Monthly Archives: January 2015

Bike racks on ambulances


Some morbid musings while riding a bike: If I would have an accident and have to be hauled away in an ambulance, what would happen to my bike?

Would someone call my wife or a friend to rescue the bike and bring it safely home, even if it’s a mangled wreck?

Cyclists in Fort Collins, Colo., no longer have to worry about that dreaded scenario.

The Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, home of Colorado State University and hundreds of avid cyclists, has equipped all 14 of its ambulances with bike racks after encountering increasing numbers of cyclists who had accidents or medical emergencies while riding, The Associated Press reported Friday.

A Poudre Valley Hospital ambulance equipped with a bike rack. Photo by University of Colorado Health

A Poudre Valley Hospital ambulance equipped with a bike rack. Photo by University of Colorado Health

Steve Main, the hospital’s emergency medical services director, was quoted by the AP as saying that some people were reluctant to leave their bikes behind at the accident scene — whether because they were high-dollar recreational bikes or the patient’s main form of transportation.

Also, Main said, ambulance workers were spending too much time going back to unlock the bikes once patients could retrieve them.

The Fort Collins newspaper, The Coloradan, which first reported the installation of bike racks on ambulances, quoted Main as saying that cycling accidents and bikes left at the scene – locked up by ambulance workers – were becoming all too frequent.

He said some accident victims would tell ambulance crews: “I’m not going to the hospital if I have to leave my bike here.”

“When you have a $3,000 or $4,000 bike,” Main said, “even though the wheel is out of round or the handlebars are bent, you have real concerns about abandoning it at the scene.”

So the Poudre Valley Hospital spent about $5,000 to install the racks, or $356 per ambulance.

“It’s just a bike crazy town,” Main said of Fort Collins.

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