Q I had something like the motorcycle gang attack in New York City happen locally a couple of months ago but not nearly as prolonged or dangerous.

Brad Todd

Los Gatos

A Tell us more.

 

Q There was a large group of 20 or so motorcyclists heading up to Skyline Boulevard on Black Road on a Saturday. They were driving in both lanes of a narrow winding road, coming at us fast and cutting the inside of blind curves. It scared the heck out of me as I headed down toward Los Gatos with my wife and grandbaby.

 Motorcyclists at Skyline Boulevard and Highway 84, above Woodside.
Motorcyclists at Skyline Boulevard and Highway 84, above Woodside. (Mercury News archives)

I was scared, then angry. It is common for people who don't know Black Road to cut the inside of blind corners. Just above Black Mountain Winery there is a double S curve and a narrow stretch where we met maybe eight more cyclists. One of them couldn't handle the corner at the speed he was going and dropped his bike in front of my car.

I slowed to a crawl and probably five cyclists stopped when their comrade went down. I called 911, stopped my car, got out and started yelling at the motorcyclists.

One struck me once in the head, knocking my glasses off, and I couldn't see well after that. My wife got out and started yelling at the group and they backed away.


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My wife and I were terrified on many levels, but I become angry when I have had enough. I did not and would not have hit anyone, but I was mad.

Brad Todd

A I field more comments about motorcyclists on these roads than almost anywhere else. Sadly, Todd has more scary tales to tell.

Q This is not the first time we have been terrified by bikers in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Skyline is notorious for being a racetrack for cyclists between Highway 9 and Alice's Restaurant. Three years ago we were struck by a cyclist coming around a corner too fast and had our car totaled when he hit our front end. He did not die but neither did he have insurance or a motorcycle license.

Brad Todd

A And ...

Q Earlier this year on a Tuesday evening, we were passed by a motorcyclist who was perhaps exceeding 100 mph south of Alice's going in the same direction as we were. If you know this stretch of road you know how unsafe for everyone this type of behavior is. We no longer drive on Skyline except in the early morning or after dark during the week. Never on a weekend when the weather is nice.

Just saying that these wild crowd gatherings are happening here as well as in New York.

Brad Todd

A Where do I begin with this? I once ran into a similar situation with a large group of motorcyclists passing me on a blind uphill curve near Skyline going way too fast and far too close to my van. You were right to call 911, but you should not have yelled at the motorcyclists. In potential road-rage situations, tempers can flare, especially when one has been injured, and a bad situation can turn even nastier.

Q What does one do in a situation like that in New York with the motorcyclists and SUV driver? Do you continue to drive slowly even if that means running over or hitting those who are impeding your way?

D.M.

A Stay inside your car, don't make eye contact, keep moving at a slow speed if possible, call 911 and remain calm.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.