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Change Makers

BWCF Board Member Franki Gonzalez Celebrates Life and Getting Back on Her Bike

The old saying, “If you fall off your horse, get back on,” also applies to bicycles and life. Bike/Walk Central Florida board member Franki Gonzales took this literally four years ago this October and now celebrates her life and a second chance.

On October 3, 2017, Franki’s life took an unexpected turn. As she and her husband were on their weekly Tuesday morning ride, they were struck from behind by a driver on 434 while in the cycling lane. The driver was traveling about 55 mph, then swerved into the bike lane causing her to plow into her husband, who was riding in front. Ultimately, this slowed the impact, but Franki was thrown thirty feet and ended up unconscious on the sidewalk. After spending 12 days in the ICU, her T12 vertebrae fractured in three places, and a five vertebrae spinal fusion surgery, she wondered if her life would ever be the same. 

It was a long road back before she could get on her bike again, but she was determined to make it happen. Almost a year after that incident, she began to enjoy group rides two days a week and several additional rides with her husband. 

After this life altering experience, she has made it a point to reach out to several Florida representatives to become an advocate for pedestrians and cyclists.  She takes advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to become more involved in the pedestrian and cycling community. She now serves as a board member for BWCF and is sharing her love for cycling and life.

This weekend Franki celebrated life with a 75 mile bike ride to Mt. Dora, her first ride there and her longest ride to date.

You can join Franki, her husband and fellow board members later this month at Bike 5 Cities. Franki is taking the lead as the volunteer ride leader coordinator for the event. She is certain to inspire all who meet her.

Register here for Bike 5 Cities.

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