The inspiring story of how a 56-yr-old avid cyclist recovered from a life-threatening bicycling accident to conquer an “impossible” biking tour just 9 months later. On a training ride going 28 mph, Ken's bike fork suddenly snapped apart, catapulting him onto his head and breaking his neck and six other bones. With pulverized neck vertebrae, his neurosurgeon said it was a miracle he didn’t die or become a quadriplegic. Five vertebrae were surgically fused to save his life, leaving him with a permanently stiff neck and almost no ability to turn his head.
In a momentous twist of fate, Ken had already registered to ride one of the country’s most difficult bike tours, scheduled nine months later. With no idea if he could ever ride again, Ken made that 5-day/500-mile tour his recovery goal. He tells a remarkable tale of love and support from family and friends, and of spiritual growth, to return to normal in as many ways as possible despite numerous emotional setbacks. From climbing back on a bike for the first time, to walking his daughter down the aisle exactly six months after the accident, readers will share Ken’s joy at reaching each milestone on his recovery journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken Mercurio is a 63-yr-old father of two who continues to endurance-ride his bike despite his permanently stiff neck and near-death bike accident. He worked 31 years for Carnation and Nestlé Food Company as director of nutrition and food-product labeling, and continues to consult in these fields during retirement.
After living his entire life in the Los Angeles area, he is now enjoying a new environment in Monroe, Ohio. Ken graduated from University of California, Davis, home to the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, with a degree in nutrition science. His master’s degree is also in nutrition, from UCLA.
Head Over Wheels is Ken’s first book. He hopes his tale of recovery will inspire others to set goals to overcome what might seem like insurmountable hurdles in their lives.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
"This fast-paced book is a must-read for cycling enthusiasts as well as anyone who has faced a life-changing challenge and wants to be inspired. Ken Mercurio has faced life's demons and lived to ride again."
Julie Davey, writing professor, author and cancer survivor
“Essential reading for those passionate about cycling and life! Tear-jerking, triumphant and joyous. Ken does an outstanding job of not only telling his story but inspiring us to reach our toughest goals!”
Jim Cunningham, Two-time South Carolina Cat. 1-2 State Road Race Champion
“Having your front fork snap is a bicyclist’s worst possible nightmare. There is only one place you can go and that is head first to the pavement. At the speed Ken was going, it is an absolute miracle he was not killed. The story of recovery that follows is one of great courage and determination, one that will appeal to cyclists and non-cyclists alike. I encourage you to read it and acknowledge Ken's achievement.”
Thurlow Rogers, 1984 Olympic Road Cyclist, 2006 Masters World Road Race Champion, Multi-year National Champion, and author, “Fit and Fast: How to Be a Better Cyclist”
“When I saw Ken lying in the ER after his accident, I knew his recovery would be tough. He was extremely lucky to have survived the fracture in his neck known as Hangman’s Break. This story of his determination to recover is remarkable, a success I like to see in my patients.”
George A. Dichter, M.D., the author’s doctor
“Quite simply one of the most inspiring men I have had the pleasure of knowing. I am honored to have had the opportunity to share in Ken’s seemingly impossible goal of cycling the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway and to witness first hand his remarkable comeback. After having read the book, I am even more 'inspired' by him and his story.”
Paul Wood, Owner Black Bear Adventure Tours and former pro bike racer
“Fascinating tale of determination and desire. It demonstrates once again how strong the mind is when a goal is emotionally important. Anything is possible and Ken proves it.”
Steve Ring, author of “How to Change your Life by Sitting on your Butt.”
“This is Ken's story -- an amazing account of perseverance and determination. It's an excellent write-up, capturing his accident, the prognosis, the long road to recovery and victory against incredible odds.”
Dave Thompson, Friend and cyclist
8.5x5.5 trade paperback
164 pages with photos