I'm not really sure what this entry should be called. It was a great day of riding scarred by an unfortunate accident but a miracle Dana is relatively OK.
After breakfast at Panera (with a disturbing discount cat neutering camper outside and a very long line at 7:30 am) Reger, Matthew, Dana and I went up to ride the back 3 Gaps today (Jacks, Unicoi and Hogpen). This was already a tough ride because we hammered the Airport ride yesterday so the body wasn't 100%. The goal again was to stay in base mode, HR under 160. The average for the day was 148, a little high but I blame that on hogpen. Overcast but warm.
The first 2 climbs went as expected, Joe has no hr, Dana has little hr, Matthew is working but in the zone and my Garmin is beeping at me to slow down (I'm getting there). The 4 of use had coasting races down the back of the front 2 climbs. We had seen 3 other riders out today but on the way up hogpen an entire team passed us, cars and all (remember, were in base mod not racing up... we could have taken them). The climb wasn't that bad but I couldn't keep my heart rate down and still turn the pedals over so it was over 160 for most of the climb. The back side of Hogpen is fast with a few straight sections. We decided to leave before the team (hanging out at the top) to avoid the mass group exit down the hill. Matthew lead diving into the corners, I followed with Dana and Joe behind. Matthew and I managed to get up to 53.5 MPH 3 times on the downhill! (Its been a goal of mine to break 50 for a while now so I'm happy). At the bottom Matthew and I waited for the rest of the Tuckertiers. A red truck pulls up next to us and says a girl crashed on the way down... F@#$@! Dana had gone over the handlebars on the way down at maybe 45 mph. Talk about worried, there's nothing to do but pray for the best while we hammered back to the scene of the accident. The team passed us as we were on our way back up the climb and finally Joe came by. The team car had picked her up and was bringing her down to her car. That's great news, no Ambulance. Somehow she had bounced of the road and slid across the asphalt but stayed in her lane on the road? Not into the lane of on-coming traffic or into the rocks on the far side or off the edge of the mountain. She wasn't bloody with road rash, just torn shorts a few scraps and bruises... oh yes, there will be bruises. Incredibley, Joe (who was behind her) managed not to hit her on the way down (or by the team of other riders just behind us). An ambulance showed up in the parking lot to look her over. The decision was to go to the hospital to get her checked out, just in case. Nothing broken... it's a miracle in my book. About the only thing out of Dana's mouth was, "I'm sorry to inconvenience you guys". Please, how could you impose on us like that.
The cycling team on hogpen was http://www.aerospacecycling.com/. Reger has a post on his site about the ride here. With Dana's update here. She's doing well and already got the bike into the shop (the next day even).