Fresno Cycling Club's Big Hat Century was this past week. The riders couldn't have ordered a better weather.
This year's ride changed the route a bit. From Clovis, to Friant, to O'Neals, up Walker Grade to Northfork & around Bass Lake was unchanged. The difference was the return trip through Auberry, meaning a climb over Powerhouse Grade. A challenge for many riders.
All told though, by the end of the day, all of the riders made it, with very few mechanical problems to report, and only one spill. From a SAG standpoint, any ride where we're not needed is a good day.
The beginning of the day started out great with many riders mingling and anticipating the day to come.
|Riders line up at the start of the day.|
|The obligatory Bike Lane photo. This was taken just south of the town of Friant (looking north to Friant).|
|Spring Valley School rest stop, O'Neals, Ca. The Metric Century riders turned around here. The 85 mile and 100 mile riders continued on to Northfork.|
|The Spring Valley School rest stop, O'Neals, Ca., had a full-on DJ. I'd never seen that before.|
|Another view of the Spring Valley School rest stop, O'Neals, Ca.|
|Auberry Rest Stop in front of the Fresno County Sheriff's Substation.|
The day was uneventful with this one exception. An experienced rider - who introduced himself to me as "Ornery Eddie" - with good equipment on a non-technical portion of the course ended up in a ditch made up of decomposed Granite and tree roots. The damage to his bike included, among other things, a broken carbon fiber handlebar. It was a hard hit. He received many severe abrasions and lacerations, and he hit his head. Hard. He said he was fine; the EMTs believed he had a concussion. He got off lucky. Thankfully, he was wearing his helmet. (And, yes, those are rocks embedded in the helmet.)
Now, I don't a make a habit of posting accident scene pics, but "Ornery Eddie" got off really lucky, and aside from being a bit bloody and dirty, was in remarkably good spirits and very coherent. It's a good reminder to always wear a helmet - ALWAYS - because things can go bad in a quick moment.
|Edward "Ornrey Eddie" Terchunian crashed on Auberry Road, just south of Auberry. He went off the road into a small ditch full of decomposed granite.|
|Along with many lacerations, "Ornrey Eddie" hit his head. Thankfully he was wearing his helmet.|
|There were rocks embedded in "Ornrey Eddie's" helmet.|
|The list of damage to "Ornrey Eddie's" bike included a broken carbon fiber handlebar.|
|The list of damage to "Ornrey Eddie's" bike included a broken carbon fiber handlebar. The brake lever survived with a few scratches.|
|EMTs were on the scene within minutes. They felt that "Ornrey Eddie" may have had a concussion, but "Ornrey Eddie" maintained he was fine.|
|EMS on scene and Auberry Volunteer Fire monitors traffic.|