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Cyclist Hit by Motorcycle in Hit-and-Run

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California Highway Patrol continues its search for a motorcycle rider that hit cyclist Nick Moless from behind when he was riding his bike on Skyline Boulevard in the Peninsula.

Moless told SFGate that he heard a pack of four or five motorcycles approaching him from behind on Skyline, four miles north of Alpine Road. One of the motorcycle riders hit him from behind and sped off. Based on the sound, Moless says these were fast sport bikes, not cruisers.

Moless suffered multiple injuries, including a clavicle broken in three places.

With a successful surgery, Moless will recover in six to eight weeks. Many other cyclists aren't so lucky. In 2013, more than 900 cyclists were killed according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost 500,000 visited emergency rooms. Collisions with motorcycles are one common cause of injuries and fatalities.

In the East Bay, packs of motorcycles ride many of the same rural roads as cyclists: Grizzly Peak Blvd., Pinehurst Road, and Redwood Road. They ride these roads for the same reason: to enjoy the beauty of the East Bay hills, with friends, in an area with less car traffic. Sometimes the motorcyclists get carried away and speed around corners, veer into the opposite lane, and, occasionally, hit cyclists.

Granted, not all motorcycle riders engage in this egregious behavior. On the local motorbike forum, bayarearidersforum.com, members expressed outrage at the hit-and-run. "This sort of behavior soils the motorcyclist reputation for sure," one member wrote. The riders also shared their exasperation that the pack involved in the hit and run passed the cyclist on the right and the left. (Note: always pass on the left.)

If you ride a motorcycle, follow these tips when navigating around other vehicles:

1. Know your limits. Your friends may speed around twisty roads, but that doesn't mean you should. Take time to build your skills and ride within your limits.

2. Pay attention. Goes without saying. Remain hyper-aware and hyper-vigilant. Like bicycles, motorcycles are more difficult for other drivers to see. Don't fiddle with your phone on the bike. Keep your hands on the bike.

3. Three feet. Leave enough room for bicycles; ideally, three feet between you and the cyclist when passing. Leave a generous distance when stopping behind them. Also like cyclists, practice emergency braking.

4. Wear a helmet. This is a "no-brainer." Ride without a helmet and you risk destroying yours.

Cars, motorcycles and bikes all share the same roads. Drive and ride safe, practice patience, and enjoy the Bay Area scenery without incident. If you do find yourself in a collision, contact a personal injury attorney right away.

If you have any information on Moless's accident, please call CHP at 650-369-6261 and reference case number 9330-2016-6006.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

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David G. Smith, Attorney At Law
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Oakland, CA 94612

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