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  1. #1
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    People Riding On SB HWY17

    I know I probably won't get any responses to this, but has anybody seen people riding their bikes on HWY 17? I've seen three people in the last couple of months. Bikes are always loaded up, almost like touring bikes, but the riders look pretty grimy, like homeless people. I'm wondering if there is an encampment off to the side they're riding to.

    It's pretty unnerving to see them, especially around the curves.

  2. #2
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    I've only ridden it NB from the top of the dam down to hwy 9 on my road bike...hit 61 on the steep part. you can ride sb up to bear creek road. Yes riding on 17 is nuts and I do resemble that remark
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  4. #4
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    I saw some dude on a recumbent riding southbound between Hwy 9 and the dam and I've also seen a group of roadies coming down from the summit headed towards LG. The problem was that in each case the bikes were holding up commuter traffic. Most of the people that I ride with use the creek trail for that transition, just saying..
    Last edited by reydin; 11-25-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Some sections are legal like NB between the dam and bear creek where there is not a paved and reasonable alternative (the unpaved section of the creek trail doesn't count).

    There are also legal parts of I-280 near Hillsborough and 24 near Orinda.

  6. #6
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    Back in the...

    ...day if you were headed to Santa Cruz and didn't want to ride Hiway 9 you had to ride 17 at least to Alma Bridge Road; the LG Creek Trail as such didn't exist and the old RR bed was gated shut and posted. (There were bits and pieces of what became St. Joe's but it too was posted and all dirt) BTW; I'm Los Gatos born and raised---LGHS class of '69!

    I posted this Hiway 17... - Road Bike, Cycling Forums and got all of one response; "No. F'n. Way". I was hoping that some "old timers" would "come out of the woodwork" and chat; I guess they don't frequent roadbikerreview dot com??? (or does it have something to do with "if you can remember the sixties you weren't there")

    I digress; the only part that could be "hairy" was when NB getting in the fast lane to take the left exit to Los Gatos!

    Back then there was no center divider on 17; driving a car was a bit scary also!
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  7. #7
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    I've seen people riding past the legal parts, like up near Summit.

  8. #8
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    Homeless people on bikes riding dangerously? What?

  9. #9
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    I think folks from other countries or even other states don't know what roads they can or can't ride. The beauty of being a cyclotourist is that feeling of being somewhat of a hobo or transient wanderer, not a super set agenda. Ca is what it is...folks come to see all parts of it.

    Pretty subjective though....was it fairly nice bikes, w/racks, and nice panniers set ups or funky DUI style bikes w/giant trash bags, free baskets, upcycled equipment as gear holders. Either way it's still pretty elitist to judge someone on their setup..... ride what you got.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativeson View Post
    Either way it's still pretty elitist to judge someone on their setup..... ride what you got.
    Did anybody judge in their posts? icantdrive made a snarky comment, but nobody said anything judgmental. I'm perplexed where you got judgement out of any of the posts so far.

    My comment was out of curiosity if there's an encampment on 17, like there are on Hwy 9. Being a SC native, I've see some pretty interesting set-ups with the homeless folks... almost to the point of being artistic!

  11. #11
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    Heading back and forth to Santa Cruz a lot, yeah I have.

    It's a bit crazy - especially since a lot people are going at least 65MPH around some of those curves.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    .....My comment was out of curiosity if there's an encampment on 17, like there are on Hwy 9......
    I'd like to tell you where we, I mean they, live but I've been threatened with eviction. And the rent here, I mean there, is affordable.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by grrrah View Post
    Some sections are legal like NB between the dam and bear creek where there is not a paved and reasonable alternative (the unpaved section of the creek trail doesn't count).

    There are also legal parts of I-280 near Hillsborough and 24 near Orinda.
    Are you sure it's not legal to ride all of CA-17? State roads are generally all bike legal - it's only freeways that are not (in CA).

    I think that's why out-of-town cyclists end up on 17. More often than not, CHP gets called to escort them to an exit safely.

    Cyclicious had a fun story about a couple of Swedish bike tourists he found riding up there.

    I've seen some Strava tracks of folks who have descended from Lexington Reservoir down to Los Gatos on 17. That doesn't seem so bad since you can probably get 45-50 mph reasonably easy which, technically, is the speed limit!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratpick View Post
    Are you sure it's not legal to ride all of CA-17? State roads are generally all bike legal - it's only freeways that are not (in CA).

    I think that's why out-of-town cyclists end up on 17. More often than not, CHP gets called to escort them to an exit safely.

    Cyclicious had a fun story about a couple of Swedish bike tourists he found riding up there.

    I've seen some Strava tracks of folks who have descended from Lexington Reservoir down to Los Gatos on 17. That doesn't seem so bad since you can probably get 45-50 mph reasonably easy which, technically, is the speed limit!
    I've seen bicycle tourists on various parts of 17 between lexington and scotts valley over the years. My understanding, like yours, is that bikes are allowed on the "highway" but not "freeway" portions of 17. For instance, between Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz is a no-no, I believe.

    Grimy looking people? Ever done a cycle tour? Lots of miles, not a lot of showers, you begin to resemble CHUM as well...

  15. #15
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    I seen dude getting on 87! On the Curtner entrance last week-it was a trip! He seemed 'normal' -older Schwinn looking road bike with rear rack-he was dressed in jeans and a shirt-older style bell type helmet and a back pack-mid twenties-entering the freeway and I was like WTF!???
    Last edited by Nelson34; 11-27-2012 at 08:58 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nelson34 View Post
    I seen dude getting on 87! On the Curtner entrance last week-it was a trip! He seemed 'normal' -older Schwinn looking road bike with rear rack-he was dressed in jeans and a shirt-older style bell type helmet and a back pack-mid twenties-entering the freeway and I was like WTF!???
    probably goin on hwy 87 bike path

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