Scott MacCracken, the ‘voice of Aspen,’ recovering from bike crash in Denver
Aspen baritone Scott MacCracken was recovering Friday at a Denver-area hospital from a bicycle crash that left him with 10 broken ribs, a collapsed lung and other injuries.
“I’m good,” he said. “It’s just one of those moments that can be life-changing, and I wish I had it back, but there it is.”
MacCracken was riding his Salsa Cycle on Juniper Hill Road toward Highway 82 early Wednesday afternoon when his back wheel froze, leading him to crash.
“The only thing that’s mysterious is the exact moment before I went down,” he said, recalling when he was cycling down the winding, narrow, steep road.
“I enter one of those quick turns, hit the brakes, and all of the sudden the back wheel locked up. I started skidding, it fishtailed, and the next thing I know, I’m on the ground.”
Initially MacCracken, who was not knocked unconscious, thought he could shake it off and ride back to Aspen, where he lives. But after he got up, he realized that wouldn’t be the case. He called 911 and was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital and then flown by aircraft to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, which has a Level 1 trauma center, the highest designation for a medical care facility.
On Friday, MacCracken, 66, was transferred from ICU to an intermediate care unit.
MacCracken and his wife, Marisa Post, said they were grateful the injuries weren’t worse. He was wearing a helmet at the time.
“That was critical,” he said. “I think I’d be lying if I said I’m not glad I didn’t have that on. It was a big hit, and I got a peek at the helmet and (the damage done to the helmet) was impressive.”
Post said she drove to Denver on Thursday. Their son, Scott MacCracken, flew to Denver from Washington, D.C., where he lives, to be with his father.
“He was very fortunate that his spleen, his liver, nothing else was touched despite the number of broken bones,” Post said. “He’s a fortunate guy and a fit guy. They said his fitness level helped him tremendously.”
Some of MacCracken’s ribs have multiple fractures, she said. He also sustained what’s called a “flail chest,” which hampers his breathing.
Recovery will take awhile. He’ll likely remain in intermediate care until Wednesday. After that, he faces at least another week in Denver because of the collapsed lung. Aspen’s altitude is too high for MacCracken until the damaged lung gets better, Post said.
MacCracken is an avid cyclist and rides his bike to work at the Grog Shop. He also has a bicycle maintenance business, which is more like a hobby, called Spokespeople.
His baritone voice has been heard at Aspen churches, World Cup ski events, dinner theaters, school stages and once at Mile High Stadium in Denver in 1999, where he sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a Broncos game.
He said he hopes to be recovered in time for the holiday season so he can sing Christmas carols and participate in his cantor role at Christ Episcopal Church, where he is a member of the local Dickens Carolers quartet.
MacCracken moved to Aspen in 1974. He and Post, a theater director and development director for the Aspen Chapel, tested their talents in New York City in the 1980s before returning to Aspen.
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This episode of The Drop-In is filled with fun, fast skiing and great friends!