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Sarah Cooper wasn't sure she wanted to ride a bike ever again.

At the time she was a college student recovering in a hospital after being sideswiped by a car traveling 45 mph while she was navigating a crosswalk on her bike.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” the nation’s best female ultracyclist told a gathering at the Capital Striders’ Annual Dinner at the West Des Moines Marriott on Friday night.

The Urbandale resident doesn’t know how she escaped with a few broken bones and permanent hearing loss in one ear. “My injuries were pretty minor,” she said.

The fear of being hit by a car lingered long after her injuries healed.


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