Monday, April 11, 2011

Here's something annoying

This morning Brooks and I went riding in the East Bay before work. Part of this ride is the descent of Calaveras into Milpitas. This is a fast fun descent.

Here's my strava gps log for the descent. On the right side you will see my average speed on the descent was 33.8 MPH over a 2.3 mile segment - over that segment size the GPS errors start to get pretty small.

About 1/2 mile from the bottom, the spidey senses went off and I did a shoulder check, and saw a vehicle behind me. I looked down and my GPS was reporting 34 MPH. There is one last S bend in front of me, and I drifted into the center of the lane to block the car from passing me. I didn't want to get passed in the S-bend at speed. This could hardly be contstrued as "impeding traffic" - the speed limit is 35 MPH.

Not surprisingly - I was passed right in the S-bend anyway. Shortly after the S-bend there was a speed trap, one of those signs with the speed limit posted and an electronic sign that shows the radar detected speed of your vehicle. The vehicle hit the speed trap - 47 MPH. Not surprising, as when I made the turn onto Calaveras there was nobody behind me and I was averaging the speed limit - the only way I could get caught is by someone exceeding the speed limit.

I caught the car at the stop sign at the bottom, but decided to just go on my way today. But I got a good look at the driver - a soccer mom in a mini-van with 2 kids in the car.


Yokota Fritz said...

Same thing yesterday for me in the Santa Cruz Mtns. 30 mph limit, I'm going 35, Volvo driver feels compelled to pass in blind curve and nearly takes out an oncoming BMW. OOPS!

Jason Thorpe said...

Too bad the speed trap in question didn't actually include a trap. Plus the fact that you caught her at the stop sign goes to show that driving like a friggin' maniac doesn't really save any time. I suppose she probably just felt like "behind bicycle = going slow".

ammon said...

On a Roasters ride a few years ago, a car passed a pack of ~30 riders on the fast Nicasio Valley descent around a blind corner:

He hit an oncoming motorcyclist, sending the guy into the air (and to the hospital). At least he didn't veer back into the pack taking out more people and drove his car off the left side of the road where he was forced to wait for the authorities.

murphstahoe said...

I was on an SRCC ride coming down Bohemian Highway from Occidental to Monte Rio a few years back. That's a very fast road, we were flying down in the 35 MPH range. A pickup truck came zooming past us in the opposite travel lane and almost into an oncoming... police car. He squeezed back into the right hand lane as we sat up and the cop went onto the shoulder.

The cop immediately flipped a U-turn and came by lights flashing. A few minutes later we saw the cop coming up the hill - he his pursuit was fruitless.

Mikesonn said...

I went for a ride on Skyline yesterday and ending up doing my decent down Hwy 9 into Saratoga. The speed limit is 30 mph with a TON of blind turns and switch backs. I was constantly 30-35 mph on my decent (unless the signs posted warning 20 mph turns).

Well, of course I had cars on my ass continuously. At one point, I heard a truck revving its engine, I glanced ahead and it was a series of slight jogs in the road so I stayed in the center of the lane because it wouldn't have been safe to slide off to the side and let him pass, each jog was blind to oncoming traffic. But that wouldn't stop him. I looked at my speed when he blew by me, 37 mph (in a 30 mph zone mind you!). Obviously I was upset, but whatever. There was a jog ahead and the truck passed me just fine. However, the asshole was pulling a trailer and I was nearly clipped by it as he had to jump back into the lane because of oncoming traffic.

It really is bike = slow so there is no way a driver can just sit and go the fucking speed limit if that means sitting behind a bike. I was nearly killed because some asshole thought it was cost him 30 secs of his time. If only there was some sort of test to get the privilege to operate a motor vehicle.

I've had close calls, but going 35+ and nearly getting side swiped by a trailer takes the cake. He totally killed my awesome decent as I was a nervous wreck the rest of the trip down. I busted my ass up to skyline so I could enjoy the ride down. I really wish I would have gotten his license plate, but since police have to witness a crime now to issue a ticket, I doubt it would have done any good.

Mikesonn said...

Last night coming down Ralston from 92 there was a line of cars waiting for a left turner. One of the guys mid way through the pack decided he'd stick his front end into the bike lane - maybe he thought he could hop up onto the sidewalk and blow pass the 30 sec delay. This all happened while, if he looked back, I was in plain sight. Luckily I got there just before he completely closed off the bike lane and caused me to ET leap over his hood.