Enjoying a New Year’s Day bike ride through Dacula’s Harbins Park, Larry Steward and two pals came upon a section of the trail called “The Rim Bender.” The 60-year-old Winder man, riding in the middle of the group, had been briefed on the importance of not getting airborne.
“Rim Bender is a section of trail composed (of) two steep humps that descend a hillside,” a Gwinnett County police report, written hours later, said.
The statement doesn’t do it justice. Several videos highlighting the tricky descent — and inspiring little confidence — have made their way onto YouTube.
Shortly after 11 a.m. on the first day of 2014, the trio of friends gave it a shot. It would end in tragedy.
The first and youngest of the group, a 46-year-old from Lawrenceville, navigated through successfully. As he peered back up the hill, though, he saw that Steward had crashed. The third member of their party filled in the details.
“(He) stated Mr. Steward went forward over the handlebars of his mountain bike,” according to the police report.
By the time his friends got to him, Steward was not breathing and had no pulse. As they called 911 and administed CPR, it became apparent that it wouldn’t be easy for paramedics to find them — the trail was nearly four miles from the Harbins Park parking lot and giving an exact location was difficult.
A police helicopter was activated and, more than 30 minutes later, the group was found.
Steward, despite having worn a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene. His wallet and iPhone were collected from the scene and the Winder Police Department notified his family.
No further information was available Thursday.
Video of the area in which the victim died, known as “The Rim Bender” posted on YouTube by another biker: