Thursday Sep 11
Cyclist a victim of hit-and-run near Portola Valley
Officials look for suspect's vehicle, a white Ford
By Shaun Bishop / Daily News Staff Writer
Authorities are looking for a motorist who hit a bicyclist Tuesday afternoon in a popular bicycling area near Portola Valley and sped away.
The driver of a white Ford F250 pick-up truck hit a 48-year-old man riding with a group of cyclists on Alpine Road near Portola Valley about 1 p.m., according to the sheriff's office and an eyewitness.
The cyclist, a regular rider in the area named Bruce, suffered a broken clavicle, broken ribs and scrapes from the collision, said fellow rider Janet Gahagen, a Mountain View resident.
Gahagen said the group was riding single-file line in a narrow bike lane near Westridge Drive and Bruce, who was wearing a helmet, may have been trying to pass another rider.
"He didn't even try to go around," she said of the motorist. "It was as if he was trying to scare us or something."
Officials have no description of the driver and have only a partial license plate number, Lt. Ray Lunny said. He said a witness reported the truck looked like it may have been a work vehicle.
Lunny said motorists and bicyclists should do their best to share the road and be careful when riding close together to avoid collisions, especially in popular biking areas near Woodside and Stanford University.
"Some of the bike riders are not the best when it comes to dealing with vehicles and certainly we're going to have a lot of people driving cars that aren't willing to share the road," Lunny said.
Gahagen, who is part of a group of 20 to 40 bikers who ride in the area daily around lunchtime, said tension between motorists and bicyclists seems to have been growing in recent years. She said she has seen several close calls between bicyclists and frustrated motorists.
While she acknowledged some riders cruise through stop signs or otherwise ignore the rules of the road, she said her group is mostly experienced and competitive cyclists who try to set a good example.
"I don't understand what we've done to create this animosity," she said. "For the most part, we're trying to respect cars. We're trying to make it better, but it only seems to be getting worse."
E-mail Shaun Bishop at firstname.lastname@example.org.