Just 4 of us this morning with Karl, Eric and Marcus heading with me up through the park. Tuesday’s routing is rigid; we absolutely positively will not go through the park on Tuesdays. But Thursdays I’m willing to let the mob decide, and the mob often goes for the back route through Huddart Park.
Nobody was setting any records this morning, although I’m sure Marcus is capable if he desired. I just stayed on his wheel as long as I could and then adopted the more-sensible pace set by Eric.
But the main event had nothing to do with us this morning. Shortly after Skeggs (just after Marcus had left us for home), I hear something coming up from behind, yell out “car” and move to the far-right (I should point out that my normal positioning on a quiet road is not the far-right edge of the road, because you’re not as visible from a distance as you are when you’re in the lane, but I always move over before the car arrives). The time between me yelling “car” and its arrival was incredibly short, because this guy was going incredibly fast. So fast that, when Karl picked the pace up a bit, I jokingly asked him if he was going to try and catch the guy. So fast that I was thinking at the time, can you really drive this section that fast?
The answer is no. Just past the bend in the road we came across the busted remains of a black BMW, upside-down, maybe reduced in height by a third or so as the roof had collapsed a bit. We really didn’t know what we were going to find inside, but didn’t think much of it as we approached the car, figuring that we might be the only people around for a while and whatever needed to be done quickly, had to be done by us. I tried calling but my cell phone didn’t work (neither did someone else’s Verizon; eventually a local resident drove through with what looked like a Sprint PTT (push to talk) phone that did work. Eric went down the road a bit to try his phone there, and stop incoming traffic. We also stopped a car and asked they head down to Sky Londa and notify the fire department. And checked out the condition of the car and the occupant, concerned about the possibility of a fire, in which case we’d have to throw caution to the wind and get that guy out of there, injuries notwithstanding.
As it turned out, there were no leaking fluids, no smell of gas, just some wisps of “smoke” coming from the remnants of 6 blown airbags. The guy was semi-alert but likely cold, and we had nothing to put over him. No obvious external injuries, but someone going from 80+mph to zero in the blink of an eye is obviously going to be busted up a bit. We worked on getting the doors open, which seemed like an impossible task, given the extent of crumpling to the car, but surprisingly, they eventually sprung free. Beyond that, there wasn’t much we could do other than stop traffic and wait for the paramedics, while keeping an eye on the guy’s condition in case anyone asked.
After what seemed like forever, a fire truck, and then an EMT unit arrived, followed later by the requisite string of sheriff’s and CHPs flying up the hill as we rode back down into Woodside, a bit more sedately than normal, a bit rattled, and with fewer miles under our legs because we skipped the west-side Old LaHonda section. For some reason we just didn’t feel like doing it today, plus we were running pretty late. But whatever the inconvenience to us, we were having a far better day than the guy in the black BMW.