MASON CITY, Iowa – David Pate, from Mason City loves his RAGBRAI cycling tradition, until this year.
“When I first saw it coming I said why is he trying to hit me? Why’s he trying to kill me? Because it looked like he was aiming straight for me, and I couldn’t believe he couldn’t see me. That was the last thought I had,” said Pate.
Pate said after he was struck by the car, an ambulance arrived to help him. From there, he was later air-lifted to a hospital in South Dakota due to a possible brain bruise. Pate says now, after getting back into town, and looking over his wounds, the reality of it all is settling in.
“I’m really disappointed. I’m mad at the guy for not seeing me, and I’m very, very sore,” said Pate.
Pate’s teammates with the North Iowa Touring Club are still in shock over what happened too.
“Not good, really worried, and concerned. You hear he got hit by a car, that’s not a good thing,” said Becky Neal.
Becky Neal and her husband returned Pate’s belongings to him. They said they were surprised after seeing his injuries that there was not a scratch left on his bike. Neal says reuniting with him was a relief.
“Good, I was glad he’s up, and he’s moving. He’s a very lucky person,” said Neal.
For Pate, after being asked what he took from it all, it seems he’s just thankful he was using his brain.
“One thing is, to wear my helmet. I never wear my helmet unless it’s a sanction thing where you have to wear it. It was a brand new helmet. It’s broken. I think my head would have been broken, if I hadn’t been wearing that,” said Neal.
Pate says as of now he’s no longer biking the route. He said he was very disappointed that he didn’t get to finish the leg of the route to Mason City, but he’s determined to get his patch saying he participated.
Arnold’s Park Police and the Iowa State Patrol had no hit-and-run accident reports.