motorcyclist fatality in Yosemite near Pothole Sunday


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keep looking up

Trad climber
San Francisco South Bay, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 10, 2006 - 07:14pm PT
anyone have information on this?
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Oct 10, 2006 - 07:28pm PT
Are you sure it wasn't near Cascade Creek on 120 approaching the Valley? I saw the remains of a nasty one there on Sunday.

keep looking up

Trad climber
San Francisco South Bay, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2006 - 08:21pm PT
the fatality was about 50 yards from the pullout to climb Knobby Hill on the 120 (sorry I mixed up Pothole with Knobby)

the guy was trying to pass two RV's on the double yellow and crashed into an oncoming car. killed instantly.

Social climber
The West
Oct 10, 2006 - 08:22pm PT
There was a horrendous one on highway 89 north of Truckee about noon sunday. Lots of cops, closed the road used a helicopter etc, I saw a demolished red crotch rocket in the trees. A bunch of those guys were running around in groups around greater tahoe this weekend. Hope that guy made it.
Mick K

Northern Sierra
Oct 10, 2006 - 08:54pm PT

I saw on the news that the driver was killed. A deer jumped in front of him.

Social climber
The Deli
Oct 10, 2006 - 08:56pm PT
Dirt bikes are dangerous; street bikes are death.

Trad climber
Oct 10, 2006 - 09:07pm PT
All bikes are Fun!

Sorry to hear about a brother down.


Sport climber
St. Louis
Oct 10, 2006 - 09:16pm PT
Deer + motorcycle = very bad.

Lost a long time girlfriend this summer to that. She left behind a 15 month old daughter. :(

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Oct 10, 2006 - 09:56pm PT
Riding a motorcycle on the road is not much above high-altitude mountaineering in terms of danger. I've had one friend killed and another seriously injured thru no fault of their own on motorcycles. Every time I think it would be cool to get a Ducati, I remember that and my daughter.
And while loud Harleys bug the sh!t out of me, I guess I can understand the reasoning behind wanting to be heard.

Not giving up my road bicycle, but probably not getting a road motorcycle. Be careful, those of you who ride alot.

Trad climber
Near a mountain, CA
Oct 10, 2006 - 10:52pm PT
Anyone knows who it was? I know a few climbers with motorcycles. This news gets me worried. At least let me know what kind of bike, I can figure out a few things with that description.

Oct 10, 2006 - 10:58pm PT
He was not a climber, Anastasia.

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
Oct 11, 2006 - 01:39am PT
Like the CHP motorcycle cops say...

"There are 2 kinds of motorcycle riders, those that have gone down and those that will go down."

Social climber
down south
Oct 11, 2006 - 11:05am PT
I've been riding since I was 7 or 8 years old. I started on a mini-bike, a yahama 60, a harley davidson 125, a harley davidson sportster, and now I ride a Harley Electra glide.

Everytime I get on the bike, I think about the pavement grinding my kneecaps off, and it reminds me to follow the rules I've learned thru the years. My main concerns are small animals and deer, along with idiot drivers.

It's a calculated risk, with unknown factors that must be dealt with. However, the wind in my face and the purr of the bike on a lone highway is a very beautiful feeling.

I've been lucky, the times I've dumped it, I didn't get hurt too bad (so far) and I have lost friends.

Motercycles are very dangerous and I'm only saying it is a personal choice. The best advice I've ever had was from my father when I was a young lad: "Son, when you loose your fear of it, it is going to get you". So I try and think of that pavement eating my a$$ up everytime I ride.

Oct 11, 2006 - 11:24am PT
"Dirt bikes are dangerous; street bikes are death."

so um...
sitting in your car in bumber to bumber traffic breathing large amounts of carbon monoxide from the cars surrounding you will help you live longer?

Dirtbikes are an awesome way to get extraordinary amounts of exercise while having a great time.

Streetbikes are freedom.

Bikes aren't for everyone.
Those of us that have ridden bikes all of our lives know and accept the risks.

Does anyone on this forum do anything where this type of thinking may apply?


Ben Rumsen

Social climber
No Name City ( and it sure ain't pretty )
Oct 11, 2006 - 12:43pm PT
I saw the remains of that accident Sunday - it looked really bad. I'm sorry to hear the rider was killed. I assumed speeding was a cause too. People need to learn to not speed in the park. It's not a race course.

Social climber
The Deli
Oct 11, 2006 - 04:33pm PT
I still stand by what I said. Street bikes are death. If one were to ride a street bike solo on a maintained, closed track, then safety would be strictly in the hands of the rider (provided the bike has no mechanical malfunctions). But, once you get on a public street, all bets are off. You can be the best rider out there, but you still have no control over the millions of stupid idiots that were (unfortunately) given a driver’s license. Hell, the majority of dumbasses out there don’t even deserve a driver’s license. So why put your life in their hands? Mass always wins.

If public roadways are death, then the roads in Yosemite are ultra death. I can honestly say that when I drive between Crane Flat and Tuolumne, I am gripped for the safety of my truck and I’d be a hell of a lot more gripped if I didn’t have 7,000 pounds of metal protecting me. The lanes on 120 are illegally narrow and there is practically no shoulder (let alone a good-sized drop-off along many sections). And then you’ve got retarded tourists (they’re a dime a dozen these days…) that decide to try and park in micro turnouts (good job Pork Circus…) that are not big enough and their vehicle sticks out two feet or so into your already-too-narrow lane. Helloooooo????? I can’t believe that people actually ride a bicycle along that stretch of road, with all of the tour busses and inexperienced rental-RV drivers! Absolutely ludicrous!!!!! What happens when you are going the speed limit and come around a blind turn with a bicycle in front of you and this guy barreling towards you, partly in your lane?

I know for damn sure that if confronted with such a situation, that bicycle is going to bounce off of my front bumper because there is no freaking way that I am going to get into a head-on collision just because some dumbass decides that it’s a good idea to ride a bicycle along 120. If you ride a bicycle along 120 you are primitively stupid or are WAY over-trusting of the retards around you. Death!!!

So now, back to motorcycles…

ALL motorcycles are dangerous; it’s up to the rider to make things as safe as possible. In the case of dirt bikes, there are a lot fewer hazards that are beyond your control. Yes, when riding through the forest, a deer may jump out in front of you – bad news, for sure. But overall, safety is in the hands of the rider. What percentage of street riders are killed each year in accidents? What percentage of dirt riders are killed each year in accidents? In the case of the fatality on Sunday, it sounds as though it was the fault of the rider (RV frustration?), but how often is that the case? A section of I-80 west of Reno was closed for a few hours on the Friday before Street Vibrations last month because a rider was run over by a semi and a pick-up truck. I never heard how/why the accident happened but it resulted in another fatality.

I’ve gone down plenty of times in the dirt, some no big deal, some hurt. In every one of those cases it was pilot error – I f*#ked up and I paid the price. Klaus, with all due respect bro, of all the times that you’ve gone down on pavement, how many of those times were your fault and how many were the fault of someone in an automobile? I don’t mean to give you street riders a hard time here; I am merely sharing my views. I worry about you guys sometimes. My ex-girlfriend has taken a street rider's course and wants to get a street bike – that worries me too. Sh#t happens really quickly and often, you have no time to react; the next thing you know, the laws of nature have taken control and you’re just a puppet (or a rag doll…). Be careful out there and trust no one! They’re all out to get you!!!

This is what happens when you don’t respect the power of the 500 and flirt with it too much. I had two long-sleeve jerseys on as well as forearm/elbow guards with rigid plastic plates – all of that ended up around my bicep by the time I finally stopped (in a mud puddle). There is more road-rash on top of my arm that you can’t see in the picture and I also tweaked my shoulder and hip (wearing full armor).
11 days ago:

My friends still think I’m crazy to ride by myself in the middle of nowhere. Oh well. It could have been a lot worse (luckily I missed all of the trees around me and good thing I drank a quart of milk with lunch everyday when I was a kid… can’t believe I didn’t break anything… on me, that is… and good thing the bike started up and made the 10 miles back). Sometimes you’ve got to pay to play. I hope to be able to get back on the bike in another week or two, but in the meantime life has been a little slow. Oh well. Live and learn.

Ride safe, my brothers!

keep looking up

Trad climber
San Francisco South Bay, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2006 - 05:20pm PT
Well, when I first asked the question it was in regard getting some information per the fatality;

I felt goose bumps for awhile since it occured just as we pulled in to climb. I thought it was a climber.....
then I heard it was a motorcyclist, no pulse, eyes wide open;

he died instantly on a beautiful day in a beautiful place.
At least he got that right.


Oct 11, 2006 - 09:06pm PT
I love streetbikes. :)

Mountain Man

Trad climber
Outer space
Oct 11, 2006 - 10:07pm PT
Bikes are murder. I don't think many old people can even see you.

I've ridden many thousands of miles on bikes, but no more.

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Oct 11, 2006 - 10:31pm PT
Reminds me of listening to motorcycle friends discussing a local climbing accident. Fearfully dangerous activities, motorcycling and climbing...until you disect the accidents to the point that you can comfortably say "that would never happen to me."

Didn't (insert one) tie in, place a good anchor, make sure the ends were even, place pro on eas(ier) ground, communicate with belayer, check the weather, lock the biner, tighten the bolt, wear a helmet, double back the harness, notice the hold was loose...

*Kinda Equals*

Passing two RVs in the twisties on a double yellow that exact moment when your luck runs out.

In hindsight, its similar stuff...easy mistakes to avoid, easy mistakes to make.

And the edge of the envelope is always there, asking for a push.

Condolences to friends and family, and to those who through no fault of their own were a part of this accident.

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