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Old 10-01-2020, 04:29 PM   #46

Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Morgan hill
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I wasn't planning on taking on 17 anytime soon ( I too am a new rider) and I've driven 17 alot. I've also been on the back for many trips over the hill. Its the drivers you're going to be riding alongside of that scare me the most. Seriously air-headed/ negligent folks and /or kids.
I fantasize about enjoying all of 17's exciting curves on my bike but I realize I don't have the skills to safely avoid a scrape (or maybe worse!)with some wannabe Land Shark. Yikes.

With that being said, how does everyone feel about 152?
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:10 PM   #47
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If I was taking a new rider out, I wouldn't take them on 152.
It's a beautiful road through an amazing forest with awesome turns, but I find it to be a far too popular road with lots of people in a hurry and no passing spots.

If you don't have one already, try to find a mentor who can help assess your skills and readiness. "new rider" can mean many different things
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:15 PM   #48
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Just remember commuters on 17 are on auto pilot and not a good scenario!
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Old 10-02-2020, 01:15 AM   #49
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Someone mentioned Highway 33, out the back of Ojai.

OMG - that brings back memories from the ealy 1980's!!!

Smooth, fast, few cars, nice views - no LE. I remember another road from there. . . Um, Frazier Park Road! Eventually you end up on I5.

I can't comment on 17 specifically, since it's been a long time since I have been on it.

But there are a lot of other great roads. I think when you are new, it pays to ride a lot of different kinds of roads so you can get used to unexpected things. Also, just riding around town helps as well. As does freeway.

I agree with the person who said that being over cautious was not good. I think it's OK to be cautious, and I think caution is ALWAYS good. But if you hesitate, you can have problems. So your riding needs to be confident, if that makes sense.

It's not even about bike handling - it's more like a mental thing where you are able to judge risk. A lot of times, you will be put in a position where you have two or more choices, each of them has risk. You have to learn how to quickly assess which choice carries the least risk to you - OR to another person!!!

An example is you are being tailgated as you proceed down a residential street at the speed limit. You see a ball roll in front of your path from right to left. That's a signal that a child may run into the street from the right. There's a car coming the other way as well.

Do you:

1) Brake hard and possibly get rear ended?

2) Veer into the other lane, but possibly get side swiped?

3) Cover brakes and brake moderately, taking the chance that you will have a second obstacle (a child) to avoid?

4) Pull hard to right and let car pass you (with them possibly hitting an innocent child)?

There's actually no clear answer (except that 4 is definitely immoral), since every situation is different. A lot depends on what position in the lane the other car is (is there room for you to veer). A lot also depends on how closely you are being tailgated, and whether you have a sense of the coherence of the driver behind you. A lot might also depend on whether you can see the child in the yard, or whether there are parked cars that a child could be behind. Whether it's day or night. Whether the road is wet. There's probably 20 other factors too.

Now imagine mentally processing all of this in about 1/10th of a second. Whatever decision you make, you are committed to it.

That's the confidence thing.

Last edited by W800; 10-02-2020 at 01:16 AM..
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:15 AM   #50
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Hecker Pass west is very challenging. The part into Watsonville is really tight, many hairpin turns. And weekend and commute traffic is bad. If you want to try a road with good corners, nice scenery and light traffic, go to Hwy 25 south of Hollister. Just don't go in the middle of summer.

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Old 10-02-2020, 07:36 AM   #51
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+1 on Hwy 25 to Peachtree.
bike X miles=smiles
smiles ÷ bike=miles
smiles ÷ miles=bike.
It's simple math.
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:39 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Jessica57 View Post
With that being said, how does everyone feel about 152?
As Maddevil says, it's a challenging road over the mountain. But it's a much different kind of challenge than 17.

In this post I summarized the 17 crashes, which are mainly freeway-type crashes--cutoffs and rear-enders, 60% multiple-vehicle, 30% driver's fault.

OTOH, 152 east of Watsonville and west of Gilroy has twisty-road motorcycle crashes. 2 out of 3 are single-vehicle, usually overturning and running off the road, often due to speed. Even the multiple-vehicle crashes are usually the rider's fault--head-ons and sideswipes. Less than 15% are multiple-vehicle crashes that are the other guy's fault--mostly left- and u-turns.

If you're fairly comfortable on a twisty road, I'd say 152 is a good choice. The difficult part is only 10 miles, sightlines are good, and it's well maintained.
How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.
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Old 10-02-2020, 12:58 PM   #53
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152 over Mt Madonna was challenging to me even after about 1.5 yrs and ~15k miles of riding experience, back in 2010. Pretty twisty, and the traffic flow was brisk. I was happy if there was a slower car to follow.

129 not much farther south is a much easier route to get to Watsonville and Hwy 1.
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:59 PM   #54

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
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I commuted on 17 for a while as a new rider, rode for a year before I dared to try it. My counter-steering and ability to hold/modify a line weren't up to snuff, but after a week, they were. I got lucky, best to learn those before doing a road like that.

Following a slower vehicle in the right lane helped a lot during heavier traffic, but it has it's own dangers, cars can go over things you can't, so don't follow too close.

I drove it in a car for a long time before trying it on a bike. I knew every inch of that road as a result, so I wasn't distracted by having to learn the road itself.
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