Mayor Absent

Fenty Falls Off Bicycle, Re-Injures Broken Left Foot

By David Nakamura
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 31, 2008

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty suffered severe bruises and scrapes on his forearms after crashing his high-performance racing bike in a training session Tuesday afternoon, forcing him to remain home yesterday.

Fenty, 37, was riding with his older brother Shawn, 43, and other members of the competitive cycling team D.C. Velo when his bike hit a seam in the road near the on-ramp to the Whitehurst Freeway in Georgetown, Shawn Fenty said.

The bike Fenty (D) was riding was a special model used for "time trials," in which the racer's elbows are rest on bars in front of him. Such bikes, Shawn Fenty said, are faster but are harder to control.

After losing control, the mayor fell over the front of the bike, aggravating a fracture in his left foot, mayoral spokeswoman Carrie Brooks said.

"He bounced right up, but that ended the ride," Shawn Fenty said. "Being an experienced bike racer, I have lots of experience cleaning that up. It's quite shocking. . . . He got banged up. There were some surface injuries."

Fenty's accident was first reported by WTOP radio yesterday.

The mayor was taken to his brother's house in Northwest, where he was examined by a doctor. He stayed home yesterday, canceling several appointments. Brooks said he kept in touch by BlackBerry, but she did not know when he would return to the office. He does not have any public appointments scheduled today.

Fenty is known for participating in competitive road races and triathlons. He runs several days a week before work, and he spends two hours cycling or swimming twice a week at lunchtime. His cycling course, which can be as far as 35 miles round trip, usually takes him through Rock Creek Park and around Hains Point.

Despite suffering a hairline fracture to a metatarsal bone in his left foot during a July 4 pickup football game, Fenty, while on vacation, participated in the New York City Triathlon on July 20. He finished the 1,500-meter swim in 29 minutes, 35 seconds and the 40-kilometer bike portion in 1 hour, 9 minutes, 9 seconds, but did not participate in the 10-kilometer run.

Fenty wore a protective boot around his left foot at news conferences this week but told reporters he continued swimming and cycling. Brooks said she did not know whether the mayor will compete in the Nation's Triathlon in the District on Sept. 14.

"We have a rule: The law of averages catches up to us all; the more you ride, the more you fall," Shawn Fenty said. "This was the worst fall he's taken."

Asked whether the mayor should consider reducing his training, D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who runs five miles a day, said, "I empathize entirely with his observation that his exercise clears his mind and makes him healthier."

Brooks said the mayor had a message.

"I just talked to him on the phone," she said. "He said: 'Tell them I fall off all the time. It's no big deal.' "

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