WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

Sometimes it pays to read the road signs

By James - 4/30/2006

My club and I rode out to coastal Davenport from Oakland today. We met up at the old Albertsons on Lakeshore and rode down to the San Mateo Bridge. Across the bay and up 92 to the junction with Skyline where we picked up some more riders. Gregory, who planned the ride, told us about a section of the road that slid because of all the rain we have had. He warned us, in no uncertain terms, that when it says “Bump Ahead” to SLOW DOWN. It wasn’t too long before we knew what he meant.

The roads through the coastal mountain range between San Francisco and Santa Cruz are motorcycling paradise. The scenery goes from rolling meadows to towering sequoia forests to coastal cliffs and sandy beaches. There are long sweepers, tight hairpins, dirt roads, goat trails, technical roads, something for everyone. Every winter they get a ton of rain and several sections need to be replaced in the spring. With the amount we got this year, there are still streams that cross the road, debris from the ones that dried up, and they haven’t gotten to all the sections of road that have sunk from the ground shifting underneath.

We rounded the corner and saw a cop directing traffic. Further around the corner we saw the ambulence and patrol cars. Behind the ambulence was a smashed gray motorcycle next to an old oak tree. As I passed and the ambulence obscured the accident scene, the paramedics raised the stretcher with the motorcyclist on it. I couldn’t tell if he was alive or not, I am guessing he was. On the other side of the road was an orange temporary road sign reading “Bump Ahead". We hit it at 20 and if I had been going over 35mph I would have gotten air. Shortly after the first was a second. I am guessing the rider ignored the temporary road sign and hit the bumps at normal speed. It is easy to picture losing control and crashing into the tree.

So pay attention to road signs. A second of cauton will save you a big headache in the long run.

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