by Rosemarie Rossetti PhD
The day started at noon with words from Matt Habash, president of the Columbus City Council. He addressed a group of reporters and journalists as well as several bicycle enthusiasts who regularly commute to their jobs downtown from home. Habash shared what the city was doing in the next 8-10 years to link all the metropolitan parks and city parks with bicycle trails. He indicated that it was easier to put the trails parallel to the rivers and keep them away from traffic. He said that efforts were being taken to have more trails going from east to west in conjunction with new road construction.
Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D., a motivational speaker from Columbus, was introduced. She spoke about her injury on June 13, 1998 when she was crushed by a falling tree and left paralyzed while riding a bicycle trail in Granville, Ohio. She stressed safety on the trails and pointed out that many existing trails were too narrow for rescue vehicles to utilize when a crisis occurred. She also pointed out that there is a need for tougher laws nationally, especially in rural areas regarding tree liability. Homeowners and property owners who have land bordering bicycle trails need to be responsible and remove hazardous trees. Rossetti also stressed that bicycle riders should ride with others, wear their helmets, and carry cellular telephones. She encouraged the placement of emergency telephones on bicycle trails as well as restrooms.
Maryellen O'Shaughnessy, city council member, read one proclamation from Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and one from Columbus City Council. Both were in support of safe bicycle trails in our community.
Relay cyclist, Sharon Bouchonville, was introduced. She had been riding her bicycle four days on the second leg of the relay from Pittsburgh to Columbus. She had been carrying proclamations from the mayors in Washington, DC and Pittsburgh. She was handed the Columbus proclamations, and in turn, gave all three proclamations to Rossetti.
Chris Detwiler was introduced as the relay rider that would take the proclamations from Rossetti and ride to Indianapolis. Journalists and reporters interviewed several in the group after the ceremony. Rossetti was asked about her three wheeled recumbent bicycle. She reported that after two years of physical therapy following her injury, she began to ride her bicycle again.
A group of about a dozen joined, O'Shaughnessy and Rossetti as they rode west....