You were all about me dressed as samurai, natural, focused, graceful. I watched the sky while you danced before it. You were so close, like kissing Nureyev's feet.
“Sincerity does not only complete the self; it is the means by which all things are completed. As the self is completed, there is human-heartedness; as things are completed, there is wisdom. This is the virtue of one’s character, and the Way of joining the internal and external. Thus, when we use this, everything is correct.”
― Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
You were all warriors, I must bow to you all.
For those of you who were not on the Santa Cruz ride, Mac's comments may need a bit of context... so let me see if I can add some.
Saturday morning 23 riders set out for Santa Cruz from Half Moon Bay. Eight riders - led by Ron - came from San Francisco and met us there in HMB. The remaining 15 carpooled over and we were all ready for the ride down the coast at the appointed time.
The weather was good - no - great! Clear skies, almost no wind (but that would change later). Given the fact that this was the Labor Day weekend, there was a lot of traffic on Highway 1, so we were all very careful to stay in single file and mind the passing cars.
We all made good time getting down to Pigeon Point for a needed lunch break. By the time we got down there, the wind had picked up and many were putting on jackets to stay a bit warmer. It was very clear as evidenced by the panoramic shot I took from the vista point:
The SAG team had done a great job - as usual - putting out a spread of food and drink so that we could all rest and replenish for the second part of the ride to Santa Cruz. My hat goes off to David, Lan, Judy and Barbara for providing tremendous SAG support for the whole team.
We all set out for the second leg of the ride into Santa Cruz.
About 5 miles South of Pigeon Point the lead group encountered a rather large pile of broken safety glass that covered almost the entire width of the apron of Highway 1. Most of the riders in the group negotiated the pile, but Mac and Rens were not as lucky. In the blink of an eye we had two of our skilled riders down on the ground.
Mac was flat on his back as was Rens. The team quickly made sure that traffic was slowing down in the area. It was a real blessing that we had several people on the ride that are well drilled in these sorts of situations. Bob Ingram and our Ashish's friend, Anand, quickly got to the task of assessing Mac's injuries. He was hurting. I was tending to Rens who was pretty spaced out for a minute or so, and by the time she started responding Zoraida was there to help tend to the cuts and scrapes she had suffered.
We were, of course, very concerned for our friends, so Lisa called 911 and soon a CHP officer and the emergency personnel from Cal Fire was there. They assessed both of them while the CHP officer was writing up the accident report.
Mac spent a fairly long time laying on the ground staring up to the sky which I believe provide the context to the comments he made. Meanwhile, we got Rens up off the ground and she was chilling out sitting in the SAG van until the emergency crews arrived.
In the end, Mac chose to ride down to Santa Cruz in Lar's van so he didn't need transport. Rens however, took a ride up to Stanford to be examined. Both Rens and Mac will be buying new helmets soon as both of them were cracked as a result of the crash.
I must say that this situation brought out the TEAM in Team Alameda. Everyone was doing something to either take care of Mac or Rens, helping slow down the all-to-fast traffic on Highway 1 or moving bikes around to make room for the emergency vehicles. I think we showed our true colors.
While all this was going on, I was noticing things that made it clear that this whole ordeal could have been avoided. Skid marks covering both lanes (North and South) and ending just feet from where Mac and Rens went down, a large pile of glass that looked like it had been swept into a circle, and a broken side view mirror from someone's car indicated that an accident had happened here and that someone thought they were doing the right thing by sweeping - but not getting rid of - all that broken safety glass. I am 100% certain that if that pile of glass had been either picked up or swept off the pavement we would not have had this accident.
Once Rens and Mac were taken care of, we all - albeit a bit gingerly - remounted our bikes and continued the ride into Santa Cruz. We all made it there fine and enjoyed relaxing in the Mission Inn patio trading stories and enjoying some snacks and refreshment. Mac even made an appearance sporting a new pair of crutches! But that didn't stop him from having a beer or two as you can see...
Meanwhile, logistics were going on to allow Rob to go up and meet Rens at Stanford. Rens got released that evening and she and Rob eventually returned to the hotel late that evening.
Sunday morning we had several fewer riders since Bob, Betsy, Zoraida and Paul all made arrangements to travel back to Alameda on Saturday night. Joe took off Sunday morning going over the hill towards Los Gatos and eventually the Fremont BART station to get home. So we ended up with 14 riders making the return to Half Moon Bay. Rens and Helen planned to meet Rob and Ken in Monterey after their ride further down the coast.
Rens was feeling much better after a night's rest. A little battered, but still in good spirits. Mac was getting around better and some of his pain from the previous day had lessened considerably.
The weather again was very good, and it wasn't until we reached Pigeon Point that we really started to feel the headwinds that we would fight the rest of the way back. Mac was accompanying Lan in the SAG van since he was not in any shape to ride. The last rider arrived in Half Moon Bay around 1 PM, and we all set off on our way home.
While the events of Saturday did mute the event a bit, it was great to see both of our teammates already on the mend and not injured seriously. The ride - minus the incident - was great, and it was fun to spend time with everyone.
Okay, I'll be the one to ask - how are Mac's and Rens' bikes? Well, now that we know they're on the mend.
Mac's bike seemed fine. Ren's bike the front wheel was not true and her seat got pretty torn up. At least that was my quick assessment as I tried to check their bikes not knowing if they were going to attempt to keep riding or not.
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