It was a morning ride by a pack of about 30 cyclists, the kind of Saturday morning ritual that happens everywhere bicyclists take to the roads.
And then: an only-in-Florida calamity.
Six cyclists were injured, one of them seriously, after a few members of the pack slipped on the remains of a small alligator splattered across the road.
They were riding west on State Road 84 in Weston around 7 a.m., when they came across the reptile that was in pieces, reduced to roadkill after apparently being run over by a vehicle.
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Authorities initially reported that the debris on the road had been from a large alligator, but witnesses said it was a baby gator about the size of an iguana.
One of the cyclists ran through some of the remains and lost control of his bike, causing a chain reaction crash just before the intersection at Indian Trace Road, according to Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue.
According to Glenda Metz, one of the cyclists riding with the group, this is what happened: “He clipped it and we were going fast enough to make the front wheel of his bike lose control. He fell over and everyone riding behind him fell on him.”
Of the six people injured, four were transported to various hospitals. Two were treated at the scene.
The man who first slipped on the gator was taken to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale and is in serious condition.
“He’s on a ventilator,” Metz said. “He’s fighting for his life.”
Three other cyclists were taken to Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston and treated for minor injuries. Two more with minor injuries refused to go to the hospital and were treated on the scene by fire rescue.
Metz, who was able to avoid the crash, said that most of the cyclists with minor injuries had broken a rib or their clavicle.
“It’s very unusual that this happened because we are a very safe group,” she said. “We ride several times a week.”
The identities of the injured had not been released.