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Old 08-10-2020, 08:19 PM   #31
SantaCruzRider
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Hwy 17 is my daily commute and I've ridden it 4,000+ roundtrips. In that time I've cut people out of their seatbelts after a vehicle crossed into on coming traffic, been 5 seconds behind a fatality that closed the road at Cats (I U-turned and took 9 home), been 12 cars behind a deadly semi crash that closed 17 for 10 hours at Bear Creek (no getting out that one) and had my bike totaled by a driver who lane changed over the top of me. I love 17 and think it's a great ride -- but I'm guessing you need more saddle time.
If you decide not to wait, avoid the commute times (even now) and southbound consider exiting at Summit and take that to Old Soquel. The agro increases on the Santa Cruz side of SB 17. The return doesn't much matter. Good luck.
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:22 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by SantaCruzRider View Post
Hwy 17 is my daily commute and I've ridden it 4,000+ roundtrips. In that time I've cut people out of their seatbelts after a vehicle crossed into on coming traffic, been 5 seconds behind a fatality that closed the road at Cats (I U-turned and took 9 home), been 12 cars behind a deadly semi crash that closed 17 for 10 hours at Bear Creek (no getting out that one) and had my bike totaled by a driver who lane changed over the top of me. I love 17 and think it's a great ride -- but I'm guessing you need more saddle time.
If you decide not to wait, avoid the commute times (even now) and southbound consider exiting at Summit and take that to Old Soquel. The agro increases on the Santa Cruz side of SB 17. The return doesn't much matter. Good luck.
I remember the semi truck accident. That was gnarly, arguably the worst in the history of that road.
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:59 AM   #33
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I remember the semi truck accident. That was gnarly, arguably the worst in the history of that road.
Yes, it was incredible. I was close enough behind it that I could see the cars flying into the air and the semi as it jumped the barrier. Didn't register at first what I was seeing. But had plenty of time to consider my morning routine and wonder whether that last sip of coffee before leaving home may have been the difference between being behind or in front of that nightmare.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:27 AM   #34
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Just throwing in my $0.02. OP....17 is not the place to "learn" on. I grew up in Los Gatos and spent many a day going to the beach in High School (30'ish years ago) and more trips than I can count since then. I've traveled it by car and on the bike. I now live on the other side of the hill in Santa Cruz and drive the other way regularly.

As others have said there have been many safety improvements over the years, however, some things never change: bad drivers, scared drivers, lots of semi-trucks and tanker trucks that cause cagers to drive unpredictably, and plenty of the 2-wheeled variety that use 17 as a race track and will share / split lanes even when traffic is rolling along at 50 - 65mph. The road itself throws a lot at you as well -- particularly as one that does not drive and has just barely begun to ride his moto. There are a lot of decreasing radius turns, off camber turns, off camber turns that also have decreasing radius, turns that suddenly have pitch changes and upset suspension, etc. Also, the pavement surface on the Los Gatos side from just above Lexington Reservoir to Los Gatos is crap -- tar snakes everywhere, pot holes everywhere, large gouges that want to suck your tire in,etc. The rest of the road has been paved and is in great shape though.

One other thing about 17 at late is with the decreased volume of traffic speeds have gone up significantly. I also see a lot more driver aggression than I have ever seen before -- probably because everyone is frustrated with Covid. I just had some A-hole tailgating me super hard despite the fact that there was no place for me to go due to traffic in front of me. He kept trying to aggressively pass me but kept getting himself blocked by traffic in both lanes. Now he was just pissed, flashing his lights, flipping me off, driving inches off my bumper, etc. Imagine all that as a newbie rider. Needless to say, I got out of his was just as quickly as I could only to watch him do it again to the car that was in front of me.

This web site can help you understand where the accidents occur: http://www.cyclelicio.us/chp/2019/sr...Bmf-NROIJxFPrI . The worst places by far are in the Northbound lanes just as you pass Summit Road and two additional turns just past it (dubbed Valley Surprise for a reason). Cars go into the turns way too hot, freak out, hit the brakes, hit the wall, then bounce like a pinball off the walls until their little sheet metal ball of a car stops and blocks one of both of the lanes for hours till the tow truck can clean up the mess.

I kid you not, before the "Covid-Lite" commute you could count on several accidents per day during the summer then up to a dozen or more during the rainy season.

Hwy 9 is not much better for a newbie but for different reasons. It does tend to be a much more chill drive than 17 but it is longer and much more twisty.
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:44 PM   #35
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I feel nervous on 17 in my car. Its terrible.
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Old 08-16-2020, 04:42 PM   #36
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Well, I've decided to back off. We're in a heat wave and it's supposed to be in the mid-90s, and I'm sensitive to heat. I'm also going down there to do physically strenuous activity, so I'm going to be hot and exhausted by the time I'm making my way back to San Jose. All things considered, better to just take the bus.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:54 PM   #37
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Good call.

It sounds like you have very little to possibly no experience on highways or in traffic. Everyone's mentioned all the stuff I was going to about crazy inattentive aggressive drivers and so forth.

I don't know how much riding practice you've done, but baby steps aren't a bad idea. Someone mentioned Uvas road and I'll second it. It's a nice forgiving stretch without traffic and it's got some turns to get you used to riding a curvy road. Heck, my first winding road was Quito between Saratoga and Los Gatos. It's residential so not a place to try to go as fast as you can, just a good nearby spot to practice on a not straight road. It also has some funny speed limits if I recall correctly.

All the other routes like 9, Old San Jose etc might be putting yourself in over your head. There's a lot going on and if you've barely passed MSF and then taken months off of riding, there are mechanical skills you'd probably want to tighten up before attempting those roads. For instance, taking a turn while going downhill feels a lot different than on flat ground. Add in a potentially off-camber situation and it can really throw you off. Take your time and enjoy the learning process.
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Old 08-28-2020, 07:46 PM   #38
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And This Afternoon ...

Incident: 08/28/20 03:15 PM : Santa Cruz : SR17 N / Carl Dr :
Time Detail
Aug 28 2020 3:16PM PER ANOTHER IN THE SLOW LN
Aug 28 2020 3:16PM VEH WAS WEAVING AND HIT A SEMI AND WENT UNDER
Aug 28 2020 3:17PM 1039 EQUIP
Aug 28 2020 3:18PM PER AOTHER BIG RIG VS MC DOWN IN THE SLOW LN
Aug 28 2020 3:19PM 17 97 SB JNO SUGARLOAF BOTH LNS CLOSED
Aug 28 2020 3:20PM 17A A UNIT NEEDS TO SHUT DOWN NB LNS F/EQUIP TO ACCESS
Aug 28 2020 3:22PM A26-017A HAVE FIRE AND AMR RESPOND NB ON SB LNS USE SUGURLOAF EXIT
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Old 08-29-2020, 01:10 PM   #39
onto1wheel
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hmmm that doesn't seem like a proper way to assess if a road is "safe".
I think if we start listing every road that has had a motorcycle accident, there will be no "safe" roads left to ride.


well, maybe some folks have already assessed that there are no "safe" motorcycle roads....

(PS i've commuted over 17 year-round on a motorcycle for many years. Personally I feel safer there than on the super-slabs of silicon valley)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco12 View Post
Incident: 08/28/20 03:15 PM : Santa Cruz : SR17 N / Carl Dr :
Time Detail
Aug 28 2020 3:16PM PER ANOTHER IN THE SLOW LN
Aug 28 2020 3:16PM VEH WAS WEAVING AND HIT A SEMI AND WENT UNDER
Aug 28 2020 3:17PM 1039 EQUIP
Aug 28 2020 3:18PM PER AOTHER BIG RIG VS MC DOWN IN THE SLOW LN
Aug 28 2020 3:19PM 17 97 SB JNO SUGARLOAF BOTH LNS CLOSED
Aug 28 2020 3:20PM 17A A UNIT NEEDS TO SHUT DOWN NB LNS F/EQUIP TO ACCESS
Aug 28 2020 3:22PM A26-017A HAVE FIRE AND AMR RESPOND NB ON SB LNS USE SUGURLOAF EXIT
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:57 PM   #40
Mithril_Maiden
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Originally Posted by bosco12 View Post
Incident: 08/28/20 03:15 PM : Santa Cruz : SR17 N / Carl Dr :
Time Detail
Aug 28 2020 3:16PM PER ANOTHER IN THE SLOW LN
Aug 28 2020 3:16PM VEH WAS WEAVING AND HIT A SEMI AND WENT UNDER
Aug 28 2020 3:17PM 1039 EQUIP
Aug 28 2020 3:18PM PER AOTHER BIG RIG VS MC DOWN IN THE SLOW LN
Aug 28 2020 3:19PM 17 97 SB JNO SUGARLOAF BOTH LNS CLOSED
Aug 28 2020 3:20PM 17A A UNIT NEEDS TO SHUT DOWN NB LNS F/EQUIP TO ACCESS
Aug 28 2020 3:22PM A26-017A HAVE FIRE AND AMR RESPOND NB ON SB LNS USE SUGURLOAF EXIT
Not me. I crashed this morning in Willow Glen, broke my arm
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:25 AM   #41
onto1wheel
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Originally Posted by Mithril_Maiden View Post
Not me. I crashed this morning in Willow Glen, broke my arm
oh noooooooo! That sucks, so sorry you went down.
What happened?
And more importantly, every crash has a lesson in it. Anything you can share so we all can learn?
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:13 PM   #42
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If you crashed in Willow Glenn consider yourself very smart to inquire before going on 17. You may have saved your life. Heal up and take some courses and practice away from traffic.
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:23 PM   #43
Mithril_Maiden
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oh noooooooo! That sucks, so sorry you went down.
What happened?
And more importantly, every crash has a lesson in it. Anything you can share so we all can learn?
Well, I wish I knew what happened. I was upshifting from 1st to 2nd one second, doing probably 20 in a 30 just after entering the street from a shore I"d been at, then the next second the bike rockets off, I lose control, lowside, and slide. I was wearing gear, so I got off with a broken arm (luckily my off hand), bruised ribs, and some rash where my armored jacket rode up and exposed my chest, instead of worse. Cops couldn't tell what happened, either. Bike's in the mechanic for an estimate now.
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:36 PM   #44
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Two of the nurses who worked on me in the ER ride, both said l'll ride again. Dr said give it 6 weeks.
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:25 PM   #45
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My wife has a the same bike as a 2020 model and that throttle is twitchy as all hell. I put a G2 throttle tamer on it and it helped, but it's still easy to get caught off guard and launch it if you're not careful. It's a really fun bike, but it'll teach you throttle control pretty quickly.
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