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Speeding on Mt. Diablo

Old 09-03-15, 01:02 PM
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nokia8860
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Speeding on Mt. Diablo



Rumors are going around that the rangers are busting cyclist for speeding on Mt. Diablo. I can say that I have verified these rumors to be true as today Ranger Dan blasting the siren and flashed the red and blue lights at me.

He commented on how often he sees me on the mountain and that I need to ride within the posted speed limit and let me off with a warning.

So with the Labor Day weekend fast approaching, just wanted to let everyone know, the rangers are out there so keep your speed in check.
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Old 09-03-15, 01:04 PM
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Was that going UP or DOWN**********
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Old 09-03-15, 01:07 PM
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Passing the ranger truck ... OK, you were asking for it.
But thanks, I'll spread the word as well.
And I've seen a ranger post that if the Gate is up, it's OK to bike in even if it's before 8... hopping the Gate is not allowed.

I think slower descents are just something we're going to have to accept as part of the safety improvements they're trying to get done.
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Old 09-03-15, 01:22 PM
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I passed him on the straight after the lower washout pass the double solid yellow where there is clear view a head. Even waived nicely to him as I passed. But speeding is speeding. He also mentioned the fact I was tail gating him on the way down.

Not an aggressive tail gate mind you. I was about 2 seconds behind him. I was waving to others and smiling the whole time. But hey I'm not gonna argue with a ranger.

I even introduced myself and shook his hand. I'm on the mountain frequently and want to be on the rangers good side.

Yeah, park gates have been open each time I go. I think only a few times a few years back have I seen them closed, but that was during the winter.

No doubt with the safety improvements of trying to paint more solid lines and putting up more signs I'm sure the rangers are keeping a closer eye on everyone.
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Old 09-04-15, 01:17 PM
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You wrote in the linked post: "Technically yes, I was speeding but Iím on a bicycle so it was no more than a few km over the speed limit. . ."

Maybe you weren't more than a few km over the speed limit (and perhaps in part because you weren't going too fast to begin with because you were stuck behind the ranger who was probably going the at least the speed limit). But I am one of the slower ones going down the mountain, and I'm almost never under the speed limit on the way down except when going around curves. Anyone going 30 mph in a 20 mph zone is doing more than a "few km over the speed limit." In spite of being one of the slower ones on the mountain, how much of the time am I over 30? And sometimes over 40? How much do the brakes have to be used to keep to the actual speed limit? A lot more than I am comfortable with.

I have never passed a cyclist going down Diablo, yet my average speed going down is over the speed limit. A lot more cyclists pass me going down the hill than cars, going downhill the bikes are definitely worse speeders than the cars, the "I'm on a bicycle, so how much could I be speeding?" excuse doesn't really cut it. We are all guilty of speeding going down that mountain at rates that would merit tickets to motor vehicles in a 20 mph zone. I don't know that it is reasonable to get cyclists to go the actual speed limit, but it is hard to ask motor vehicles to better obey the laws if the cyclists are going to completely blow off the laws, and we should be prepared to have a check put on our downhill speeds.

But yeah, what DiabloScott said, you are pretty much asking for it if you pass the ranger truck.
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Old 09-04-15, 02:38 PM
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I'm no trying to justify my speeding on the blog post. Only mentioned it just to mention but not as in a defense because I'm on a bicycle. Over the speed limit is just that, over the speed limit. It is what it is and I'm glad Ranger Dan was nice enough to let me off with a warning and I'll keep my speed under 40km/h.

That and not pass a ranger even if its at the bottom of the mountain. Because in order to pass the ranger, you need to go a bit faster which would mean... you're speeding.

Btw, @blt hope I see you on the road sometime. Always neat to meet BF members IRL. I've meet a few already!
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Old 09-04-15, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by nokia8860 View Post
I'm no trying to justify my speeding on the blog post. Only mentioned it just to mention but not as in a defense because I'm on a bicycle. Over the speed limit is just that, over the speed limit. It is what it is and I'm glad Ranger Dan was nice enough to let me off with a warning and I'll keep my speed under 40km/h.

That and not pass a ranger even if its at the bottom of the mountain. Because in order to pass the ranger, you need to go a bit faster which would mean... you're speeding.

Btw, @blt hope I see you on the road sometime. Always neat to meet BF members IRL. I've meet a few already!
But I am kind of trying to justify MY speeding, while also trying to acknowledge that it is a problem. Your post has highlighted an inner conflict I feel here.

As you say, over the limit is over the limit. I'm one of the slower ones, yet my AVERAGE speed is over the limit. Of course, cars are generally going to get 5-10 mph over the limit as a grace, no reason bikes shouldn't get the same. But my sense is that we're ALL exceeding that grace when coming down Diablo. Back in March, I went past a portable sign displaying my speed somewhere not far from Juniper, I had already slowed down for an unrelated reason, I wasn't pedaling, and I was at 24, i.e., pretty much 40 km/h. You say you'll keep your speed under 40 km/h. But that seems really HARD to me, and I rationalize that my speeds are reasonably safe, especially since I never pass anyone going down.

On the other hand, I'll have to admit, we'd all be safer if we kept to 40 km/h or under (well, except when our slow speeds cause a blowout from the brakes overheating the rims). And even if it is hard for me, is it OK for me and that many cyclists to be breaking the speed limit, and at times, by a lot more than a few km/h?

Anyway, I've got an inner conflict here, I'm just letting it out, not judging the behavior of you, me, or anyone else, maybe I'm hoping I'm not the only one who feels this conflict.
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Old 09-04-15, 04:25 PM
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Seems to me that the difference between a citizen being hit by 175 lbs. of bicycle and 3-10,000 lbs. of automobile is so exponentially different that it's silly to require the same speed limit.
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Old 09-04-15, 04:38 PM
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The speed limits were chosen for cars; bicycles can obviously descend safely at a higher speed than cars can... but that's not the point - you can't have two different speed limits when the traffic is sharing the same two-lane road.
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Old 09-06-15, 12:52 PM
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Why not bump the speed limit by 10? I say lets just make it 35...
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Old 09-06-15, 05:31 PM
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Won't hurt to slow down on the descents. No finish lines waiting for me, usually just dinner. haha
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Old 09-06-15, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
And I've seen a ranger post that if the Gate is up, it's OK to bike in even if it's before 8... hopping the Gate is not allowed.
Can you clarify this? Not sure what this means... There have been a few times when I've been on the mountain rather late, and a ranger will pull up along side me and tell me the mountain is closing. I've just told him I'm going to the Jx and turning around, and they are ok with that. But what are the rules, your comment leads me to believe it's all good as long as you are on the mountain before they close the gate, but it seems like they do warn you if you are heading up around sunset...
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Old 09-07-15, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
Can you clarify this? Not sure what this means... There have been a few times when I've been on the mountain rather late, and a ranger will pull up along side me and tell me the mountain is closing. I've just told him I'm going to the Jx and turning around, and they are ok with that. But what are the rules, your comment leads me to believe it's all good as long as you are on the mountain before they close the gate, but it seems like they do warn you if you are heading up around sunset...
I meant in the morning - the Park is officially open at 8am, but if you get there at 7:30 and the Gate is up then it's OK to go in even if there is no one in the kiosk... you don't have to wait til 8.

The Park closes at sunset, if you're on the way out that's fine, but that doesn't mean you can come in at sunset and do a whole ride.
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