Category Archives: Tues/Thurs 7:45am ride

Endless ramblings regarding the every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, leaving Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am, rain or shine

Kevin hit by car while descending 84


Some days are fun to write about. But days when your morning bike ride results in spending three hours in the ER, well, this is one of those not-so-fun days. It started out nicely, climbing up through the fog on Kings, good run across Skyline, nice views from West Old LaHonda. Descending 84 was something else entirely. Most of the group had gotten ahead of us on the descent, while Kevin and I were hanging back just a bit, with some concern about possibly-damp pavement. It’s not like we were riding slowly though; our speed was right at 30, coming out of a tight corner, when the incident happened. Below is the “storyboard” taken from the video.

1:02 into the sequence and the car comes past me with a couple inches to spare. I was doing 30, he must have been doing 10mph greater.
1:02 into the sequence and the car comes past me with a couple inches to spare. I was doing 30, he must have been doing 10mph greater. Kevin is maybe 30 feet in front of me.
at 1:04, just two seconds later, a car passes in the opposite direction, way to the side of the road. This car, the car that passed me, and Kevin, all tried to share the same piece of road at the same time. The driver that clipped Kevin chose him as the path of least resistance.
at 1:04, just two seconds later, a car passes in the opposite direction, way to the side of the road. This car, the car that hit Kevin, and Kevin, all tried to share the same piece of road at the same time. The driver that hit Kevin chose him as the path of least resistance.
At 1:09 I've slowed down and come to a stop just past Kevin, a couple seconds after the car knocked him down.
At 1:09 I’ve slowed down and come to a stop just past Kevin, a couple seconds after the car him him.
The mirror that broke on impact with Kevin. No soft tap here.
The mirror that broke on impact with Kevin. No soft tap here.

Watching the entire sequence, the car that hit Kevin came up on us pretty fast. We were traveling an average of just over 30, the car first appears at 19 seconds, at 33 seconds you see him drifting well over the fog line, and at 40 seconds he’s on my tail. In 20 seconds he covered the same ground we did in 28 seconds. The actual location of the crash can be seen here.

The good news? The driver did stop, and in fact gave Kevin a ride back home, after which we took him to the ER where he spent a whole lot of time sitting around and hurting really badly, and a little bit of time getting x-rays, having his wounds cleaned out, and wishing he could walk to the bathroom instead of having to pee into a container. I got the driver’s name, his phone number, and a picture of his car with the license plate and the broken mirror. What I did not do was take a photo of his driver’s license (stupid!) or get his insurance information.

I’ve also got a photo showing the license number of a car that likely saw the accident and pulled up behind us, offering to call 911.

What Kevin got out of it is a heavily-bruised and battered body, an uncertain amount of time off a bike, and a bike that went from 30 to 0 in a manner it’s not designed for, and not considered safe to ride.

Tomorrow morning I call the CHP and follow up on things, making sure we get the contact info for the insurance company and that a proper report has been filed, since this incident was caused entirely, without any possible way to consider otherwise, the driver’s recklessness. I’m convinced he wasn’t the type that targets cyclists, or if he was, he quickly understood the seriousness of what happened and had a come-to-Jesus moment. But this is not a forgive & forget sort of thing. Kevin could have been killed; falling off a bike at 30mph, even with a helmet (which is cracked, by the way, yet Kevin had no head injury, thank you Bontrager!) is not something to be taken lightly. Plus missing work and losing shape as he prepares to ride his bike in France next month.

But thankfully Kevin will recover… and I’ll start thinking about running a video camera at the front of my bike again, not just the rear. –Mike–

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I’m liking June a lot more than May

IMG_7439sunny_wolhAfter Wednesday’s weird weather (rain???!!!) I wasn’t sure what to expect for Thursday-morning’s ride, and it did look just a tad bit questionable outside the kitchen window (fog). But it was temporary, just a touch of gray to climb through on the way up the hill, and that makes for a great ride. Great because you can literally pedal through it, emerging into the sun just about Huddart Park, and admiring the fog-shrouded coast below as you climb back towards Skyline on West Old LaHonda.

Different today was the fact that I actually took part in a couple of sprints, taking the Sky Londa sprint by default (everybody else had dropped off the pace on the descent, although Karl was coming up pretty fast) and then getting caught by surprise on the final sprint to Olive Hill when Kevin went just a little bit early and I didn’t have what it takes to close the gap.

Today also marked 5 weeks to go before France, and, curiously, today was also about the most France-like weather you’d get on a ride here. Reasonably-warm and humid. I’ll be ready.

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