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Old 03-20-10, 03:18 PM   #1
GaryNoTrashCoug
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Cyclist yesterday on 84

I was driving west on 84 yesterday afternoon when I saw some eastbound riders on road bikes coming around a turn. There was one cyclist (I believe he was wearing a blue jersey) who looked like he lost control, ran off into the dirt and over the edge. I was going to stop, but there was no shoulder in that section and it was on a blind curve. Fortunately, there was a guy behind them in a Subaru who stopped. Just past this, we passed what looked like a Parks & Rec or forest service truck or something on the road so I'm sure he (or she) would have stopped, too. If you or someone you were with is reading this, I hope you're OK. That looked like a nasty and scary crash.
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Old 03-20-10, 07:37 PM   #2
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84 is evil.
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Old 03-21-10, 11:30 AM   #3
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Um, 84 is a pretty long road ... it starts out at the coast in San Gregorio, heads thru Woodside, crosses the bay over the Dumbarton Bridge, becomes Niles Canyon Rd out to Sunol, and winds up in Livermore.

So about where was this?
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Old 03-21-10, 12:01 PM   #4
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Um, 84 is a pretty long road ... it starts out at the coast in San Gregorio, heads thru Woodside, crosses the bay over the Dumbarton Bridge, becomes Niles Canyon Rd out to Sunol, and winds up in Livermore.

So about where was this?
From the sound of it, seems like Eastbound on E84 (basically Skyline down to Woodside descent).
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Old 03-22-10, 09:17 AM   #5
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did it look like he took it too hot or was he just not comfortable turning? Most of the tighter or more difficult sections would be ones that lead you into oncoming traffic.
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Old 03-22-10, 09:48 AM   #6
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pictures? google satellite?
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Old 03-22-10, 11:25 PM   #7
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From the sound of it, seems like Eastbound on E84 (basically Skyline down to Woodside descent).
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did it look like he took it too hot or was he just not comfortable turning? Most of the tighter or more difficult sections would be ones that lead you into oncoming traffic.
That section of 84 seems to attract a lot of nervous new descenders wobbling their way down. Poor choice as it is also one of the most heavily-trafficked roads in the area.

Hope the rider is ok!
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Old 03-23-10, 03:42 AM   #8
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pictures?
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Old 03-23-10, 07:27 PM   #9
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I'm also interested to know exactly where this occurred. I know of two very experienced riders who went down hard at the last right-hand turn just above Portola Road in the past 6-7 weeks. Each suffered a concussion, broken ribs, and broken scapula. One also had a broken collarbone and the other suffered a fractured hip.

Weird that they crashed at the same location and had similar injuries so close within a month and a half of each other.
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Old 03-23-10, 07:36 PM   #10
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you better make a warning sign before someone has to make a roadside memorial
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Old 03-23-10, 09:37 PM   #11
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Yes, sorry I forgot to mention that it was in-between Skyline and Woodside. And I was driving around a very sharp turn, so no there are no pictures. If I had been able to stop to take a picture, I'd have been able to get out and help. It was a left hand (heading east) turn. There were other riders with him and eastbound motorists stopping so I'm sure he got plenty of help, it was just freaky to witness and I posted this to see if I could find out if he was OK or not.
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Old 03-23-10, 10:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
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That section of 84 seems to attract a lot of nervous new descenders wobbling their way down. Poor choice as it is also one of the most heavily-trafficked roads in the area.

Hope the rider is ok!
Tis the season, oh wait wrong forum. Well to be fair it's the least technical path to get down from that mountain. Only other option is 9, but between crazy motorcyclists who treat it like a freaken race track and traffic it's even worse then 84.
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Old 03-24-10, 04:10 AM   #13
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Tis the season, oh wait wrong forum. Well to be fair it's the least technical path to get down from that mountain. Only other option is 9, but between crazy motorcyclists who treat it like a freaken race track and traffic it's even worse then 84.
Yes, the wide sweeping curves lull new descenders into level of high confidence, then the couple of sharper curves take them by surprise. Happened to my friend about a month back.
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Old 03-24-10, 06:19 AM   #14
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seriously put up a volunteer sign for other cyclists. this is what I call a "kill zone" I have a few on my commute, but the difference here is this zone of yours is actually taking out riders. if the road crew takes it down put up another. autos need/benefit from warning signage why not cycles too! not sure what it would say, maybe "cycles caution" and show a picture of cyclist tipping over like those tractor trailer warning signs
http://www.thesignlady.net/signs/ima...ycleSymbol.jpg
http://www.thesignlady.net/signs/ima...ckRollover.jpg
http://www.thesignlady.net/signs/Warning-signs.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/2237798905/
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Old 03-24-10, 06:27 AM   #15
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also curious if you guys can pinpoint this spot on google maps please

is this it:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=State+Highway+84,+Alameda,+California&sll=37.996163,-95.712891&sspn=36.312064,67.763672&ie=UTF8&cd=3&geocode=***_PQIdD1u8-A&split=0&hq=&hnear=State+Highway+84,+Alameda,+California&ll=37.590159,-121.933479&spn=0.03761,0.066175&t=h&z=14

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Old 03-24-10, 06:29 AM   #16
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Yes, the wide sweeping curves lull new descenders into level of high confidence, then the couple of sharper curves take them by surprise. Happened to my friend about a month back.
It's a terrible road to learn on. Lots of decreasing radius turns, lots of off-camber turns, plus the tar snakes all over the place.
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Old 03-24-10, 07:42 AM   #17
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Other side of the bay.
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Old 03-24-10, 10:05 AM   #18
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Other side of the bay.
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?sourc...e0e306058d75a6

My guess is one of these corners. Both are sharper than you'd expect when you get into them. The hairpin is less so, but it has a lot of that slippery sealant on it.
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Old 03-24-10, 10:52 AM   #19
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wow, who engineered that? that's definitely not a uniform angle around the whole turn!

also notice the spots along the outside where there are dirt patches and trees missing? I don't wonder why. how many vehicles mowed down some trees?
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Old 03-24-10, 11:16 AM   #20
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wow, who engineered that? that's definitely not a uniform angle around the whole turn!

also notice the spots along the outside where there are dirt patches and trees missing? I don't wonder why. how many vehicles mowed down some trees?
Eh, I think the mountain engineered those turns. It's fine in a car with shorter stopping distance, and fine on a bike if you don't hit the opening of the corner at the limit. If you ride on the edge on descents you don't know, it's user error.
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Old 03-24-10, 12:34 PM   #21
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Actually I think this is the most dangerous turn, specially when it's a bit wet.... ouch
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Old 03-24-10, 01:05 PM   #22
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The fact that road bikes have skinny little tires simply doesn't present a lot of rubber on the road for cornering and braking. Add in the lack of experience most will have at fast decents and high cornering speeds, and often dicey pavement, spills are gonna' happen.
When I was younger and rode a motorcycle, I did a lot hard cornering at high lean angles. There is no way I could get myself to lean that far on bicycle.
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Old 03-24-10, 01:17 PM   #23
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There is no way I could get myself to lean that far on bicycle.
You can still lean over pretty far, far enough to catch a pedal on the lumpy (bad) patch jobs on the upper part of the descent. That's my impression of 84; sometimes it's better to coast through a turn than pedal out of it for this very reason.
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Old 03-24-10, 05:39 PM   #24
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84 is too crowded

On weekend afternoons in warmer months. I drove up the road once last year on a Sunday and was amazed to see how many bike were descending--many sandwiched between a car right in front of them and one right behind.

I mean, no room for error and didn't look like any fun to me.

I used to work at Palo Alto Square in the '80s and it was great leaving work and going up OLH to 84 and back. I had 84 all to myself. But what I see on weekends, no thank you.

Scary to hear about the severe injuries suffered by the riders making the turn for Portola. I don't like to see tenative or paranoid cyclists descending at 20 mph either. It makes bicyclists even more unpopular when that happens.

I think the road can be safey taken about the same speed as an average car driver, but yes, you have to have the road wired into you and a weekend probably isn't the best time to learn this.
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Old 03-24-10, 07:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
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http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?sourc...e0e306058d75a6

My guess is one of these corners. Both are sharper than you'd expect when you get into them. The hairpin is less so, but it has a lot of that slippery sealant on it.

yeah but both of those corners have you crossing traffic (which the OP implied he was going up hill in the opposite direction).

The first one you marked I have an entry speed of about 28-30 mph. the second one I have an entry speed of maybe 20 mph. this is with using the whole lane and cutting the apex. Note: i've also been down that descent more than a couple dozen times and i'm a cat 4.
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