Tarver remains in serious condition after high-speed bike wreck | AspenTimes.com

Tarver remains in serious condition after high-speed bike wreck

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Local businessman Charlie Tarver remained in serious condition Wednesday after crashing his bike during the U.S. Speed Skiing National Championships at Snowmass.

Tarver, 39, was taking part in a speed-mountain biking demonstration Tuesday when he crashed, according to witnesses. He had completed his run and was preparing to slow down when he apparently hit a roll in the hill, became airborne and flew over his handlebars upon impact. Witnesses said he traveling over 90 mph.

The owner of the Hub of Aspen bike shop and former mayoral candidate was wearing a helmet, but was knocked unconscious by the crash.

After being taken to Aspen Valley Hospital, Tarver was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, where he remained in intensive care. A hospital spokesman confirmed that Tarver suffered a closed head injury, but said he could not release any further information about his condition.

The mood among clerks at the Hub of Aspen was cautiously optimistic about their boss’ injury, although they had heard that Tarver was still unconscious and possibly in a coma.

“We have a long list of names of people who have stopped by,” said Bob Penland, who has worked at the Hub of Aspen for six years. The clerks made a get-well card for well-wishers to sign, and they said Wednesday was a hectic work day with locals stopping by.

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“The best thing we can do is keep the store open for him,” Penland said. “Charlie works here over 40 hours a week, and he still manages to ride his bike, ski and play.”

His boss had been looking forward to the start of the racing season, and was excited for the speed exhibition at Snowmass.

“Things have been pretty somber,” said clerk Ed Koh. The employees said they would plan a trip to St. Mary’s to visit their boss when his condition improves.

Penland added, “We’re hopeful. We know he’s strong, and we know he’s stubborn.”