Biker Blogs > Justyforya's blogs > Skyline part #2 - Death comes a knocking
Skyline part #2 - Death comes a knocking Sort by:
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justyforya
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Posted on Sat, Apr 08, 2006 23:13

Some time ago, in the mid 80's, two high school friends and I were riding Skyline. I recall I was on my 1976 Yamaha RD400. That was a great bike! We would ride from highway 9 to Alice, stop at the gas station's parking lot across from Alice, BS for a bit, ride back to the just built parking lot at the intersection of highway 9 and Skyline, stop, and then BS there for awhile. Funny, but that is what most of the Bay Area bikers do up there: ride between the two parking lots, stop and then BS. After the second BS session, we started back towards Alice. I was riding in the lead, and as I exited a turn a few miles from the CDF station, I saw a bike wrapped around a telephone pole. No rider or any other bikes were around. I immediately stop, and ran down the hill. Afterwards, one of my friends, who initially didn't see the bike, told me he thought I lost my mind, and wondered what the Hell I was doing. Down the hill, about 150 yards from the pole/bike combo, there was a guy strung up in a barb wire fence. The victim was wearing sneezers, Sweat pants, and a long sleeve shirt. He was not wearing a jacket or gloves. Thank God he had on a full face helmet. He landed parallel into the wire, and his impact broke one post, and bent another post into the ground. Probably that barb wire deaden the impact of his flight/landing and temporaily save his life; but, we all knew he was dieing. His head was tilted up at a 45 degree angle, he was unconscious, and his breathing was becoming impeded by fluids (no doubt blood) entering his lungs. We also knew better than to touch him or move him. After seeing the victim, one friend, without any additional hesitation, said he would go for help. As he was running up the hill, I yelled out for him not to f*** around and if he ran across a cop, to have the cop immediate call for an ambulance. I knew the chances were good that he would come across a cop before he came across a pay phone, because it was about that time when the CHPs and San Mateo Sheriffs increased their patrols on Skyline. In the early and mid 80's, Skyline had become a biker's cemetery with about one biker off-ing themselves each week during the months of summer. My friend was thinking clearly, and he went back to the closest destination for help, the CDF station. Luckily for the guy in the wire, a CHP officer just arrived there. Within 10 minutes both were back. Perhaps the officer just ate lunch, because when he first saw the guy strung up in the barb wire, I though he was going to puke. I immediately asked if the officer called for an ambulance, and when the CHPer said no, I looked directly at my friend who went for help. I must have looked really p***ed, because without me saying a word, my friend blurted out that when he first made contact with the officer, he told the CHPer to call for an ambulance. I then looked at the CHPer, probably looking even more p***ed, and without me saying a word, the officer said he would call for an ambulance and a helo to evac the guy off the mountain. Cool I thought, perhaps the guy will have a chance with the helo. It took another 10 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. During the wait, the CHPer said he was just assigned up there, and for one moment I felt sorry for the guy. Someone else said something like welcome to the circus or something s*** like that, and the officer started asking us questions about the biker scene up at Skyline. The victim's breathing was becoming more and more impaired and less frequent. At one moment he (the dude in the wire) came around, and he tried to remove himself from his self induced prison. I was yelled at him not to move, and screaming help was on the way. He really didn't have the strength to get out of the wire, but I didn't want the guy to be thrashing around and do any more damage to himself. He started, or tried to take his helmet off, while I kept on screaming at him not to move. One friend then told me that he was trying to unlatch his helmet strap, so I did that for the guy. He then black out. We all knew this guy's time on this earth was quickly coming to an end, and sooner than later he would stop breathing and we would have to unravel him from the wire, drain out his lungs and do mouth to mouth. The clear thinking friend [a Berkley Grad] came up with the best plan, that clarified which way to roll the guy, and that my learned friend probably could cut the wire with the pliers he had under his KZ650 seat. The CHPer said he had wire cutters in his vehicle, and just as the he started up the hill, the paramedics came running down. All three of us had more than enough of that scene, and as we started walking up the hill (with the CHPer), the officer asked if we saw the crash. We all said no, and we all arrived after the accident. The office accepted that, and the three of us rode back to Alice. At the parking lot across from Alice, I don't imagine that 50 words were spoken between the three of us. We just stood there in...well in shock. Some guy did pull up and said that there was an accident and the cops closed down Skyline. I don't believe any of us said more than two words, 'we know'. It's very hard to stand around and watch someone die when there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening. We heard the helo come in, and that was about when I said I had enough, and my other two friends agreed as we all parted ways. The Berkley Grad called Stanford and checked the newspaper during the following week. He told me no biker died on Skyline that weekend, so I assume our victim survived. It took about one month for any of us to made it back up on Skyline for another ride.


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