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motorcyclists vs bicyclists on Hwy 9 in Saratoga

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motorcyclists vs bicyclists on Hwy 9 in Saratoga

Old 08-17-11, 03:01 PM
  #1  
johnny99
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motorcyclists vs bicyclists on Hwy 9 in Saratoga

Scary article in the Mercury-News: https://www.mercurynews.com/ci_18700030
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Old 08-18-11, 11:17 AM
  #2  
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More scary are the comments.
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Old 08-18-11, 11:26 AM
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30mph speed limit is a joke, they should raise to to 50 or so. Other then that, bunch of whining, ignorance, and self important postulance on all sides of the argument.
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Old 08-18-11, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
30mph speed limit is a joke, they should raise to to 50 or so. Other then that, bunch of whining, ignorance, and self important postulance on all sides of the argument.
for once we agree.

hwy9 is plenty wide for cyclists, cars, and moto's (even to pass), all at the same time.

I've also, in the 20-30x I've ridden it, never seen people riding 2 abreast. It's a climb, it strings out.

Motos and cars and bikes all have stupid people piloting them sometimes. It is what it is.
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Old 08-18-11, 01:43 PM
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I can't agree about a 50mph limit and other thoughts

I rarely drive the road, but I know that descending from the Gap to Redwood Gulch
the nature of the road is relatively twistly and that I feel comfortable driving about the same speed I bicycle down, which is about 30-40 mph.

The road gets straighter after RG and unless there's a good tailwind it's difficult to go much over the low fourties on a bike but obviously a car can go much faster--certainly 50 mph.

The problem is the difficulty is having two different speed limits depending on the section of the road. Some drivers are going to interpret a higher speed limit as being a minimum and be barely in control in the upper section of the road. In addition the road is susceptible to icing and has periodically has sand dropped on it in winter--hence the 30 mph limit.

Actually what really gives me the creeps descending is the possiblity of cars turning left for Sanborn Park (right before the bridge)--I feel very vulnerable (even w/ a headlight). I really wish there could be a stop sign for drivers who are turning left--although I guess that could create additional confusion.

On weekends I also see bicyclists descending the road waaaay too slow--about 25 mph with a line of cars queued behind. It makes me uncomfortable to observe this.

I have on occasion see CHP on the side of the road, but as a practical matter it can't be too easy to pull over motorcycles. Anyway wouldn't they all be quickly aware that the road is being monitored?
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Old 08-18-11, 02:02 PM
  #6  
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It used to be 45mph when I used to go up and down that road everyday after school.
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Old 08-27-11, 07:23 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by SClaraPokeman View Post
I rarely drive the road, but I know that descending from the Gap to Redwood Gulch
the nature of the road is relatively twistly and that I feel comfortable driving about the same speed I bicycle down, which is about 30-40 mph.

The road gets straighter after RG and unless there's a good tailwind it's difficult to go much over the low fourties on a bike but obviously a car can go much faster--certainly 50 mph.

The problem is the difficulty is having two different speed limits depending on the section of the road. Some drivers are going to interpret a higher speed limit as being a minimum and be barely in control in the upper section of the road. In addition the road is susceptible to icing and has periodically has sand dropped on it in winter--hence the 30 mph limit.

Actually what really gives me the creeps descending is the possiblity of cars turning left for Sanborn Park (right before the bridge)--I feel very vulnerable (even w/ a headlight). I really wish there could be a stop sign for drivers who are turning left--although I guess that could create additional confusion.

On weekends I also see bicyclists descending the road waaaay too slow--about 25 mph with a line of cars queued behind. It makes me uncomfortable to observe this.

I have on occasion see CHP on the side of the road, but as a practical matter it can't be too easy to pull over motorcycles. Anyway wouldn't they all be quickly aware that the road is being monitored?
On my motorcycle the majority of turns are doable above 30mph but a few require slower speeds. Also the sand that was mentioned, rocks coming off the hill, or a car cutting across the yellow line make it dangerous. If you're going around any corner at 50mph and you encounter gravel with cars coming the opposite direction you're setting yourself up for a motorcycle vs. car scenario. If there were no cars it would be a different story perhaps, but idiots in their Ford Explorers who can't maintain a line through the turn pose a risk to everyone else on the road. As for passing on double yellow and all the other things motorcycle riders sometimes do, I won't say anyone should be out there passing or speeding or tailgating. I will say, however, that my motorcycle is capable of things that the average car driver doesn't understand. People who are scared of motorcycles have probably never ridden one much the same as people who complain about bicycles on the road never ride one for themselves.
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Old 08-28-11, 10:19 PM
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Motercyclists

Damnpour,

I visited a motorcyclist forum discussing bicyclists in our local hills and I was expecting a diatribe but was surprised by a mostly thoughtful debate on how to deal with bicycle encounters. Some riders even expressed respect for some bicyclists descending skills.

A few bicyclists I speak to at rest stops are also motorcyclists. I'd guess this is unusual, but one mentioned to me recently that Page Mill isn't an ideal road for motorcycles because he needs quite a bit of muscle to push through the turns. He said a bicycle in contrast is like moving a feather.

Most motorcyclists I speak with seem like pretty good guys. I only question why it's their apparent right to use HW9 as a race track. Something seems a bit wrong to me about that.

However, for my personal safety I worry more about the out of control guy in an SUV, mostly motorcyclists can breakup the serenity of a climb, but OTOH they largely disappear in the cooler months anyway.
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Old 08-28-11, 10:51 PM
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^^^ Which one have you visited? In couple local ones mentioning bicyclists is like waving red in front of a bull, and provokes diatribes, whining, and gleeful comments about running cyclists over or being over joyed by the news of cyclists getting hurt. I wouldn't lift a finger to help some of those dip****s, and I ride myself.
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Old 08-29-11, 09:13 AM
  #10  
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I know a lot of cyclists who are also motorcyclists. I'm one. Just like with car drivers, most motorcyclists are cool about bicycles, but there are a few asshats with issues who spoil it for the rest.

9 is close to the santa clara valley, so it's the first twisty road that sportbikers going into the mountains encounter. I don't mind motorcyclists going fast as long as they are in control and leave plenty of room for other road users.
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Old 08-29-11, 11:16 AM
  #11  
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I agree, a certain percentage of the population are just asshats on the road. As a cager, motorcyclist & bicyclist I don't see any bigger percentage in any of those groups than any other. A small fraction ruining it for the rest of us. Personally I avoid the backside of 9 & Skyline in general on Sunny afternoons, but that's just a personal thing.
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Old 08-30-11, 04:31 PM
  #12  
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Man, this just happened to me recently. My buddy and I were climbing on a Saturday at around 5pm, toward the top, where the shoulder gets wider, these two bikers were going into the right curve and the second guy went all the way into the shoulder and nearly chipped me. It really looked like he did it on purpose

Do you guys like to ride HWY 9 at certain hours? My friend argues against going there during the weekends because of the traffic but I would think the traffic would actually pace these characters?
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Old 08-31-11, 04:25 PM
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Could be he just didn't have a clue how to ride. With "quality" of riders on 9, it's 50/50 incompetence/malice.
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Old 09-05-11, 07:03 PM
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Ive ridden Hwy 9 over a hundred times as it is close to home and a great ride. Ive ridden at 5 pm on weekdays and 7am on weekends. The problems are the same at any time. Its a few who drive faster then their abilities or that of the vehicle, and as mentioned the asshats. The biggest problem for me was some fat pig on a Harley that for some reason thought it would be funny to bump me on the climb. I invited him to pull over but he just rode off. Other then that the problems were rare, and I rode alone more often then not. The problems have been worse on some other roads for me, with Mt Hamilton being the least problematic.
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Old 09-06-11, 01:46 PM
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Sean, it's good to see you're still around.

I agree about Hamilton. I think that it gets a more experienced class of motorcyclist, on average, than 9 does. It's certainly more difficult a road.
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Old 09-06-11, 05:47 PM
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The condition of the road on Mt Hamilton demands more attention and skill. Since 9 is smooth except for a couple of sketchy bits near the bottom, there are a bunch of toolsheds using it as their personal track for their crotch rocket. More than a few seem like they are pushing beyond their abilities.
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Old 09-06-11, 06:14 PM
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I left Saratoga in the 1970s; couldn't wait to get out of there. Looks like nothing really changes. Back then, it was only referred to as Big Basin, regardless of the route number. Or possibly my memory is crappy. If I were there now, I probably wouldn't ride that road at all, especially with all the trails on the other side of those mountains.

I love sport bikes almost as much as bicycles, and in both worlds, people often confuse their gear's ability with their own ability. On a bicycle, that confused person rarely is a threat to other peoples' safety, however.
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