Nathan Green was knocked down late last month on a bike ride through Louisville. Now, the well-known local cyclist is working to get back up again.
Green is still recovering, friends in the city’s biking community say, after being seriously injured nearly a month ago in a hit-and-run crash along Poplar Level Road. The manager of Louisville’s Falls City Community BikeWorks cycling shop suffered significant brain injuries in the crash, according to Mary-Beth Peterson, which resulted in a nearly month-long coma and mounting medical bills.
Peterson, the mother of Green’s longtime girlfriend, said he had to “learn to walk again, sit up, eat, you name it” after waking up recently at University of Louisville Hospital, where he was taken after the crash on June 30. He’s now at the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, she said, and faces a long road ahead.
No arrests have been made in the case, according to Louisville Metro Police, and the investigation is still open. But in the meantime, local cyclists took to the streets – and later, to the bar – Wednesday night to show support for their fellow rider and to raise money to help fund his recovery.
More than 100 people biked in two packs through Louisville during the fundraiser, meeting afterward at Seidenfaden’s bar in Germantown for a raffle to raise money for Green’s medical bills. A GoFundMe has also been set up for the cyclist, who has a young daughter.
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Cyclists ride out of Seidenfaden’s every Wednesday, organizers said, a weekly event they take part in with a group they call Crazy Team Ridenfaden. John Mahorney, the team’s founder, said members of Louisville’s cycling community are “very affected every time someone is injured or killed” – he helped put the event together, and he expected a big turnout.
“It was a hit and run – the person didn’t stop to see how he was, and I think it’s pretty sad,” he said Wednesday. “If we can win tonight by raising a lot of money for Nathan, then Nathan’s going to win.”
Seidenfaden’s promised to donate a dollar towards Green’s recovery for every beer bought during the gathering. A raffle was also held at the benefit, where cyclists and patrons buy in for a chance to win prizes.
Mahorney said he hoped the benefit would raise $2,000, and Thursday afternoon he said donations had risen past $5,600. The $1 donations from the bar, he noted, had not yet been counted.
“I didn’t realize how many good friends he had and how many good people there are in the world that want to help,” Peterson said. “I was just shocked and I had no idea it was going to be on this scale.”
Paulette Meggoe was among them. The 67-year-old cyclist said she joined the fundraising event because she’s been hit on the road as well. Green’s story, she said, “touches every core of me.”
“I have been hit numerous times off my bike and I know what it feels like to be hit and totally incapacitated, not being able to do anything,” Meggoe said.
Vision Zero, Louisville Metro’s safety plan to prevent traffic deaths in the city, reported 832 crashes involving bicycles between 2013 and 2017, while noting bicycle crashes are frequently underreported.
Out of those 832 crashes, nine people were killed and and 64 “serious” injuries were reported – just like Green’s.
The weekly cycling event has taken place at Seidenfaden’s for more than 11 years, Mahorney said, and organizers have a strong connection with the bar. So when Mahorney asked its owners to host the benefit for Green, they didn’t hesitate.
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“We’ve really grown to have a mutual relationship with them,” Emily Heck, one of Seidenfaden’s co-owners, said of the cycling group. “We want to support him.”
The ride Wednesday took cyclists from the bar down E. Breckinridge Street, into Old Louisville and around the city. It won’t be easy, but Green is expected to recover from his injuries, Peterson said – riders in the crowd are hoping he’s able to join them again in the future.
“I know miracles happen at Frazier,” she said. “So we’re planning on that miracle.”