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Motorcycle Death Trap


I have had two close calls in as many weeks where I nearly lost control of my motorbike on the freeway in Goleta. Not because I wasn’t paying attention or someone pulled in front of me, but because of the poor condition of the freeway itself! There is a section of the 101 northbound freeway between Patterson and Glen Annie where Cal Trans, for some strange reason, has laid down new pavement in narrow strips, three to four feet wide and probably hundreds of feet long, rather than paving sections across the lane.

Because of this, there are now deep grooves all along the outside of these strips and if one of my bike’s tires hits these, I am holding on for dear life! The bike wobbles violently as it fights to remain in the groove or I fight to get out of it. I am not talking about one of those dirt bikes that weigh 100 pounds and have knobby tires. My bike is a 500cc street bike, a stable and heavy piece of machinery that is meant to handle the roads with ease. I am not a novice rider either: I have been riding since I was 11 (I’m nearly 50) and never laid one down. I shouldn’t have to drive a four-wheel drive gas guzzler to feel safe on our freeway.

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