GREAT DIVIDE RIDE UNEARTHED UPDATE
“I’m not done with this ride yet” Jay Petervary 8/29/23
On the afternoon of August 27th, over 2000 miles into his FKT attempt on the 3080 mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, ultra endurance cycling legend Jay Petervary was hit from behind by a driver in a motor vehicle.
The collision occurred in a remote area about 10 miles outside of Hartsel, CO in daylight hours while Jay was traveling straight on a wide, open road with no trees or obstructions. Jay was hit from behind by a young driver (estimated 16/17 years old) and Jay reports that he was riding looking forward and suddenly got hit from behind, was launched forward from his bike and skidded on his face on the dirt road. Jay said he never lost consciousness and the young male driver stopped and was standing above him visibly shaken as Jay was shouting asking what happened. The male driver told him he’d been hit by a car. The driver, who was alone in his vehicle, called for help and Jay reports that while the driver was on the phone, Jay was shouting for the person on the other end of the phone to get help. Jay reports that the driver’s father is an EMS provider in the local area, so Jay is not sure if the driver called his father or 911 immediately. Multiple other people stopped to assist, including a man who was taking photos and getting names on scene. None of these people have come forth to provide information.
Jay remembers being very adamant about calling an ambulance and keeping track of all of his equipment such as bike, gear and GoPro camera. Jay estimates that his bike was about 20 yards away from where he landed. He recalls briefly seeing that the bike wheels were completely shattered and unrecognizable. He says “there was nothing left of the wheels”.
While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Jay was conscious the entire time, but starting to get cold, so the group of bystanders moved him into the back of a personal vehicle for shelter while they waited for the ambulance to arrive approximately an hour after the collision.
Jay spoke to the young driver and asked him what happened. The driver admitted he tried to swerve away and then hit Jay. The driver claims he was going 40 mph, but Jay questions that because he was propelled so far forward from his bike after the impact. Jay also spoke to the driver and said directly to him “look what you did to me.” The driver looked away and said “I’m sorry.”
Jay was transported by ambulance to the nearest trauma center in Colorado Springs, CO, where he has been undergoing treatment and surgeries for multiple injuries.
His injuries include:
Shattered left wrist that will require surgery
Right humerus break that will require surgery
Lumbar spinal fracture that will require a back brace for 6-8 weeks
Multiple facial and body lacerations and bruises
He is in incredible pain from the injuries and also emotional pain from being violently and abruptly stopped from a project that he’s been pursuing for 10 years. Not only was Jay pushing the limits of human performance, but this ride was also about honoring and telling the history of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and the legacy of ultra endurance bike packing. He was documenting and bringing folks along for the ride for inspiration and education. He was also fundraising via the Be Good Foundation to raise scholarship money to fuel adventures for more people.
His body is working overtime to heal from the massive injuries while at the same time working to heal and recover from over 14 days of intense riding. He’s so hungry, on so many medications and working hard to be patient with the long healing process ahead. He is also extremely frustrated and expressed that he could accept this fate more easily if it was
something he’d done to himself. But this collision was done to him. His massive injuries and the end of his dream ride were caused by someone else’s horrific mistake. Jay was working hard to do something extraordinary for the endurance cycling community and is now questioning why this happened when he was working so hard to do so much good.
Jay is adored and loved in the cycling community and he knows that folks are sending healing and caring thoughts. As Jay focuses on his recovery, his wife Tracey is focusing on logistics for his care, transport home and engaging with counsel to navigate the legal repercussions of the collision.
Jay and his family and friends will be updating the world via social media and traditional media interviews. If and when there are more ways to help, we will put the message out to the community.
While Jay is broken he’s not done. His strength and resilience built over decades of extremely challenging riding has strengthened his mind and body like no other. He continues to inspire us with his mantra of “Ride Forward” and his parting words on our call today were “I’m not done with this ride yet.”
If there are people who were witnesses on scene, please come forth with photos or information. This is the biggest way to help right now. We ask you to please provide any information possible to Park County Sheriff's Deputy Darrion at (719) 836-4121 option #5.
Ultra Endurance Cyclist
Ambassador of Sport
I think "professional athlete" is a kind of one-dimensional way to describe my relationship with long distance riding. Even after 25 years of racing, I still love competing and being part of the community, and I especially enjoy checking out new events and routes. But even more than that I enjoy giving back to the sport that has sculpted me into the rider (person?) I am today. Providing experiences and opportunities for others is what led to the launch of my Backyard Series – the Fat Pursuit and the Gravel Pursuit. It doesn’t stop there – I love to speak, mentor and educate. I'm still constantly learning, tinkering, experimenting, and growing as an ultra-endurance cyclist, and I always want to share my take-aways with others. Check out the different workshops, camps and one-on-one consultation I offer below.
Clinics & Workshops
Teaching is one of my favorite things to do. I offer clinics, workshops, and camps geared for a wide range of topics and abilities, anything from beginner bikepacking to winter ultra expeditions. I also am permitted and licensed to lead multi-day rides for individual clients in the Greater Yellowstone Region, my home and one of the best places on earth to ride.
Participant and Event
Need help picking gear, logistics management, thoughts on training, and mental prep? With decades of racing experience, I understand systems and can help you ride your best ride.
Need a suggestion, guidance, or help in creating a memorable event? I've consulted with race directors on several big events and helped steer the bikepacking and gravel community in preserving its uniqueness and core values.
I love sharing my trail experiences, what I've learned and how it translates to business and to everyday life. Gravel, snow pavement, and singletrack, racing in deep cold winters in Alaska, Wyoming, and the Midwest or blazing hot locations around the world...it's been an amazing journey. I think tales from the Tour Divide, Iditarod Trail, Trans-Am, Silk Road, and many more will inspire and delight your group.
Ride Forward comes from a mantra I used in my adventure racing days: "never stop moving forward." Our team took that mantra very literally. It reminded us to be efficient, be aware of our surroundings, pay close attention to what we carried to survive and kept us engaged in all aspects of our journey. All these factors ultimately affected our forward progress. The "never stop moving forward" philosophy was so embedded in me I brought into my everyday life to constantly move forward with my business (at the time it was in construction), relationships, friendships, passions, hobbies and partnerships. It also meant to not have regrets or get bogged down in the past but also reflect and learn to move forward more fluidly.
Fast forward from adventure racing to hundreds of different types of outdoor pursuits and races later leading up to the start of my career as an ultra long distance cyclist that mantra still sat strong with me. Following that forward movement I made the decision to pursue my passion which started with a branding process. I was told to come up with some kind of tagline for myself. Ride bikes is what I loved to do, Forward was always my compasses direction. With that #RideForward was born.
Ride Forward is a way of life!
I've never been one to build a deep event schedule but somehow have managed to tick off thousands of racing miles and many events every year. History tells that story. I schedule a few things, have a bunch of desires floating around in my head where half of them become reality and then many times sporadically decide on Thursday to race 100 miles or even a thousand miles that Saturday.
Racing is a lifestyle.
Sponsorships start with a relationship. Sponsors are partners. Partners work together to bring out the best in each. I have built these relationships and am deeply thankful for them as they have helped bring out the best in me.
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