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Sometimes it pays to read the road signs | WhyBike? Motorcycle Blog

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Sometimes it pays to read the road signs

By James - 4/30/2006

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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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3 Comments

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    When I had my accident last January it was partly due to ignoring the road sign. Only we were riding a small desert highway, when we saw a sign that said “Flooded". Usually that means to ignore it when it hasn’t rained for a long time. Well, there was snow melting in the mountains, and there was about 6 inch deep water flowing pretty quickly over a dip in the road, and it caught me by surprise. I made the mistake of braking rather than riding through it. Wheels locked up, I went high side, and spent 8 days in the hospital.

    Comment by
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    Steve — 4/30/2006 @ 11:47 pm


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    This is a great article. Thanks for reminding people to keep alert and watch for warning signs. In my MSF course a year ago the teacher warned us to always stay alert and to never let our guard down when driving a motorcycle. After a while on the road that is earlier said then done.

    We have lots of road signs warning of sharp twisties coming up and to slow down. Just this last week a fellow motorcyclist was talking about how he wasn’t paying attention and one of the twisties was a bit tighter then he thought. He ended up on the other side of the road and glad no cars were coming from the other side. So we all need to remember to stay on the alert. It will most likely save our lives.

    Comment by
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    Betty — 5/1/2006 @ 9:39 pm


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    Update! It seems two motorcyclists crashed at that spot. Neither died but both accidents were described a “nearly fatal".

    Comment by
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    Motorcycle Blog — 5/3/2006 @ 8:57 am

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