Motorcycle vs. mountain bike near Idyllwild, CA

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by jonz, May 11, 2013.

  1. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,192
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    Don't know if the moto rider was an adv'er or not. I was riding with a group of mountain bikers and we were nearing the end of our day. We were riding down what google maps shows as Forest Service Road 5S05, lat/lon 33.701029,-116.690533. The motorcyclists (2 of them) were on Hondas (an XL650 and an XR650) and were riding up. I was about 30 seconds back and didn't see a thing.

    The road turns and is bordered by high chapparal zone brush on both sides. Moto rider is on the street legal XR650 going up at what he estimated was 20 - 25 mph and the mtb'er was going down at what I'll estimate as about the same speed. Neither remembers the impact. When I arrive, the moto rider is standing and the mtb'er is lying unconscious on the ground. The bike rider is bleeding from a head wound, his breathing is labored, and his skin color is bad. But he regains consciousness after a couple of minutes though his level of consciousness is way reduced.

    Luckily, there is good cell coverage and 911 calls go out in a minute or two. I had a Delorme inReach and used the 911 function to send out an alert. I got a call back within about 10 minutes from the IERCC (don't know what it stands for but it's who gets the wheels turning for rescue). It turned out in this case to not be necessary as the 911 operator was able to get our location within yards just by the cell phone call. The CHP helicopter flew in and landed a short time after the CDF paramedics arrived by driving in after cutting the chain on the gate on SR74. I'm guessing within 30 or 40 minutes of the crash. The pilot had a big brass set and landed at the turnoff to what I call the meadow section which heads west back to SR74. The bicycle rider was evacuated via the helicopter with a broken femur, decreased level of consciousness (though much improved by this time), and other lacerations.

    While all this is going on, the moto rider starts getting light headed and nauseous; and complains of moderate head and chest pain. The paramedics decide he should be transported. The rider (sorry I didn't get his name) doesn't want to go I think partly because he didn't want to leave his motorcycle there so I offered to ride it back to the highway, and then he agreed to be transported.

    The evidence is not conclusive beyond a reasonable doubt as to who if anyone was on the wrong side. Neither party remembers the moment of impact.

    I've thought about riding my motorcycle up there but didn't want to deal with all the mountain bikers. Now I'm pretty darn sure I won't ride my motorcycle there, at least on the weekends when it's pretty darn busy. That and the fact all the single track is only for hike/bike/horses.

    I hope all are doing better.
    #1
  2. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,778
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Over riding you sight lines is always a bad idea.
    Where I ride, there are jeeps, horses, hikers, other motorcycles, and deer.

    You can not ride around blind turns at any speed without being able to stop for something coming the other way at speed.
    In some spots I even use my horn.

    I still had a few close calls with hotshot jeep drivers.
    #2
  3. GusinCA

    GusinCA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    173
    Location:
    Newport Beach, California
    It always pisses me off to no end when any rider comes along a track at a speed where they could never avoid a collision with someone going in the opposite direction at the same speed. It's like they think they own the trail and it's one-way. And then they act all surprised to see you, like "whoa, that was close" and I want to say "yeah, you stupid fuck, you're lucky I wasn't going as fast as you were"...

    How stupid do you have to be to not be able to apply the simple logic of "what if someone is coming the other way at that same speed?"

    It's the same logic that MUST be applied when riding a corner on the street, you MUST assume that there is a car, stopped, ANYWHERE in the turn. If you don't, and there is (because of some wreck up the road or whatever), you can easily be killed for being stupid.

    Obvious: NEVER ride faster than you can see to stop.
    #3
  4. ktmjohn

    ktmjohn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Wrong Island, NY
    This sounds like a terrible incident regardless of who is "at fault".
    Although, I am curious how the mtn biker did not hear the dirt biker coming.

    I've been on mtn bikes and have heard dirt bikes (illegally) riding the same trail system. You know they are there and you know when they are close. Maybe that XR had whisper quiet exhaust?
    #4
  5. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,192
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    We heard the Hondas ride by going the other way earlier. As mentioned, I was 30 seconds or so back and didn't hear the motos. Another guy was maybe that much ahead and didn't hear them either. The combination of wind noise in our ears and the motorcycles were probably on trailing throttle with the exhaust pointing away from us kept the engine noise below a level we could hear. Just speculation on my part but it fits the conditions.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
    #5
  6. BigChris99

    BigChris99 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    In 5th gear... looking for 6th
    Mountain biker listening to tunes? iPod maybe. Nothing meant by this, so please don't think I'm pointing fingers, I'm not,k? I'm a mountain bike rider too. I listen to my music all the time. I also live in the High Desert, it can get VERY windy up here, making it hard to hear almost anything around you. I hope both riders end up being alright.
    #6
  7. BigChris99

    BigChris99 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    In 5th gear... looking for 6th
    Sorry, my bad. Thought the accident had occurred up here near me. Need to learn to read the entire title I guess. Anyway, best wishes to all involved.
    #7
  8. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,778
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Loud pipes save lives?
    Surely a really quiet bike in the dirt adds some risk under some situations...

    What about gost quiet electric bikes?
    #8
  9. ozmoses

    ozmoses Ride On

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,500
    Location:
    USA
    We used to ride the abandoned rail beds when I was a kid. They are equestrian only trails now:cry.

    There were certain turns, overgrown w/ trees,etc, where you knew it was blind so slowed it way down.

    One day two guys, one a pretty fair MX rider, hit head on. Nobody died, but seeing them hobbling around school in casts, slings,etc was a good reminder to pay attention to the trail ahead.
    #9
  10. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,414
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    Yep. I have the same problem with other MTBrs on my favorite sections of single track (no motos allowed on these). They just ride way too fast eeverywhere "for the challenge" or some other such bullshit. I always approach blind corners around rocks/trees with extreme caution fully knowing that some asshole is probably going to come screaming around it like no one else ever uses the trail. I only hope the person they do eventually crash into is not hurt, and proceeds to kick their ass.
    #10
  11. DirtReeper

    DirtReeper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    507
    Location:
    Southern Utah
    IERCC = International Emergency Response Call Center. Same as the SPOT devices use IIRC based in Texas. Deal with a lot of stuff from them where I work. Hope everyone comes out alright.
    #11
  12. psmcd

    psmcd Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,122
    Location:
    foot of Olympus
    I'm with you guys on this. Hike, bike or moto I'm always staying inside of corners and planning on diving off trail to dodge the nut coming at me from a blind section. You don't want to be wide or outside and get used as a berm. If anyone goes over the edge on a side hill I want it to be them.

    #12
  13. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,192
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    Thanks for the info

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
    #13
  14. GusinCA

    GusinCA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    173
    Location:
    Newport Beach, California
    Around Lake Isabella there are a lot of mixed use (moto/mtnbike) trails. As someone with a motor, I know that when I'm riding on a tiny single track, that a bicyclist wants to keep their momentum up, and since I have a WR250R that is really quiet, I actually beep my horn if I'm heading toward a corner, especially if I'm heading uphill.

    I'm just appreciative that I get to share these trails, so I am extra careful to make sure that accidents don't happen on my watch...
    #14
  15. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,188
    Location:
    Portland...the newer one on the left side.
    Hope both parties are okay.

    When I used to ride bicycles a lot I sure felt safe wearing a "helmet", now that I ride motorcycle I KNOW what a real helmet is like, and those little bicycle helmets just sure don't measure up. Not sure this has anything to do with this accident, but would rather be the guy on the Motorcycles with a good helmet and some protective gear in this collision.
    #15