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Injured cyclist sues Woodside over conditions on Old La Honda Road

Original post made on May 1, 2018

Traversing the 3.4 miles of Old La Honda Road in Woodside is not for the faint of heart. It's narrow, it's steep, it's one curve after another, and as the primary route to and from home for at least 75 households, it is not a road less traveled. And now it is the subject of a lawsuit.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 3:30 PM

Comments (64)

80 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 1, 2018 at 3:51 pm

This suit is ridiculous. Anyone familiar with bike riding on OLH knows it's quite safe to ascend this popular road as hundreds do every week but few descend it because it is CLEARLY TOO DANGEROUS. Anyone who rides up knows this and the signs at the top WARN bike riders about descending this narrow, winding and rough road

I hope this cyclist has insurance as no one else should pay for his medical expenses.

No one should travel faster than 10-12 mph when descending OLR; its just that simple. That's why riders use either Page Mill or Woodside Road

An experienced cyclists should ride smart not fast.


59 people like this
Posted by H
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 1, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Absurd. If you're not good enough, don't ride something past your ability.


45 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 1, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Can't stop laughing. Ludicrous. Guess it's time to put up No Bicycles Allowed at all entrances to the road.


48 people like this
Posted by Peter
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 1, 2018 at 4:25 pm

I travel a lot another the Woodside area I often see cyclist not stop for stop signs, red lights and riding in unsafe manner.

Cyclist should have to have some sort of license number on their bikes, so you can report them to police and pay insurance to ride on the streets or damage coverage for themselves and other vehicles if they are involved in a accident.

I plan in the couple weeks to set up cameras on the public streets in Woodside and Menlo Park and record just how unsafe cyclist are getting in the area.


19 people like this
Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 1, 2018 at 4:32 pm

kbehroozi is a registered user.

Oh good grief.

I've found that there are two groups of cyclists who typically descend OLH: a) seasoned racers who are doing intervals (and tend to be both highly skilled and know every single turn and bump in the pavement--and exercise appropriate caution) and
b) newer/less experienced cyclists who either haven't been told not to descend OLH or are scared to ride on Skyline/84.

Bottom line: It's a really narrow road and we are lucky to be able to use it for recreational riding (unlike similar but private Bear Gulch). Drivers who have to drive it tend to proceed cautiously. Cyclists who don't yet have the skills to descend hilly roads should stick to the more forgiving terrain in the valley.

(This is not to let careless drivers who pass in blind corners off the hook. On Kings and Page Mill I've come around the corner and been face to face with an oncoming vehicle in my lane more times than I care to count. But this sounds like a different situation.)


6 people like this
Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm

kbehroozi is a registered user.

Peter, someone did this: Web Link


41 people like this
Posted by POrtola Valley Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on May 1, 2018 at 6:59 pm

These bikers need to get off our roads. Absurd that the biker is suing when he is the one at fault, it’s completely laughable. I see at corner of alpine/Portola 90% DONT stop at the stop sign, yet sheriff hasn’t taken action. I would like to see stiffer penalties for these bikers. Personally, I think all bikes should be banned from OLH and also Westridge Dr because both of these roads are dangerously windy and not suitable for cyclists. They also create a hazard to pass, extremely difficult when navigating turns. They should stay out of our town because this type of behavior will not be tolerated.


36 people like this
Posted by nbr
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm

I went down a black diamond trail skiing and wiped out. Who can I blame? Because I really want to try the same on a bike on Old La Honda Rd. Thx.


38 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 1, 2018 at 8:27 pm

This lawsuit is disgusting and disgraceful. Sadly, it is also completely normal and expected in today's America.


37 people like this
Posted by Pv local
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 2, 2018 at 6:44 am

Old La Honda is NOT a road for bikes. Cars often have trouble passing in some places. Can we make it a "cars only road". ?


32 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 2, 2018 at 8:21 am

pogo is a registered user.

Gotta blame someone... certainly not the cyclist who chose to ignore warnings and common sense and took off down an incredibly steep, winding, narrow road.


22 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 2, 2018 at 8:26 am

Reminder to all cyclists that Kings, 84, and Page Mill are divided roads so much safer when mixing with cars. That said there are 30 times the number of people using OLH on two wheels than four, which is a public road and open to all. There actually should be special width and weight limits for cars and trucks at the top and bottom of OLH, so overly large vehicles can't use the one-lane road without a permit.


19 people like this
Posted by Dharma
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2018 at 8:51 am

Sounds like he was going too fast.


19 people like this
Posted by rodents
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 2, 2018 at 10:00 am

there is a sign at the top entrance at skyline to OLH that says "local traffic only". Clearly this biker was in violation.

A wonderful road to ascend but one must be extremely careful descending.


12 people like this
Posted by carluna
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 12:06 pm

San Carlos is full of narrow, winding, steep streets. i wouldn't advise anyone to bicycle on them. That's just common sense.


39 people like this
Posted by EE
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 2, 2018 at 12:30 pm

What a bummer for the rest of us cyclists who have been getting our endorphin fixes ascending OLH for the past decades that this person who used poor judgement while descending decided to take legal action. Thanks, buddy. I hope you heal-up, but please drop your senseless law suit (and cycle elsewhere, please).


33 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2018 at 12:38 pm

"Asked if Casarotti was familiar with the road, Androvich said he was, enough to know the best line and speed through a curve."

Sounds as if the cyclist may have been out of his lane, therefore at fault himself. Eliminating curves in order to get maximum downhill speed is not very smart, Hope he loses & has to reimburse everyone else for their legal fees.


10 people like this
Posted by Pot Meet Kettle
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 2, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Are there better routes for descending east from Skyline Blvd? Yes. But this ignores the fact that cyclists are still entitled to use Old La Honda road for both ascending and descending. If anything, these comments show that conditions on OLH are extremely well-known in the community, and presumably to the Town of Woodside, and that the Town could and should have done something to make the road more safe for all travelers.


36 people like this
Posted by Cyclist and skyline neighbor
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on May 2, 2018 at 1:16 pm

As an experienced cyclist who has ascended OLH thousands of times, and descended a handful of times, I agree that it is a dangerous descent that if done at all should be done slowly, anticipating cars or cyclists in every corner. I agree that the suit should be dropped. Blaming the road is silly, and certainly does not represent the vast majority of cyclists who ride responsibly. It also brings out all the anti-cycling wingnuts,amping up the hostility for no reason. Let's accept that this event this is an outlier (that's why it is news), slow down and share the road.


29 people like this
Posted by It's not about the bike
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2018 at 1:26 pm

Folks, it's not a "Cyclist" suing everybody. It's a sue happy guy suing everybody. He happened to be on his bike when he crashed. Do you think if he was in a car he would not have sued?

It's never about the vehicle the jerk chooses that day, it's about the jerk using it. This happened and the reason we're reading about it is because it is a VERY RARE thing to happen considering how many hundreds use that road similarly every single day of the year.


10 people like this
Posted by c
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on May 2, 2018 at 2:26 pm

OLHR is treated like a race course for cyclist and cars - please slow down before there are more accidents and even worse death!


28 people like this
Posted by OLH Resident
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 2, 2018 at 2:30 pm

I live on OLH and personally would like to see cyclists banned from using the road. Some cyclists are responsible riders, others ride two and three abreast which is clearly unsafe. At the bottom of OLH there is a sign telling cyclists to ride singe file but they hardly ever do. Two cars passing in some places is tight! It’s a dangerous road with lots of blind curves and also foolish car drivers. I believe in the interest of safely, for everyone, bikes should be banned from Old La Honda Road, eliminating one clear hazard.


25 people like this
Posted by Menlo Cyclist
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 2, 2018 at 2:58 pm

To all cyclists reading this:

Old La Honda is an AWESOME road for ascending, but should never be used for going down.

DESCEND ON 84: it is wider, has a centerline, you will travel roughly the same speed as cars, there won't be cyclists that are going up to run into, better pavement (to list a few reasons).

If you are a new cyclist or a triathlete, please go up with someone who knows what they're doing first - for your sake and the sake of others. These roads are beautiful, but please exercise caution and be respectful of other cyclists and drivers!


12 people like this
Posted by longtime resident
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 2, 2018 at 3:29 pm

I feel it is time for the residents to initiate a petition to ban irresponsible cyclists, who drive too fast and frequently out of control, from our roads. They are a constant hazard for residents, who have to drive to work and home.


17 people like this
Posted by Spokesman
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on May 2, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Casarotti's claim through his lawyer:
"there is simply not enough room for a bicycle and car to share the road and safely negotiate the curves with out colliding with one another."

21,000+ Strava athletes who've ascended OLH would take issue with this statement, as all of them quite successfully shared the road with cars, most of them 10's or even hundred's of times (I've done it 300+ times). Arguments that cyclists should be banned, trucks should be banned are spurious non-sense based on emotions rather than on substance, though I admit I don't enjoy encountering a cement truck on OLH.

The lawyer Androvich also states that Casarotti "was familiar with the road, ..., enough to know the best line and speed through a curve." Exactly. He was familiar enough to know he was going too fast. How do you run into the driver's side door of a vehicle? going downhill? Answer: you are going too fast into a right hand turn and you run into a vehicle going uphill. And it's a vehicle that you should have seen, because it can't be a blind curve.

I feel bad for Mr Casarotti. Sounds like he was injured pretty badly. But a lawsuit? Arrgh.


11 people like this
Posted by Spokesman
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on May 2, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Mr/Ms "longtime resident":

Regarding your petition, you suggest a ban on "irresponsible cyclists". Can you expand your petition to include irresponsible motorists and equestrians too? It would be great to get all the irresponsible people off public roads and trails.

I get your sentiment, but realistically most cyclists try really hard to be courteous to motorists. We don't want to create animosity, we just want to enjoy our surroundings. We are also interested in self preservation, and it doesn't make sense to piss off people in a 4000 lb vehicle when you are riding a 26 lb bike.


3 people like this
Posted by Cartesian
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on May 2, 2018 at 10:57 pm

If Mr. Casarotti's claim is correct then it would take many years, much expense, to alter all of the many OLHR state road in the state of California. Therefore, should OLHR be banned from all bicycle use until the state of California raises taxes in order to accommodate Mr Casaroti's goal? Absurd! But that's the direction Casaroti wants to take us. How about taking responsibility for yourself. Know your limitations.


7 people like this
Posted by Yet another cyclist
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 3, 2018 at 8:55 am

Where to even start?

Lawsuit- Sorry, poor guy had bad luck but entirely on him.

Ban cyclists? Put cameras up to catch cyclists in bad behavior?

Come on, cars are way worse, running stop signs, speeding, texting and driving, passing on blind curves.

Put a radar camera out on 280 and see how many drivers obey the traffic laws. No one goes over 65 on 280, right?

Now who is more likely to cause damage, a cyclist who runs a stop sign or a 6000lb SUV who does the same? Maybe we should think about a car ban.

Not to mention the bad behavior of the motorcycles up on Skyline. No one ever seems to want to ban them because people see a motorcycle as a more legitimate vehicle than a bicycle. Why is that?


5 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2018 at 10:56 am

I am never surprised anymore when an individual bicyclist makes a mistake or does something either careless or stupid and we witness self-righteous bicyclist-bashers who simply cannot deal stick to the specific facts and issues of a particular incident. Instead, they reflexively resort to tiresome anti-bike protests. I am sure if bicyclists mimicked this uncivil behavior we would have hundreds examples of bad driver behavior - even deaths to recount. I have been struck twice while riding my bike in BIKE LANES the past two years. Both drivers saw and ignored me. I was hurt and my bike damaged. I got an apology. They left without a scratch. This happens way too often.


11 people like this
Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on May 3, 2018 at 11:12 am

Many issues intertwined here:
1. Casarotti screwed up and his lawsuit is misguided and frivolous. When humans act stupidly - bad things can happen -- but it's not anyone else's responsibility to account for his stupidity. I hope he heals fast, and i'm sure he's embarrasses, but yes he acted stupid, see #2

2. Learn to ride bikes - safely. (which usually means slower than you think in certain situations). Biking can be dangerous -- it's inherent in the sport - if you can't handle that responsibility - don't ride. Anyone undertaking the activity needs to understand the laws of physics involved and ride appropriately. Falling off your bike at 30 MPH is no different than being thrown from a car at 30 MPH.

In this particular case - he was definitely going too fast around a corner... i've seen countless idiots ride this way; drive this way, etc. Any time you're descending a curvy road (or anytime really) - you MUST ride defensively. Always prepared to take corrective action and have a bail out plan at all times. You have no other choice - the only "laws" that apply in cycling are the laws of physics. Even if the road is divided and in good shape - but a careless driver swerves out of their lane -- they broke the law - but the law of physics are on their side (Car big, you small). You must ride with this in mind constantly - for your own physical well being. Only go as fast as you can see -- meaning you should be able to stop yourself within enough distance for what you can see. If you can't see around a blind corner, slow down to a point whether you have control. (this is true on trails or roads) Expect the unexpected. (cars, people, animals, road conditions, etc) When descending OLH i'm always ready, should the need occur, to carve my bike/body into the right side of the hills - it's better than slamming into a vehicle. Be ready - for anything.

3. County/Town/City should do something to make OLH "safer" -- this is a somewhat ridiculous idea on a few fronts - but the biggest one is "have you seen OLH?" -- making it wider, safer, etc would be a HUGE fiscal and logistical undertaking... and essentially just turn it into 84 or Page Mill... somewhat making it unnecessary. Who's tax dollars and what extensive use cases would warrant such a huge project?

4. Ban Cyclists on OLH. This is the land of the free - no? In the name of safety? maybe -but honestly more cyclists are injured/killed on large well maintained roads than on small windy roads like OLH. Skyline, Ralston, HWY 1, etc. are far more dangerous for cyclists than a road like OLH. It's mostly due to the vehicle speeds and distracted drivers, etc. The reason many drivers get annoyed with cyclists in general and possibly on OLH is due to subconscious expectations and predictability. Drivers expect to have open roads, free of traffic and congestion - everywhere. It's a weird human thing - and the cause of road rage. When encountering cyclists it's annoying for some reason and not all cyclists help this by riding like idiots (See #1) -- but in regards to OLH - driving OLH might take 10-12 mins top to bottom with top speed around 20 mph, and avg speeds likely lower than this. Encountering and passing a cyclist might take 3 to 10 seconds of your life. Encounter a handful of them and it might delay the drive by 1-3 mins. 1-3 mins of your life. Roughly a 10% increase in total drive time to encounter a few folks out breathing some fresh air and exercising. Why are you all so grumpy about these cyclists? It's likely because you've got other things on your mind... Expect it, say hi, and then get on - no need for all this anger for a few seconds of inconvenience.


4 people like this
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm

"cars are way worse, running stop signs, speeding, texting and driving, passing on blind curves."

I love this argument, nice deflection.

I see cyclists do these same things everyday, plus many wearing headphones (not OK), riding in the crosswalk (Not OK), riding the wrong direction (Not OK), riding 2, 3 abreast (not OK).

Not saying drivers don't break laws, they do, but those in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter C
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2018 at 1:07 pm

I stood and recorded for 2 hours this morning seeing how cyclist acted on the road. I was at Manzanita Way & Sand Hill Road, and also Whiskey Hill Road and Sand Hill Road.

I watch a group of cyclist of 10-15 running a Stop on Manzantita Way going on to Sand Hill Road, with no regard to cars already traveling on Sand Hill Road. They were cycling 2-4 abreast as they shoot onto the San Hill Road and continued to cycle that way (just shocking).

I watch another 7 running the stop sign at Whiskey Hill Road onto Sand Hill Road, most did not even slow down.

On a good note I watched a family of four stopping at the stop signs with there two young kids. Good job Mom and Dad.

I only noticed two cars and one truck failing to stop at the stop signs out of 33 cars and one truck seen.




Like this comment
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2018 at 4:40 pm

"plus many wearing headphones (not OK), riding in the crosswalk (Not OK), riding the wrong direction (Not OK), riding 2, 3 abreast (not OK). "

Actually it is legal to were headphones in only one ear (CVC 27400).
It is generally legal to ride in crosswalks (CVC 21650g), except where it it locally banned (business and commercial districts in PA and MP).
Riding abreast is a bit ambiguous as cyclists are only required to keep to the right if they are slower than traffic (CVC 21202a) and could easily argue they are passing another cyclist (CVC 21202a1) with all of the jostling in a group ride.

Not saying cyclists don't break laws, they do, but those who don't know the laws pertaining to cyclists, shouldn't throw stones.


34 people like this
Posted by Annoyed driver
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on May 3, 2018 at 5:11 pm

cyclists need to get off the roads. I’ve had so many close calls I’ve lost count. They create a hazard and it’s so dangerous, for example passing the pelotons is difficult unless driving my Tesla (which I rarely use except on weekends). I think the town should limit number of permits for pelotons. Also I’d like to see zero tolerance enforcement from sheriff. Maybe one at Alpine-Portola, one at Alpine-280, and one at Roberts Woodside for a start. These cyclists need to respec that they are guests in our towns and we can easily revoke their access if we want. While I realize there are also bad drivers, its the cyclists who go out of their way to create the hazard it seems


5 people like this
Posted by Yet another cyclist
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 3, 2018 at 7:57 pm

I love this argument, nice deflection.

I see cyclists do these same things everyday, plus many wearing headphones (not OK), riding in the crosswalk (Not OK), riding the wrong direction (Not OK), riding 2, 3 abreast (not OK).

Not saying drivers don't break laws, they do, but those in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones.

So none of the drivers complaining about cyclists exceed the speed limit, do a California stop at a stop sign, text while driving, talk without handsfree etc?


30 people like this
Posted by PV Res
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 4, 2018 at 8:16 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


6 people like this
Posted by Yet another cyclist
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 4, 2018 at 12:11 pm

"These cyclists need to stay off our roads, they will get run over! Simple as that. We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior"

So why is it OK for cars to be on the road? There are far worse accidents every day caused by drivers doing incredibly dangerous things breaking multiple laws at once. Why all the rage against cyclists?

I'm all for cyclists following the rules and enforcement of same, but I fail to understand why so many people single out cyclists as a problem.

You see a cyclist blow a stop sign and it seems to cause feelings of rage, yet when a motorist does it "oh, it's just a California stop". Tribalism at its worst.

What's your concern about cyclists on the road? That they'll get hurt? I don't see any concern for the people who ski dangerous double black diamond runs. Nobody is saying "these skiers need to stay on the bunny slopes".

Are you inconvenienced by the extra few seconds it takes to pass sometimes?

Do you just not like Lycra, or are you jealous that you can't climb 2100ft of elevation under your own power?

Please enlighten me as to why cyclists are such a problem in your life.

And I would encourage you to write to your representatives because bicycles are a legal vehicle in California and they are not going to be banned on the roads without changing the law.


8 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 4, 2018 at 12:24 pm

pogo is a registered user.

There's gotta be some kind of rule (like Godwin's Law...) that any discussion of bad behavior by a cyclist will devolve into an "us versus them" contest between bike riders and automobile drivers.

Nicely done!


25 people like this
Posted by Cyclist Living on OLHR
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 4, 2018 at 12:56 pm

I live on Old La Honda Rd. I'm also a cyclist. Imagine that!

The main problem for us who live on the road are 1) nervous and/or clueless drivers and 2) cyclists that descent too fast. Nervous and/or clueless drivers pass ascending bikes on blind corners OR drive up in the middle of the road around blind corners. When they do, they could SO EASILY kill a cyclist who is descending too fast or run head-on into a car going down.

Just this past Sunday I experienced this first-hand. I was cycling up and a car passed me on a blind corner, and at just that moment the car nearly collided with a cyclist descending too fast. The cyclist screamed at the car, but the cyclist was really just going too fast. Both were in the wrong. There are no divider lines for the most part on OLHR, so there's no "your side or my side."

With so many cyclists using Strava these days, it would be wonderful if Strava could put a safety warning on OLHR road segments on their app with this warning. 1) do not "time" your OLHR descent 2) consider descending on Hwy 84 or Page Mill, 3) descend no faster than 15mph 4) anticipate there will be car in your line of your OLHR descent around every corner.

When I go down, (which I do very slowly), I even turn my head so the air isn't wooshing past my ears and listen for cars around the corners. I anticipate there will be a car at EVERY turn. This is the way descending should be done on OLHR.

There are also those residents on the road that hate it when cyclists ride two or three abreast. I understand why cyclists might want to do this because you just aren't passed by that many cars on OLHR. It seems like you can do this and chat on the way up. But we residents just know how dangerous that is too. It just isn't safe to be passing a bike with just a few inches of distance between your car and cyclists 2 abreast.

Also, we residents also unanimously agree that we don't follow cyclists advice when they "wave" us on to go around a blind corner. Too many times we've all had the experience of a tired cyclist not seeing a descending cyclist in the dappled sunlight. So if we ignore you and sit behind you while you churn away around the blind corner, that's why.

Finally, if you're a cyclist and have a flat or want to chat on your phone, please stop where you can pull way off the road. It's so frustrating when a stopped cyclist forces you to go around a blind curve in the oncoming direction because he's not off the road far enough.





2 people like this
Posted by Steve_J
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Steve_J is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


4 people like this
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 4, 2018 at 3:54 pm

@whatever

1) most cyclists I see with headphones are wearing both, which is against the law. See it all the time. Sorry I should have been more clear.
2) CVC 21200 contradicts the code you reference. Bicyclists who do choose to ride in a crosswalk are not pedestrians and should not be treated as such. And as you point out it is illegal in downtown PA and MP, I also see this all the time especially on ECR.
3) riding tandem, "easily argue they are passing another cyclist", good luck with that. Pretty easy to observe if someone is passing another, most of the time it is two or more cyclists chatting over a long distance.
4) Also see plenty of cyclists on their phones as well.

Thanks for the education on bike laws I already know and for the continued deflection.

@Yet another cyclist - do you understand what deflection is? thanks for doing it again, very Trumpian.


4 people like this
Posted by Bad Hombre
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on May 5, 2018 at 11:13 am

"Annoyed Driver" says, "cyclists need to get off the roads.... cyclists need to respec that they are guests in our towns and we can easily revoke their access if we want."

Yeah, us cyclists are all bad hombres indeed. One homogeneous population of rude law-breakers. Just like all the Latin Americans crossing our border illegally are bad hombres.

Listen to yourself dude, you got bigger problems than rude cyclists. Maybe you can get together with the run 'em over dude and find some pointed hats.


4 people like this
Posted by Say no to Bullies
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 5, 2018 at 1:46 pm

At Yet another cyclist:

"You see a cyclist blow a stop sign and it seems to cause feelings of rage, yet when a motorist does it "oh, it's just a California stop". Tribalism at its worst."

Pretty sure you have a GPS on your bike, and master the english language enough to understand the difference between "blowing" and "rolling".
So don't play stupid, or go look up the rules for a California stop in the Vehicular Code of the States that allow it.

Another point:
I see way too much cyclist-versus-cyclist aggression out there. Aggressive passing, blocking the pass of another cyclist by riding to the left of a wide bike lane, swerving at others etc.

I think most of the people who drive aggressively on our city and on our county roads are the same people who also cycle/recreate aggressively and selfishly.

So I think an honest look in the mirror would be in order.


7 people like this
Posted by belyse
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on May 5, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Very scary indeed--so much anger behind some of these comments. The next time you feel frustration or anger about being behind a rider or group of riders, take a deep breath and a quick look around...we live in such a beautiful part of the world with amazing weather; put things in perspective, think about the fully employed people in the bay area that can't afford homes and live in RVs & campers along El Camino (as well as all homeless people) and how truly blessed/lucky we are to live here! Try it, you may not even notice the extra seconds it takes you to get to your destination.

pax et lux


5 people like this
Posted by Yet another cyclist
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 6, 2018 at 9:35 pm

@Say no to Bullies "Pretty sure you have a GPS on your bike, and master the english language enough to understand the difference between "blowing" and "rolling".

Fair enough, though I see cars do things every day that are far more dangerous than "blowing" a stop sign. I do not have a GPS or even a cycle computer on my bike, and I don't need to look in the mirror as far as flouting the rules because while I'm riding my bike I NEVER fail to come to a full stop at a stop sign or light and I always follow the rules.

I do this not only because it's lawful and makes sense, but because I know NOT doing it creates a lot of bad feelings with non-cyclists and I don't want to exacerbate the problem.

To your point about cyclist vs. cyclist aggression, I have been riding these roads for close to 30 years and I haven't experienced any of that. Not saying it doesn't happen, but I haven't seen it. Could be you saw training rides for racers preparing for criterion races, where that kind of riding is part of the sport.


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Posted by E.C.
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2018 at 10:10 pm

I don't descend OLH much because there are better options, but suggesting cyclists travel no more than 10-12mph descending is inane and unhelpful. Cyclists *climb* OLH at that speed.

Use discretion, stay at or under the limit and anticipate oncoming traffic around blind corners. The suit does seem frivolous because cars squeeze by each other every day. I actually find it sketchier to climb than descend it because it's always the cars approaching from behind that pass too closely, not the oncoming traffic.

There's no way the guy wins his case...Municipalities have sovereign immunity in situations like this.


12 people like this
Posted by Cyclist Living on OLHR
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 7, 2018 at 12:29 pm

@E.C.

As a resident of OLHR (and a fellow cyclist), 15, 20 mph max is actually how fast I go down OLHR around any blind curves in a car, and almost all of the curves are blind except a few straight sections. So I would recommend you go as slow, especially on a bike.

There is a very dangerous section between Home Rd. and Meadow Rd. which is actually delineated with a double yellow line. So it might seem like you can fly down that. But that's where I've had 2 near-collisions in my car with cars passing bikes around the corners as they're driving up. They come into your lane, and if you're going any faster than 15 or 20 max, you'll certainly crash or nearly crash. In one incidence when this happened to me there, there was ALSO a cyclist who was following me too closely nearly crashed into my car from behind when I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting the car suddenly in my lane! SLOW is the only way to go down (or up) OLHR whether you're in a car or on a bike.

I'm sure you can descend much faster than you ascend it, but you're risking your life when you do.


4 people like this
Posted by Ziggy Tomcich
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2018 at 7:19 pm

Why does it matter who's at fault? The amount of money spent on lawyers and law firms could have easily paid for this person's medical bill and some better signage along that road so more people don't experience this sort of tragedy. But instead of doing what is right and what makes the most financial sense, we're squandering resources paying way more money for expensive law firms trying to determine who's fault it was and who should be financially responsible. This is pathetic. This person suffered a terrible tragedy that could've happened to any of us because all of us make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Stop blaming the victim and ask the question what can be done to stop this from happening again.


11 people like this
Posted by PV Res
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 7, 2018 at 7:45 pm

All PV/Woodside residents should yell at bikers who do not follow the rules. Because it seems some have an entitled view that it is OK for bikes to break the laws but not cars. Absurd. I encourage everyone to publicly shame and discourage riders who roll stop signs, descend too quickly, etc. I have also begun taking pictures of offending bikers and sending to sheriff. Also advocate for increased patrols/more tickets for bikers at Alpine-Portola and Canada-Woodside intersections. We will not allow bikers to take over our towns and push us around. Because guess what: we will push back much harder.


7 people like this
Posted by PV Res
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 7, 2018 at 7:47 pm

In addition, I would like to see pelotons banned from the roads. They create another hazard altogether, and risk their lives as well as the lives of the drivers who need to pass.


2 people like this
Posted by Say no to Bullies
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 8, 2018 at 11:57 pm

At Ziggy:

I wouldn't call racing down OLH deliberately several hundred times and actually holding one of the top 25% fastest times doing so (see STRAVA), a single "Mistake".
I'd call that deliberate acceptance of a huge risk.

If it were a "Mistake", the right thing to do would be to admit to it and take full responsibility for it.
That does not seem to be the case at all.

Also, a cyclist barreling head-on at me using the whole road (with full knowledge that he might encounter other vehicles (cars or bicycles), forcing me into the ditch, counts as pretty agressive in my book.
I have experienced both situations on our local roads. Shame.


4 people like this
Posted by Cyclist
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2018 at 10:09 am

Cyclists aren't "guests" in your ritzy town any more than drivers are. The amount of idiocy in these comments is staggering. You cannot force cyclists off the road just because they inconvenience you.


8 people like this
Posted by Pot Meet Kettle
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

Does any one of the commenters know (1) where on OLH the accident occurred? (2) the relative positions of the driver and the cyclist or (3) their relative speeds just before impact? Hint: NO. That everyone is ready to apportion liability for the accident without knowing a single fact is ludicrous. Our tort system allows for liability to be apportioned among the various parties to a lawsuit. The driver, cyclist, and Town of Woodside can all share responsibility, and their financial exposure is split accordingly.

We have all seen questionable and unsafe maneuvers by drivers and cyclists alike, but the difference is that when there is an accident, the driver will walk away safely 99.9999999% of the time. The hyper-aggressive anti-cyclist sentiment expressed by PV Res and others is simply horrifying.


5 people like this
Posted by PV Res
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 9, 2018 at 5:36 pm

Cyclist: It’s our town, we can do whatever we want. If you don’t want to obey traffic laws that’s fine, but the sheriff will find you and cite you. We don’t have to put up with bikers if they are breaking the laws.

Pot Meet Kettle: You are wrong, there is clear evidence the biker was at fault. I assume you have never been to our town, but if you had you would know the roads are very narrow and windy. Bikers must exercise extreme caution especially around curves.

All we want is a safe environment—if bikers do not want to yield to residents, then of course there is an issue.


2 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on May 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm

I was jogging and tripped on a sidewalk because a tree root had caused the pavement to crack. Can I sue someone too?


Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on May 10, 2018 at 9:55 pm

I was standing in line to get a table at Bucks. I turned around and bumped into the guy behind me. It caused serious bruising (on my insides, very hard to detect) and now I am constantly fearful of going out in public. Let's sue the town for creating this unsafe environment.


2 people like this
Posted by Pot Meet Kettle
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 11, 2018 at 9:36 am

@John--To your jogging hypothetical, the answer is yes. To your Buck's hypothetical, your suit would more appropriately directed to the guy behind you.

@PV Res--Please clarify the "clear evidence" of fault on the part of the cyclist.


4 people like this
Posted by Role model opportunity?
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on May 23, 2018 at 7:35 pm

The YouTube link below shows cyclists blowing through the usual stop signs in Woodside (i.e. Mountain Home/Portola Rd and Portola Road/Sand Hill Intersection) and Portola Valley (i.e Alpine/Portola Intersection) and riding in the vehicular travel way. Every week this happens.

Web Link

Role model opportunity?


38 people like this
Posted by Memories
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 24, 2018 at 7:16 am

OMG, the post above brought back some memory of the late 90's, when bikes used to be a much more polarizing issue that they are today.

Anyway, one Saturday a large group of riders apparently decided to line up single file and walk their bikes, INDIVIDUALLY, across the intersection. 1 by 1, being 100% in compliance with the laws they leisurely strolled across on foot. It locked up the traffic like you would not believe!!

I will bet most everyone who got caught up in that mess that day would be all in favor of letting them blow through and be out of sight within seconds. I favor them cruising through all at once and not affecting my drive more than I do waiting for them. I'm pretty sure that's the mentality of the cops as well, though some days I do see a moto cop trying his best to hide in the bushes, which makes a funny pic at times ;)


4 people like this
Posted by Froome
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2018 at 5:48 pm

OMG,

Web Link

Are we in the UK?....riding to the left of the road.....what's up with that.


Like this comment
Posted by ronnie c
a resident of Oak Knoll School
on May 27, 2018 at 5:41 pm

This guy needs to own the fact the he simply screwed up. Pay your own medical bills and move on. If you can't own your own mistakes don't make someone else pay. Typical tri-athlete - - downhill challenged.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter L
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 2, 2018 at 6:08 pm

Wow, a lot of ignorant vitriol on here.
First, it's obvious that the cyclist was fully at fault. CA law states that anyone descending must yield to anyone ascending. Period. Frivolous lawsuit.
Second, as a seasoned cyclist, everyone should know that ascending OLH is completely fine. It is *much* safer than going up 84, which borders on the moronic.
Third, cyclists should go down 84. It's divided, you can move with the flow of traffic, and there are almost no blind curves.
Fourth. motorists need to get a clue as well. Don't pass around corners you can't see around. Figure out how to lift your leadfoot off of the accelerator, etc.
Fifth, and perhaps most useful, a suggestion. Put mirrors along OLH at strategic points. They do this in most civilized countries that have mixed traffic. It's a lifesaver and it helps people get along.

Seriously, it's not that hard, people.


2 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 4, 2018 at 11:22 am

pogo is a registered user.

We live during a time when juries and courts have sided with people who balance cups of scalding hot coffee between their legs as they drive away from McDonalds. Never overestimate the sense of courts and juries.


6 people like this
Posted by KUDOS To Sherriffs Yesterday
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 4, 2018 at 6:00 pm

It was so nice to see Sherriffs out yesterday issuing tickets right and left to cyclists blowing through stop signs FULL SPEED on Canada Road! Local law enforcement, Keep up the good work!.....you guys ROCK! Your efforts do not go unnoticed!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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