Community rallies around Tour Divide cyclist injured in New Mexico
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — At 2,745 miles and spanning the length of the Rocky Mountains and crisscrossing the Continental Divide off-pavement – from Banff, Alberta in Canada to the Mexico border in the bootheel of New Mexico – the Tour Divide is one of the toughest bike rides in the world.
John O’Malley took on that challenging bike ride this year. John’s ride was billed as the Ryan O’Malley Annual Ride, in memory of his brother, with proceeds going toward a computer science scholarship at the University of Scranton for students in need who enjoy running.
After 2,620 miles, John was near Silver City, just 125 miles away from the finish, when things took a terrifying turn.
“On Friday, July 15, it was a really scary night,” said Katie O’Malley, John’s daughter. “We didn’t know a lot of the details, we just knew that there was an accident and that my dad was being airlifted and that was really scary.”
While the family still doesn’t know the full details of the crash, it’s known that John was airlifted to El Paso, Texas, with a traumatic brain injury — alive but on a long road to recovery.
John’s family recently started a GoFundMe page to help his road to recovery. Already, community members have rallied around the effort, including fellow cyclists.
“It’s really heartwarming,” Katie said. “It’s great to hear that people are being so supportive of someone who they may have briefly met or someone they might not know but is touched by his story and we feel really grateful and really fortunate and for the community, it’s really awesome.”
The family still is just under $10,000 away from reaching their fundraiser goal. If you want to donate click this link.