GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - An avid cyclist in Gulfport is grateful to be back on his bike. On May 16, Carter Bise was hit by a car in broad daylight while riding home from work on Pass Road. He pedaled again this week for the first time since the incident, but this time, it was with enhanced safety in mind.
"I realized I couldn't get up and I had a lot of blood on me," Bise recalled.
Bise said it all happened so fast. Surveillance video caught the accident on camera, showing the moment he was hit by a car while riding in the same direction as traffic.
"And then I realized I couldn't breathe," he said. "I thought I was going to die."
Bise suffered critical injuries, which included punctured and collapsed lungs, eight broken ribs, road rash and several cuts and bruises. He spent five days in the hospital. Nine weeks later, doctors said he could ride again. Despite the pain brought on from his injuries, he says he was ready to ride even before his bike was fixed.
"My doctor says I'm either stubborn, stoic or stupid and I told him, two out of three," said Bise. "I wanted the exercise. It is my stress relief. It is what gets me through everything."
Though he wore a helmet and light colored clothing during the time of the accident, he's increased safety measures.
"I've got a new helmet with a flashing light on the back of it," he said. "And I've got a tail light that flashes."
Jeff Sellers at Competition Sports said in addition to safety features like flashing lights, bicyclists need to be defensive riders, also.
"You watch your surroundings a lot more," said Sellers. "That car at hundred yards down the road that's fixing to pull out, you're watching that guy because you don't know what they are going to do."
"What do you think kept you safe in that accident? My wife's thinks it's the rosary that was in my backpack. I think it was the help," said Bise.
He had one surgery following the accident and will have one or two more to go to fully recover.