Friends of Cole Porter, the Shrewsbury man who was seriously injured in a cycling accident during Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven, are planning what one called a “suffer fest” bike ride in his honor Tuesday evening.
Porter, a regular in Tuesday night group rides out of the shop, is said to have suffered a brain injury when he collided with a race official during the first of six scheduled races Sunday.
Witnesses to the accident, which occurred shortly after 7 a.m., said Porter was just completing the first lap of a nine-lap amateur’s race when a race official stepped into the roadway to retrieve a walkie-talkie that the official had unsuccessfully tried to hand off to the passing pace car.
Porter was transported by helicopter to Jersey Shore Medical Center, where friends said he remained in intensive care Monday night.
The identity of the race official, who was reported to have been hospitalized at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, has not been disclosed by authorities. He has been identified elsewhere in cycling chat rooms as Dan Donnelly, chief referee.
Fair Haven police declined to comment on the accident or to confirm the identities of the two injured men, citing the federal Health Insurance Portability law rules on medical privacy.
Race organizer Michele Berger did not respond to a request for comment on the incident.
On a Facebook page set up to organize the ride, friend Clifton Duhon writes that Porter “would always tell me how much of a suffer fest [the Tuesday night] ride was, and how much he loved it.”
More from Duhon:
I can’t think of a better way to show support for a tremendous athlete and person than by an absolute suffer fest. Tomorrow, no matter where you live, you can do a ride at 5:30pm to show support for Cole and to help send him positive, healing energy. I, myself, will be riding in NC.
If you live in NJ and would like to take part in Cole’s normal group ride, please be at the Red Bicycle Shop, 27 W Front St, Red Bank, NJ and ready to roll by 5:30pm.