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Old 08-16-09, 01:50 PM   #1
rooftest
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Angeles Crest -

Had a great ride today up Angeles Crest from La Canada to Mt. Disappointment.

I noticed that the Crotch rocket riders were much more aggressive today. As usual, most of them were very nice - but a couple did honk (?) at me and give me the finger.

While we descended, there were a couple of riders crossing the double-yellow line on blind corners. (??)

Three ambulances (as well as many fire trucks, Sheriff's trucks, etc.) were heading up as I descended too.

Is there something in the water? Are motorcycle dealers giving free bikes to 16 year-olds? It was really weird up there today.
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Old 08-16-09, 02:30 PM   #2
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Sadly, that has been my NORMAL experience on that road. CHP and Caltrans are getting tired of scraping them off the mountain. They will pass over a double line in a blind turn even WITH oncoming traffic. Those adrenaline junkies need to take it elsewhere. I don't need to have my life ended because someone thought it was cool to be stupid. I go there to enjoy the terrain, geology, and views, not idiocy.
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Old 08-16-09, 05:28 PM   #3
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Sunday seems to be the worst day for the rice rockets. It seems like when one goes down 2 jump up in his place. How was Mt Dissapointment? I hear it's steep and there are bears up there
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Old 08-16-09, 05:40 PM   #4
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Sunday seems to be the worst day for the rice rockets. It seems like when one goes down 2 jump up in his place. How was Mt Dissapointment? I hear it's steep and there are bears up there
hmmm... I think I usually do that ride on Saturday, so that may account for some of the difference.

Disappointment is a great climb - I think it's steeper and tougher than the climb to the observatory. It pitches up significantly for the last 1/4 mile or so. The only downside is that it's a narrow and poorly paved road - going faster than 20 on the descent is a bad idea.
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Old 08-16-09, 06:59 PM   #5
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Most of the motorcycle riders on AC are pretty nice, and if I get honked at, it is usually a friendly "just letting you know I'm passing" honk, often with a peace sign as they go by. But as usual, there are always a few bad apples. One of them honked before blowing by us at an alarming speed, and then we saw him sitting on the bench outside of Newcomb's slurring and ranting about everything from cyclists in his way to his wife being lazy... obviously drunk. Great, drunk and on windy roads being an a-hole.
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Old 08-26-09, 01:31 PM   #6
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Sadly, that has been my NORMAL experience on that road... I go there to enjoy the terrain, geology, and views, not idiocy.
I agree, especially on weekends. While in a car up there recently, some guy flipped us off for using a turn-out to let him pass; guy probably screams obscenities at the squirrels and birds too for interfering with what he seemed to think was his private race track.

I thought the Harley guys were better, but we recently had a group of them ride the wrong way through our campground (Lake) in the middle of the night, revving their engines, just to be obnoxious/provocative. Now I usually only stay in the more remote campgrounds or back-pack and try to hit the road on a weekday.

Bears and coyotes are minimal concerns compared to psychopathic drivers
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Old 08-26-09, 02:00 PM   #7
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Is there something in the water? Are motorcycle dealers giving free bikes to 16 year-olds? It was really weird up there today.
A good chunk of them are young military kids. What's a GI to do when he comes back to sleepy old America with six months of unspent hazardous duty pay and an acclimation to adrenaline?
There are sportbikes available that will approach 200mph that cost around $15K.

Back in the Vietnam era, Kawasaki sold a lot of MachIII's--a 3-cylinder, 2-stroke engine that would easily walk away from all of the muscle-cars of the early 70's. They were called "Nickel Rockets".

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Old 08-26-09, 02:09 PM   #8
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I agree, especially on weekends. While in a car up there recently, some guy flipped us off for using a turn-out to let him pass; guy probably screams obscenities at the squirrels and birds too for interfering with what he seemed to think was his private race track.
That describes the "squids" that flipped me off. They didn't even have to cross the yellow line to pass me on their motorcycles, and still got all pissed. wtf?

It always reminds me of an altercation I saw at the top of GMR. Some guy in a mercedes had apparently flipped off a harley rider on the way up, then stopped at the top to take in the view. The harley rider pulled up a few minutes later and kicked his ass.
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Old 08-26-09, 02:46 PM   #9
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Wow, is the attitude different from GMR? I've never had a problem with a crotchrocket. Usually a friendly nod but never a finger. Maybe they like my orange jersey?

The only one that gave me problems was a 70 yo looking ranger playing Ricky Racer in an S-10 pickup hugging the opposite shoulder nearly taking me out head on as I was descending.
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Old 08-26-09, 03:04 PM   #10
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Wow, is the attitude different from GMR? I've never had a problem with a crotchrocket. Usually a friendly nod but never a finger. Maybe they like my orange jersey?

The only one that gave me problems was a 70 yo looking ranger playing Ricky Racer in an S-10 pickup hugging the opposite shoulder nearly taking me out head on as I was descending.
Chances are good you're riding closer to the right side of the road than these folks getting the finger.

Expressing your opinion that you have a right to the entire road frequently elicits the opinions of others.
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Old 08-26-09, 03:07 PM   #11
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The speeds are higher than GMR. GMR's got more "twisty's", so it keeps the speed down on motorcyclists. I've never had any issues there either. (other than that mercededs driver buzzing me - but the Harley rider took care of that.)

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Chances are good you're riding closer to the right side of the road than these folks getting the finger.

Expressing your opinion that you have a right to the entire road frequently elicits the opinions of others.
Experience has taught me that riding very close to the white line results in more close calls. Taking the lane makes sure they see you. While climbing, I'll take the lane, then move over once they've seen me.

Watch out about calling it an "opinion." That's like saying it's my "opinion" that rain is wet, cement is hard, and the sun is hot.

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Old 08-26-09, 03:30 PM   #12
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I can't imagine why the squids are riding so aggressively and flipping you off. They must be fat, lazy, stupid, and unsexy maniacs.
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Old 08-26-09, 03:33 PM   #13
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^ Now THAT would be an opinion.

The right to the road is in the DMV code.
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Old 08-26-09, 03:37 PM   #14
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Fortunately for us, the DMV code daren't decree we employ courtesy or common sense.
I hope it won't be too long before his experience teaches him that riding in the middle of the road will cause motorcyclists (and even a few cars) to flip him off and 'ride aggressively.'

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Old 08-26-09, 04:26 PM   #15
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Fortunately for us, the DMV code daren't decree we employ courtesy or common sense.
I hope it won't be too long before his experience teaches him that riding in the middle of the road will cause motorcyclists (and even a few cars) to flip him off and 'ride aggressively.'
Not that I'm advocating riding in the middle of the road all the time (nor is rooftest), but there are times where it is in fact the best choice to take the lane. I don't hug the white line going around blind righthand curves because the driver/rider can't see you in time. Instead, I ride near the middle of the lane and then move back over when I hear them approaching. I have yet to get the finger doing this. First, it gives them more time to see me. Second, they see me moving over to get out of their way and appreciate that. I suppose there will always be the chance idiot who doesn't know and doesn't care, but they are a danger no matter what you're doing.

Also, I agree with Rooftest that I get more close calls riding the white line than if I go say a few feet out. I think it's because people try to squeeze in without crossing the center line if they can. If they realize they have to cross the line, they seem to just go for the whole other side and pass me with 8+ feet to spare. Granted, this is applicable to cars and not motorcycles. Either way, I don't make a deal out of it as long as they don't hit me.

As funny as it may sound, I started getting more respect from cars and motorcycles the moment I started acting more like them: Waiting my turn at stop signs, taking my place in the cue at red lights, signalling before a turn, taking the lane when it's too narrow to be passed, etc. Now I mostly get friendly beeps, waves, or peace signs.

edit: btw common sense is doing whatever is the OVERALL safest action. Courtesy is trying our best to stay out of the way of motorists, AND motorists waiting patiently for 5 or 10 seconds if they encounter us at a point which makes it impossible for us to stay out of their way. It goes two ways, or it doesn't work.
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Old 08-26-09, 05:12 PM   #16
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+1 to urbanknight's technique of being a further out in the lane on two lane roads, but moving over to the right when safe to do so. The other thing is that when there's an oncoming car in the other lane, being further out limits the temptation for the driver behind you to "thread the needle" between you and the oncoming car. Motorists have told me they've been frustrated in these situations because at first it looks like there's enough room to pass, then they have to change their mind at the last minute and slow down and wait - or worse, they end squeezing real close between you and the oncoming car. (That was for other cyclists, not me.) Being further out in the lane but then moving over after the oncoming car passes makes it more clear to the driver behind when is a good time to pass, and I haven't had any negative reactions from motorists for that.
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Old 08-26-09, 06:50 PM   #17
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I hope it won't be too long before his experience teaches him that riding in the middle of the road will cause motorcyclists (and even a few cars) to flip him off and 'ride aggressively.'
I'll take somebody getting upset at me and giving me the finger over someone not seeing me and running me over any day.

At any rate, I don't let it bother me. I learned a long time ago that I don't have time to get upset at everyone who buzzed me or gave me the finger.

On ACH, I've only gotten problems from motorcyclists (never from cars) while I've been descending. Riding on the white line momentarily is much less safe at 35+ mph than it is at climbing speeds.

The "riding aggressively" - passing on the wrong side of the road in blind corners - has nothing to do with me. It probably does explain why I counted 3 ambulances heading up in about 45 min. though...

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Old 08-26-09, 08:41 PM   #18
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I'll take somebody getting upset at me and giving me the finger over someone not seeing me and running me over any day.
Good point. The finger means they at least saw you.
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Old 08-27-09, 12:38 AM   #19
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Still, cyclists have been killed by drivers that said later "I saw them." I've had gasholes pass within inches of me, when confronted, they said "I saw you." Yet, still they passed unsafely. Seeing and actually doing something about it are two different things.
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Old 08-27-09, 01:21 AM   #20
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True, but if they're gonna drive like that, it just plain doesn't matter what you do or don't do. And the fact of the matter, probably around 99% of drivers don't do that when they see you. It's the 1 gashole (I like that term) we focus on, when in reality it's all about playing the odds and stacking them in our favor as best as we can.
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Old 08-27-09, 09:37 AM   #21
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Ah, okay, I think I got it now:
  • We're right for riding in the middle of the road when we're climbing up mountains @ 8-12 mph.
  • They're all wrong for consuming gasoline and climbing much faster than that.
  • They're all wrong for hitting us or passing unsafely when we ride in the middle of the road @ 8-12mph.
  • Occasionally we get to be martyrs who ride in the middle of the road @ 8-12 mph because counterintuitively, it's the safest way to ride.

Seems reasonable.
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Old 08-27-09, 12:30 PM   #22
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Ah, okay, I think I got it now:
  • We're right for riding in the middle of the road when we're climbing up mountains @ 8-12 mph.
  • They're all wrong for consuming gasoline and climbing much faster than that.
  • They're all wrong for hitting us or passing unsafely when we ride in the middle of the road @ 8-12mph.
  • Occasionally we get to be martyrs who ride in the middle of the road @ 8-12 mph because counterintuitively, it's the safest way to ride.
Seems reasonable.
WTF? Shouldn't you be on a "we hate cyclists" forum somewhere instead of bikeforums.net ? Are you going to start suggesting riding on the sidewalk?
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Old 08-27-09, 12:58 PM   #23
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Not at all! I was agreeing with you. I fully support your right to inconvenience other road users as much as possible, to whine about their resulting reactions on the internet, and to someday become a martyr in the name of right-to-the-road awareness.
BTW, when did they install a sidewalk on Angeles Crest? It wasn't there the last time I was on it.
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Old 08-27-09, 01:13 PM   #24
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I've been up AC,BT,LT,GMR, a zillion (ok maybe half a zillion) times and have never had any situation with any motorized vehicle.
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Old 08-27-09, 01:24 PM   #25
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^ Another one of those smart@$$es who think it's cute to ride near the shoulder. Thanks to irresponsibly considerate cyclists like this, we're all going to have to get mountain bikes in the near future if we wish to continue riding.
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