"Climb to Kaiser" rider killed in crash
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A cyclist participating in the "Climb to Kaiser" ride has been killed in a crash on Big Creek Road near Highway 168.
Investigators tell Action News the 50-year-old cyclist rode down an embankment and hit a pine tree around 10:20 a.m. Saturday morning. Paramedics responded to the scene but were unable to save the man, who died at the scene.
The ride was reportedly stopped for about an hour due to the crash.
The victim's name has not yet been released, but Action News has learned that he is from the San Diego area.
Cyclists taking part in the ride tell Action News the Climb to Kaiser can take about 13 hours to complete. They say it's an intense ride - one they expect will cause a few cuts and bruises.
But the cyclists certainly never expect someone to lose their life on the course.
Action News has learned the area where the crash happened is a technical ride for cyclists.
Climb to Kaiser director John Craft says that basically means riders have to be extra careful along the turns and elevation changes in the road.
Cyclists say they go into these rides knowing they can be dangerous but it's a risk they enjoy taking.
Still, they say hearing about a deadly accident is difficult to take in.
"It's a bit risky, and this is what we enjoy doing. Life isn't forever," Eric Zentner of Kingsburg said.
"We all feel this cause we're all cyclists and whenever something happens to a cyclists, whether you're in that event or not. Word spreads, and we lost a friend today, we made some friends today on the ride that were riding with him," Climb to Kaiser ride director John Craft said.
Ride organizers say the accident could have been caused by a number of issues including debris in the roadway, but the cause is still under investigation by the Highway Patrol. It's not clear whether the cyclist who died had been on this course before.
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