An Ottawa man who suffered a life-threatening brain injury when he and four other cyclists were struck in a 2009 hit-and-run is back doing something medical experts said would never happen: he's riding again.

Robert Wein was hit while cycling on a stretch of March Road in Kanata in the early morning of July 19, 2009 and suffered the most serious injuries of the five cyclists. Doctors said he had only a 50 per cent chance of surviving, and said he was not likely to walk or ride again.

But Wein has made great progress, though his speech still falters and he needs a walker to help him get around.


Robert Wein is back on the road with a special recumbent three-wheeler. (Laurie Fagan/CBC)

His latest accomplishment: learning to ride a recumbent three-wheeler, the closest he's gotten to getting on a bike since his injury.

"The wind and the sounds, freedom to ride and independence feels so natural," said Wein.

Wein has no memory of crash

His partner Cathy Anderson, who was also hit in the crash, says Wein's always pushing himself physically. Wein has a personal trainer, physiotherapy twice a week, yoga  and he's learning to swim again.

While she remembers the crash, Wein doesn't.

"It's kind of good thing because he doesn't have a fear in him," she said.


Wein said he still struggles with speech and short-term memory loss since the 2009 collision. (CBC)

Anderson is thrilled Wein is back on a bike but said it's bittersweet.

"A reminder of what was lost in the accident and you don't really think of what we used to do together and the fact that it's now gone," said Anderson.

Wein's goal is to walk without the walker. While there's no guarantee that will happen, he's already bypassed many milestones.

Later Saturday morning Wein will lead 130 people, some with injuries like himself, on a two-kilometre trek at Andrew Haydon Park.

The Conquer Acquired Brain Injury Walk will raise money for Pathways to Independence, an organization which provides housing and programs to those with brain injuries.