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Support Tracy Smith After Biking Accident

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*Updated, For those of you who would like to send injured racer Tracy Smith a card or letter they can be sent to Shepard Center, 2020 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, Ga 30309-1465, Attention: Tracy Smith room # 513*

Stories like Tracy Smith‘s validates the closeness of the mountain-biking community.

On Sunday, June 30, 2013, Tracy’s life and his family’s life were changed forever. On a mountain biking trip in Helen, Georgia with his 12 year old son, Evan, Tracy’s peddle hit a rock and he was sent tumbling to the ground head first and broke his neck. Tracy was airlifted to Grady Hospital’s Trauma Center. The following day he underwent surgery to fuse his vertebrae. He is now paralyzed from the chest down with use of his arms and limited use of his hands. (read full article here)

traceysmithsupportHere is a mountain biker from Florida who was riding Georgia trails when crashing and 11 days later word is spreading in the mountain bike community how I, in North Carolina, can give to support Tracy’s mounting medical costs.

Wow, big Kudos to Chain Buster Productions for stepping up and helping with giving away a portion of their sales to Tracy!

It wasn’t too long ago that we had a good friend, Brad Clark, of our club who was injured in a biking accident and our off road biking community surrounded him with much love, prayers, and support.  It was awesome to be part of the team that organized a Time Trial Series to support the Clark family in their hospital bills.

It is great to be addicted to a sport that rallies around other riders that most likely will never cross tire tracks!

Please know Tracy and family, the Trail Mayor will be praying for you all.

Ride For Someone Besides Yourself

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I have really grown to love riding endurance races, time trials, cross country races, etc. that benefit a good cause besides myself.  Yes, I began biking for my own exercise, health, and well-being, but over the last years, I have realized that nothing can replace the feeling of riding in hopes of raising awareness or helping grow the cash pot for a good cause.

Today, I have the privilege of riding in the 3rd race of the Fall Time Trial Series where all proceeds are going to assist Bradley Clark and his family while recovering from a serious biking accident.  I have been greatly encouraged by Brad’s family during these last few months.

During the 6 mile ride, I will be keeping Brad fresh on my mind in prayer and thoughts.  And I will cherish the fact that I have the health to pedal each stroke while Brad is improving fast.

Looking forward to pedal again one day with Brad and his boys!

Knocked From My Bike to My Knees

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You are invited to be a part of this coming Saturday’s Time Trial Benefit Race for Bradley Clark.

I have only had a few passing “race-day” interactions with Bradley Clark before his biking accident, but those conversations were enough for me to realize that he was different than most off-road bike riders.

Being a pastor, it often caught my attention when I would see the Clark family arriving to the Coastal Carolina Off-Road Series races in their Sunday duds and quickly making a wardrobe change into their race gear.   I knew there was a deeper truth than what I had observed on the surface, but I was not prepared for the bulwark of Christ-centered faith I have seen in the Clark family over the last few months.

As you may or may not know, on Sunday night, August 26th, Brad was in Charlotte for business.  As an avid cyclist, he rode his bicycle to dinner. On the way home, in the dark, he hit a curb and Brad went over the handle bars.  Upon landing on the pavement, he hyperextended his neck and was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.  Later, they discovered that he could not move or feel anything.  Results from an MRI showed a disc in the neck (approx. C5-6) pushing on the spinal cord.  Ultimately, he was taken for emergency surgery on Monday to remove the disc.

The expected time for Brad’s recovery is around six months and he is showing great signs of improvement.  Brad and his family opted to relocate to a special spinal hospital in Atlanta to assist him in his daily recovery.

I encourage you to visit Brad’s Caring Bridge Page and catch up on the journal entries where he allows his children to take turns posting updates.

May I warn you that these journal updates are like none you will ever read from those walking through pain and suffering.

These updates are from a family who has a deep rooted faith in God’s Word and their Lord Jesus Christ.  You might even take a second glance when you realize that many of the journal entries are written from the perspective of Brad and Rachel’s TEENAGE children!  I have told my thirteen-year old daughter that if she grows up with half the spiritual maturity of the Clark kids, I will be a proud father!

Personally, I have integrated these journal entries into my daily quiet time as they have been a rich source of encouragement and strength for my daily walk with Christ.  I remember being on my knees in tears the day I read Brad’s response to the question everyone is wondering but afraid to ask, “Will Brad ever ride a bike again?”  Brad’s personal response,

September 7th, 2012, by Rachel Clark, “Dad wants to make sure that each and every one of you know that it’s okay if he doesn’t walk again. He doesn’t want anyone to be disappointed if the improvements stopped today and he never completely regains his mobility and strength. Dad is resting in God and thankful to be alive and ready to glorify Him. Believe me, he is!” 

I was humbled greatly after reading this because I had just fallen in a rock garden while preparing for the Brunswick Brawl.  Unfortunately, I hyper-extended my left elbow and my first instinct was to whine about whether it would slow down my training.  I was far from the strong faith that Brad had expressed, and my injury was only minor in comparison.  Upon reading Brad’s own words, I realized how selfish I had become in my thoughts and attitudes.  God used Brad’s faith to knock me off my bike and onto my knees for deeper introspection.

The type of deep satisfaction and joy I see in Brad and his family during these times surely comes from a real and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.

I want to thank Brad for trusting, standing, praying, pulling, pushing, and striving to live out his testimony that God is building up day by day.

What a privilege it will be to pedal one more time with Brad and his family!

Ride and support Brad Clark this coming Saturday at the Time Trial Race at Brunswick Nature Park.  RSVP at the MeetUp page.