Ride the Rockies bicyclist OK after accident

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A 52-year-old Ride the Rockies bicyclist from Littleton sustained minor injuries Sunday afternoon after being struck by a car on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Christina Climaco, community relations coordinator for the annual bicycle tour, said Kent Lewis was descending Rabbit Ears Pass at about 4 p.m. when a driver reportedly made a left-hand turn in front of him. Lewis hit the car's passenger side, she said.

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One of the tour's two ambulances transported Lewis to Yampa Valley Medical Center. He was treated for "extensive abrasions and lacerations," but he did not suffer any broken bones or head trauma, she said.

Lewis was discharged from the hospital Monday. He is not continuing the race, Lewis said.

"We were lucky it was such a minor incident," Climaco said Tuesday from Rifle, where the cyclists were preparing to spend the night. "I hear he is at home and doing much better."

Climaco said the Ride the Rockies group contracts with the Colorado State Patrol for a trooper to escort riders and handle any accidents or investigations. The tour also has two private ambulances to treat and transport injured cyclists.

State Patrol Trooper Ryan Sullivan said because the group is using private law enforcement, it is not required to report incidents to the state.

"We normally don't handle bicycle accidents at all," he said.

Cliamco said Lewis' accident was the only accident that has been reported since the 422-mile ride began Sunday in Frisco.

"I would say these types of accidents are fairly uncommon," she said. "Obviously we go to great lengths to provide the utmost safety to our riders, but when we have people out on the road with drivers, you can't really account for what's going to happen."

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