This Crash Had Almost Everything - Beware "Satellite View"

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Except, fortunately, serious injury: Just after dark, almost zero visibility, terrible judgment, slippery surface, foxtails and thorns, even a pack of wild carnivorous animals.

I was hazing my way through a pack of small-to-medium size coyotes on what looked like a short but idyllic path off Wonder View Drive near Griffith Park, and I remember thinking, "Dang, I sure couldn't see that hill on Satellite View."

The last thing I remember thinking before I lost it completely was, "I couldn't walk the bike down this hill on this Sierra sand, let alone ride up it." It had to be over 100 feet of well over 25%, and the most I've ever done is about 25-30 feet of 27%. And there was NO bug-out route that wasn't worse than the trail. At that pitch, there's no way to gracefully lay the bike down on the left side-- at least not after you were stupid enough to fully commit and make it halfway up the hill, to the steepest part-- you're going to fall backwards when you lose traction. Seeker was like, "Throw me away, fool, so we don't kill each other on the way down."

Main impact was on the left side of both of us-- touch-up paint will be needed on the left rear dropout. However, there was rolling involved for both man and machine, because there was clearly secondary impact on our right side as well. The bell on the right side of the bars was smashed to hell, the inside of my right shin is bruised and the outside of my left leg. Seeker was on top of me at one point-- (I heard the bike mutter "@$$hole!" as he got tangled up in my legs for a moment, but he was over it by the time we got upright and checked each other for injuries.) No apparent damage on the ride home.

Thank God for the body armor and thick gloves-- outstanding protection, that armor really works! I landed on my upper body, and no part of my body that was under the vest and arm pads was scratched or bruised.

The most humiliating part was seeing the leader of the pack at the top of the hill that we couldn't climb. I'd hazed his lieutenants away into the brush, but he's standing right on top, silhouetted in the half-moonlight, staring down at me like frickin' Buck in Call of The Wild: "This is my hill, dirtbag. Next time, why not just rest for a bit after you fall down, preferably unconscious? We haven't had a decent Sunday dinner in a while." We slunk away from the animal we'd been gleefully chasing only moments before with our tail lights tucked under our saddle, blinking feebly. We knew who the apex predators were on this turf-- and they weren't us. Dominate, we did not.

Do NOT check out new trails at night. Do NOT trust Satellite View... that false 3D image can be really misleading, I just looked at it again, and there was no HINT of a hill there, let alone one that steep. Do NOT ride up hills that are steeper than your ability level.

Do NOT ride when you are frustrated, angry, and pissed off at the world-- of if you do, take a route you know well."
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Except, fortunately, serious injury: Just after dark, almost zero visibility, terrible judgment, slippery surface, foxtails and thorns, even a pack of wild carnivorous animals.

I was hazing my way through a pack of small-to-medium size coyotes on what looked like a short but idyllic path off Wonder View Drive near Griffith Park, and I remember thinking, "Dang, I sure couldn't see that hill on Satellite View."

The last thing I remember thinking before I lost it completely was, "I couldn't walk the bike down this hill on this Sierra sand, let alone ride up it." It had to be over 100 feet of well over 25%, and the most I've ever done is about 25-30 feet of 27%. And there was NO bug-out route that wasn't worse than the trail. At that pitch, there's no way to gracefully lay the bike down on the left side-- at least not after you were stupid enough to fully commit and make it halfway up the hill, to the steepest part-- you're going to fall backwards when you lose traction. Seeker was like, "Throw me away, fool, so we don't kill each other on the way down."

Main impact was on the left side of both of us-- touch-up paint will be needed on the left rear dropout. However, there was rolling involved for both man and machine, because there was clearly secondary impact on our right side as well. The bell on the right side of the bars was smashed to hell, the inside of my right shin is bruised and the outside of my left leg. Seeker was on top of me at one point-- (I heard the bike mutter "@$$hole!" as he got tangled up in my legs for a moment, but he was over it by the time we got upright and checked each other for injuries.) No apparent damage on the ride home.

Thank God for the body armor and thick gloves-- outstanding protection, that armor really works! I landed on my upper body, and no part of my body that was under the vest and arm pads was scratched or bruised.

The most humiliating part was seeing the leader of the pack at the top of the hill that we couldn't climb. I'd hazed his lieutenants away into the brush, but he's standing right on top, silhouetted in the half-moonlight, staring down at me like frickin' Buck in Call of The Wild: "This is my hill, dirtbag. Next time, why not just rest for a bit after you fall down, preferably unconscious? We haven't had a decent Sunday dinner in a while." We slunk away from the animal we'd been gleefully chasing only moments before with our tail lights tucked under our saddle, blinking feebly. We knew who the apex predators were on this turf-- and they weren't us. Dominate, we did not.

Do NOT check out new trails at night. Do NOT trust Satellite View... that false 3D image can be really misleading, I just looked at it again, and there was no HINT of a hill there, let alone one that steep. Do NOT ride up hills that are steeper than your ability level.

Do NOT ride when you are frustrated, angry, and pissed off at the world-- of if you do, take a route you know well."
I’ve ridden up and down some pretty steep hills before but don’t think that I would be brazen enough to take on anything as extreme as that particularly in the conditions that you spoke of. Glad to hear that you’re alright though. Dang yotes! :mad:
 

Djangodog

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Claremont, NH
The worst experiences make the best stories. I enjoyed the telling.

On a side note, I use a Garmin Edge and the Garmin Connect App. I can plot out a course and review the profile before riding the route. It is not fool proof, but it does work quite well.

I’m glad that Wiley didn’t win out.
 
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ChezCheese:)

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Kitsap Co, WA
Don't know which satellite view you are talking about. If it is Google Maps, I can tell you that it is out of date. The street view of my road still shows the trees that bordered my property, three years after they were clear-cut into a moonscape. 😱 Looks absolutely nothing like what shows on Google Maps street view.😢

Coyotes have gotten seriously bold, too.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
City
Central Mn
Heal fast Catalyst.
At least you have a sense of humor about the incident.
So true that Google maps is outdated. We’ve been in our house over 15 years and Google still shows a non-existing road to the backside. Apple Maps is more up to date.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Don't know which satellite view you are talking about. If it is Google Maps, I can tell you that it is out of date. The street view of my road still shows the trees that bordered my property, three years after they were clear-cut into a moonscape. 😱 Looks absolutely nothing like what shows on Google Maps street view.😢

Coyotes have gotten seriously bold, too.
It is indeed Google Maps-- and I have to look at this during daylight, because I'm not even sure I took the correct path. Maybe the trail used to go around the hill? Maybe there's another trail that I didn't see in the dark?

I’ve ridden up and down some pretty steep hills before but don’t think that I would be brazen enough to take on anything as extreme as that particularly in the conditions that you spoke of. Glad to hear that you’re alright though. Dang yotes! :mad:
I'm still trying to figure out why I made such a stupid choice. I was not in a good frame mind-- been trying to help stage-manage health care for a friend in the UK who is too sick to take care of himself, and there had been a heartbeat when the folks onsite were trying to find him a residential psychiatric treatment facility before he'd had a physical workup. (We think he has Long Covid-- he got one of the early, and deadlier versions when there was no vaccine available, and has never quite been the same since-- numerous heart problems, etc.) Everyone got on the same page, but it had been a harrowing 12 hours. So I was riding angry.

The poor conditions made me bolder, which is hard to understand, but makes a strange kind of sense in hindsight. 65% of my brain could tell the hill was too steep for me-- someone else could have probably made it up that hill, even on my bike, but only someone in outstanding condition with very advanced skills. For me, it was slam-dunk obviously impossible. And yet, the bad light made everything ambiguous, my imagination kicked in, and made me think anything was possible. 35% of my brain was thinking, "Well, maybe it's this, maybe it's that, maybe it's not as steep as it looks, maybe the surface is better, maybe you're just in such good condition you can actually do this." That's the part I listened to, not the 65%.

Of course, I want to identify the cognitive error so I can recognize it if my mind ever wanders in that direction again. The faulty leaps in logic, where fantasy or wistful thinking unexpectedly override common sense!

We were really lucky. Very, very stupid thing to do, particularly on blood thinners.
 

The Brick

Member
Region
USA
I'm still trying to figure out why I made such a stupid choice. I was not in a good frame mind
I grew up and lived somewhat near that area, and around LA for decades. I saw Frank Sinatra perform at the Greek Theater when it was still open air. Then I moved north away from the craziness. Even though I moved away, I was working and visiting LA often. Until it was closed, my favorite restaurant was ChaChaCha (south of the Observatory, off of Melrose). After decades living in NorCal, I moved away from the insanity.

Keep that in mind, while you read my response: You live in LA. You are surround by so much stupidity, you're bound to get caught up in it, no matter how much you try to avoid it. I not suggesting that you move and I'm not saying you're stupid. Rather, keep your head on straight, as much as possible.

BTW, I've been up, and down, many skree slopes in the Sierra, aka goat trails. The thought of you riding down something like that, and that steep, is comedy. Too bad you didn't have it on video.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
Except, fortunately, serious injury: Just after dark, almost zero visibility, terrible judgment, slippery surface, foxtails and thorns, even a pack of wild carnivorous animals.

I was hazing my way through a pack of small-to-medium size coyotes on what looked like a short but idyllic path off Wonder View Drive near Griffith Park, and I remember thinking, "Dang, I sure couldn't see that hill on Satellite View."

The last thing I remember thinking before I lost it completely was, "I couldn't walk the bike down this hill on this Sierra sand, let alone ride up it." It had to be over 100 feet of well over 25%, and the most I've ever done is about 25-30 feet of 27%. And there was NO bug-out route that wasn't worse than the trail. At that pitch, there's no way to gracefully lay the bike down on the left side-- at least not after you were stupid enough to fully commit and make it halfway up the hill, to the steepest part-- you're going to fall backwards when you lose traction. Seeker was like, "Throw me away, fool, so we don't kill each other on the way down."

Main impact was on the left side of both of us-- touch-up paint will be needed on the left rear dropout. However, there was rolling involved for both man and machine, because there was clearly secondary impact on our right side as well. The bell on the right side of the bars was smashed to hell, the inside of my right shin is bruised and the outside of my left leg. Seeker was on top of me at one point-- (I heard the bike mutter "@$$hole!" as he got tangled up in my legs for a moment, but he was over it by the time we got upright and checked each other for injuries.) No apparent damage on the ride home.

Thank God for the body armor and thick gloves-- outstanding protection, that armor really works! I landed on my upper body, and no part of my body that was under the vest and arm pads was scratched or bruised.

The most humiliating part was seeing the leader of the pack at the top of the hill that we couldn't climb. I'd hazed his lieutenants away into the brush, but he's standing right on top, silhouetted in the half-moonlight, staring down at me like frickin' Buck in Call of The Wild: "This is my hill, dirtbag. Next time, why not just rest for a bit after you fall down, preferably unconscious? We haven't had a decent Sunday dinner in a while." We slunk away from the animal we'd been gleefully chasing only moments before with our tail lights tucked under our saddle, blinking feebly. We knew who the apex predators were on this turf-- and they weren't us. Dominate, we did not.

Do NOT check out new trails at night. Do NOT trust Satellite View... that false 3D image can be really misleading, I just looked at it again, and there was no HINT of a hill there, let alone one that steep. Do NOT ride up hills that are steeper than your ability level.

Do NOT ride when you are frustrated, angry, and pissed off at the world-- of if you do, take a route you know well."
So glad you're ok!
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
I'm still trying to figure out why I made such a stupid choice. I was not in a good frame mind-- been trying to help stage-manage health care for a friend in the UK who is too sick to take care of himself, and there had been a heartbeat when the folks onsite were trying to find him a residential psychiatric treatment facility before he'd had a physical workup. (We think he has Long Covid-- he got one of the early, and deadlier versions when there was no vaccine available, and has never quite been the same since-- numerous heart problems, etc.) Everyone got on the same page, but it had been a harrowing 12 hours. So I was riding angry.

The poor conditions made me bolder, which is hard to understand, but makes a strange kind of sense in hindsight. 65% of my brain could tell the hill was too steep for me-- someone else could have probably made it up that hill, even on my bike, but only someone in outstanding condition with very advanced skills. For me, it was slam-dunk obviously impossible. And yet, the bad light made everything ambiguous, my imagination kicked in, and made me think anything was possible. 35% of my brain was thinking, "Well, maybe it's this, maybe it's that, maybe it's not as steep as it looks, maybe the surface is better, maybe you're just in such good condition you can actually do this." That's the part I listened to, not the 65%.

Of course, I want to identify the cognitive error so I can recognize it if my mind ever wanders in that direction again. The faulty leaps in logic, where fantasy or wistful thinking unexpectedly override common sense!

We were really lucky. Very, very stupid thing to do, particularly on blood thinners.
Sometimes adrenaline gets the best of us in response to exciting or dangerous situations. I’ve made some pretty dumb choices in the past and as a result ended up paying the price with some nasty bruising/sprained fingers as a result of following my desire to emulate my more experienced riding buddies rather than choosing the safer line. On the other hand, being too risk adverse may limit one’s ability to test the waters so to speak but also learn from past mistakes and further advance one’s riding skills. In a way, I admire your tenacity. Over time, I’ve learned to temper my expectations on the trail and now with a bit more experience my patience has been rewarded with a better appreciation of how I’ve become a wiser rider for it.

Just glad to know that you escaped relatively unscathed and look forward to hearing more trail adventures. 👍
 

Avg_Joe

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
RDU, NC
Love the framing and telling of the story, hence the laughing emoji. Just glad you are ok - and wiser from this experience!

A crash, regardless of circumstance or severity, is nothing to dismiss. For those who experience these things, we generally learn; and for those who haven't (yet), perhaps they will be prepared to avoid some when that little voice says, remember that story on EBR about the extreme hill, coyotes, crash? Turn around!
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
IUntil it was closed, my favorite restaurant was ChaChaCha (south of the Observatory, off of Melrose).
That place was great! I think there is a new location open in Santa Monica, just of Pico near Main Street.

Keep that in mind, while you read my response: You live in LA. You are surround by so much stupidity, you're bound to get caught up in it, no matter how much you try to avoid it.
Absolutely not, to me, this city is no more insane than anywhere else. The only neo-nazis I ever tangled with were in Connecticut, the Dixie Mafia and the Klan were a serious problem when I lived in Tennessee for a summer, New York in the 1970s and '80s was insanely dangerous and violent, and don't even get me started on Boston in the early '80s-- utter lawlessness, after 6:00 PM, you had to stop for green lights because no one else was stopping for red ones, or even slowing down Sure, driving cars everywhere is stupid, there are a lot of things about L.A. that are annoying or just bizarre, but no more so than anywhere else.
BTW, I've been up, and down, many skree slopes in the Sierra, aka goat trails. The thought of you riding down something like that, and that steep, is comedy. Too bad you didn't have it on video.
I know! I wish I'd been running a GoPro with night vision or something!
Sometimes adrenaline gets the best of us in response to exciting or dangerous situations. I’ve made some pretty dumb choices in the past and as a result ended up paying the price with some nasty bruising/sprained fingers as a result of following my desire to emulate my more experienced riding buddies rather than choosing the safer line. On the other hand, being too risk adverse may limit one’s ability to test the waters so to speak but also learn from past mistakes and further advance one’s riding skills. In a way, I admire your tenacity. Over time, I’ve learned to temper my expectations on the trail and now with a bit more experience my patience has been rewarded with a better appreciation of how I’ve become a wiser rider for it.

Just glad to know that you escaped relatively unscathed and look forward to hearing more trail adventures. 👍
Thanks-- all true. I already suspected that even though 30 feet of 27% on solid dirt, starting with a good head of steam, is quite possible, over 100 feet of over 25% on sand is not-- and have now conclusively tested this hypothesis. I guess I would have always wondered if I hadn't tried it!

Love the framing and telling of the story, hence the laughing emoji. Just glad you are ok - and wiser from this experience!

A crash, regardless of circumstance or severity, is nothing to dismiss. For those who experience these things, we generally learn; and for those who haven't (yet), perhaps they will be prepared to avoid some when that little voice says, remember that story on EBR about the extreme hill, coyotes, crash? Turn around!
Oh, yeah. That, and "don't ride angry." When I have stopped and turned around, one thing I noticed: I don't feel like a weenie. It's not like this causes incredible frustration. I actually like the idea of being able to tell my wife about the stupid things I did not do on my ride!