Colorado Gov. Injured in Bike Accident

Bill Ritter headshot, as Colorado Governor
By Shaun Boyd of CBS4 in Denver

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) was taken to the hospital early Tuesday morning after a collision on his bike with another bicycle in Denver.

A spokesman for the governor says he has multiple rib fractures and that he is in a lot of pain, but he's still laughing and joking around with hospital staff.

Ritter rides two to three times a week and was with a group of five friends when the crash happened at about 6 a.m. near City Park. It appears Ritter's bike tire hit another bike in the group and his and another bike went down.

Copter4 flew over the scene of the crash, 23rd and High streets, and captured images of the governor sitting on the grass next to the road while emergency crews attended to him and then wheeled him into an ambulance. Another rider also injured their wrist.

Ritter said he was grateful that he was wearing a helmet.

The governor is an avid cyclist who recently participated in the annual Triple Bypass ride which runs from Evergreen to Avon. The group on Tuesday morning was about 30 minutes into their planned 20-25 mile ride.

In June, he rode in the 52-mile Elephant Rock Ride south of Denver to promote a new cycling safety law. He also has spoken with seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, who has a home in Aspen, about reviving bicycle racing in Colorado.

Colorado used to host a bicycle stage race in the 1970s and 80s. It was known first as the Red Zinger Classic and later the Coors Classic. It last ran in 1988.

Dreyer said Ritter was still in charge of the state but it wasn't clear when the governor would be able to return to work. Dryer said several appointments were turned over Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien.

The image below shows Copter4's image of the accident, with Ritter seated on the grass.

News quickly spread about Ritter's accident. On Twitter Armstrong posted a Tweet saying "I hear my good friend and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter had a bike crash and broke some ribs. Gov, be careful!! Get well soon."

CBS4's cyclist Greg Moody said Ritter frequently asks him if he wants to join him on his morning rides but Moody so far hasn't taken him up on the offer. In an entry on his blog he sends his well wishes for a fast recovery.

"You go, Gov," Moody wrote.