of the sport’s hottest professionals.

here will even be a section for beginner bikers to learn about biking rules, along with skills demonstrations by the pros.

For more information about the “Hub on Wheels,” on their website.

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