A mountain biker crashed face first into a rock in Annadel State Park on Tuesday suffering major head injuries and requiring a helicopter evacuation, the CHP said.
The 22-year-old male was riding on the South Burma trail when the accident occurred around 6:30 p.m.
Bennett Valley Fire personnel arrived first on scene, about one mile up the trail, and called in a CHP air-unit rescue.
"It was not terribly steep," said Rene Torres, a Bennett Valley Fire company officer who responded to the call. "Speed was a factor."
Torres said the man was riding a brand-new mountain bike with shocks. He was wearing a helmet, which had a small crack in it, Torres said. Most of the injuries were to the rider's face, he said.
A H-30 helicopter could not land on the rocky, wooded terrain and hovered 75 feet in the air while an officer was lowered on a rope to the injured biker, CHP officer Tom Lipsey said.
After securing the biker, he was flown to a nearby meadow, where he was loaded into the helicopter. He was flown to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for "major non-life-threatening injuries," the CHP said.
Annadel State Park's varied terrain is popular with mountain bikers of all skill levels. A mountain biking website describes the South Burma trail as a moderately technical single track through mixed forest and open meadows with some rocky sections.
Mountain biking injuries are common in the park, Torres said. Bennett Valley Fire recently treated a mountain biker with a broken neck, he said.
You can reach Staff Writer Matt Brown at 521-5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.