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Shift To Cycling During Coronavirus Pandemic Means More Safety Concerns

DENVER (CBS4)- Have you noticed more Coloradans getting around on two wheels? After being cooped up because of coronavirus, cycling is especially popular this summer.

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Business is booming at Colorado bicycle shops. Mike Wolfner understands the appeal

"It's the fitness aspect and also the outdoors aspect in one package," he said.

But the 36-year-old knows first-hand that riding comes with risks.

"It's a miracle I'm sitting here right now," he told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

In 2013, Mike was rising through the ranks of amateur bicycle racing. On a training ride that October, he hit a rock on US Route 40 going 40 mph.

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"It catapulted me face first into the guardrail and fractured my skull,' he said.

Mike had brain surgery and spent a month and a half in Craig Hospital.

"I had therapy every single day and it was basically learning how to use my brain again," Mike explained.

Between 2011 and 2018, Craig Hospital saw a 116% increase in the number of people with bicycle-related brain and spinal cord injuries. In 2019, Craig rehabilitated 20 people who were injured while cycling.

"If you're riding to your mailbox, put your helmet on," said Mike.

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That is his No. 1 rule after his helmet protected his head.

"The helmet absorbed the full impact," he said.

Mike also encourages cyclists to stay off busy roads, follow the rules and be visible.

"Expect that cars don't see you," he said.

And Mike warns riders to avoid distractions. With cycling so popular during this pandemic, it is more important than ever to cycle safely.

RELATED: Colorado Cyclist Hit By SUV Over Weekend Doesn't Understand 'Hatred For Bikers'

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