I'm approaching Juniper while descending down from the summit during the late Thursday afternoon. An ascending rider is waving his arms to warn me about something..."There's accident ahead...you need to go slow..."
Sure enough, as I approach the sweeping turn into Juniper, there is a rider down. He is on the side of the road, and he is with three other riders - one slowing descending traffic, another slowing ascending traffic and one by his side. He is in good hands. The ranger is on his way with lights and sirens.
I continue on towards the Junction where I u-turn to do another climb to the Summit. By now there is a helicopter circling and is landing. As I climb further up, San Ramon Fire and Rescue passes me on the steep little pitch.
I arrive to the scene as the helicopter flies with their new patient. I stop and talk w/ the ranger. He said the rider probably has a broken Clavicle. I remind him not to forget the riders bike. He goes and retrieves it. Upon inspection of the bike, we see that the front tire had a Sidewall Blowout. A rather large one too. This we summarize (using our best CSI TV education) is what did the rider in causing him to lose control and hit the road hard. Further inspection showed the wear and tear of the tires. I mean they looked old.
The lesson learned here is to inspect your tires. Which I did once I got to the summit. Mine were were fine, except for some string like strips coming off the sidewall in the rear. It might be nothing, but it didn't sit well in the back of my mind as I descended back down Northgate. Note to self: Get new tires today.
Eeepa! Do your inspections. Have a great w/e.