POWNAL — A Topsham man died after losing control of his bicycle at Bradbury Mountain State Park on Monday.

Hikers found 57-year-old Rodney Reed along the side of a trail at about 1 p.m., according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Captain Donald Foss said Reed was riding a fat bike — a bicycle equipped with wide tires to navigate in snow or difficult terrain — when he lost control and crashed.

Foss said the state medical examiner’s office determined he died from a neck or spinal cord injury.

Foss said Reed was unconscious and unresponsive when hikers found him laying in the snow. They  performed CPR but couldn’t revive him. Given his injuries, Foss said Reed likely died instantly.

Foss said Reed was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.


“It seems like he was doing everything right and just tragic circumstances surrounded that,” Foss said. “No one ever expects riding a bike on a snowmobile trail would result in a serious accident or even a death. I feel terrible for his family.”

“Rod was a valued member of the Merrymeeting Wheelers Bicycle Club,” said Ken Saindon, a board member of the club. “Obviously we send heartfelt prayers and condolences to Rod’s family and friends. As much as this loss hurts our club we simply cannot forget or imagine how much his loved ones are hurting.”

Rick Smith of Bowdoin said both he knew Reed through the Merrymeeting Wheelers Bicycle Club. He saw Reed riding on trails on Saturday behind the Bay Park subdivision in Topsham where he lives.

“He was enjoying the trails,” Smith said. “I was sad to hear what happened to him on Monday.”

Reed, who worked at Bath Iron Works, loved the outdoors, according to Smith.

“I’ve known him for three of four years. He rides in the summer as well, a really nice guy,” Smith said Tuesday evening. “I feel terrible for his wife Cathi.”


Smith said the trails at Bradbury Mountain are groomed twice a day and there have been many postings on bicycle forums about how good the trail conditions are at the park. Smith said Reed’s death left him rattled and stirred emotions after his own daughter was in a serious bicycle crash six years ago.

“You ride at your own risk,” he said. “You know you can crash and generally expect to get a bump and bruise and get back up but don’t expect to not come home.”

Smith posted on the bicycle club’s Facebook page after learning the news of Reed’s death.

“Life is precious,” he wrote.

Located on Route 9 in Pownal just west of Freeport, the 800-acre Bradbury Mountain State Park is open all year from 9 a.m. to sunset daily unless otherwise posted at the gate. According to the park’s website, it is known for challenging trails and locally sponsored mountain biking and running events.

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