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Old 01-12-17, 10:19 AM   #1
geo8rge
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Riding the wrong way on the only available shoulder.

There are 2 lanes of traffic going in opposite directions separated by double yellow lines.

The traffic is heavy including trucks moving at 40 to 50 mph, 65kph to 80 kph.

The lane with traffic going in the direction you wish to proceed has either no shoulder or a very narrow shoulder.

The lane with the traffic going in the opposite direction you wish to travel has a very wide shoulder.

The state is NJ if that matters. The area is a rural highway, mostly commercial businesses.

Should I ride in the traffic lane going in the same direction I am proceeding? Or should I ride on the opposite side of the roadway in the wide shoulder with the automobile traffic going in the opposite direction I am traveling?
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Old 01-12-17, 10:55 AM   #2
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Personally, I would look for a different route, maybe a second mode of transportation if needed like a bus for that section. How far in the wrong direction?
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Old 01-12-17, 11:09 AM   #3
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This is an example of why I don't live by rules, and look at each situation.

Based on your description, and assuming that there are no better options, I'd probably ride the wide shoulder against traffic. But that's a last resort, and not very desirable, though better than legally taking the right lane on a busy NJ highway.

But there are issues, like what you'd do if you came to a bad section, how you get onto and off the road, and manage the exits and entrances. So, I'm not advising you to do so. Just think about it long and hard and do what makes the most sense.

BTW- it also depends on how long a stretch you're talking about. I'd be far more comfortable with the shoulder if it were only for a fairly short stretch connecting up an other wise good route, than if it were for miles on end.
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Old 01-12-17, 11:11 AM   #4
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I also would look for a different route. Route choice is often overlooked as a very important factor in keeping yourself safe.

If there was no other choice... I guess it depends how just how heavy the traffic is. If very heavy, I suppose I might ride in the "very wide" shoulder on the wrong side... But if I did this I would be very, very careful not to endanger cyclists coming from the opposite (correct) direction. I'd stay to the right when crossing paths with another cyclist. Do not, under any circumstances, force them out into traffic that they can't see.

You also need to be really careful with your lights in this situation.
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Old 01-12-17, 11:50 AM   #5
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A significant issue occurs at night if riding counter to the prevalent traffic; being blinded by the headlights, even the low beams, of the vehicle traffic. When I am in that situation I pull the brim of my baseball-type cap as far down as possible to keep from riding blinded by headlights.

The shoulder still may be the best choice but be aware of the vision problem at night.
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Old 01-12-17, 12:05 PM   #6
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If there was no other (realistic) route available I'd take the wide shoulder. I'd probably be as far over as possible and wouldn't be going very fast though, especially at night. Headlights would be on their lowest settings and I'd point them pretty low to avoid blinding oncoming traffic.
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Old 01-12-17, 12:14 PM   #7
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this is an example of why i don't live by rules, and look at each situation.

Based on your description, and assuming that there are no better options, i'd probably ride the wide shoulder against traffic. But that's a last resort, and not very desirable, though better than legally taking the right lane on a busy nj highway.

But there are issues, like what you'd do if you came to a bad section, how you get onto and off the road, and manage the exits and entrances. So, i'm not advising you to do so. Just think about it long and hard and do what makes the most sense.

Btw- it also depends on how long a stretch you're talking about. I'd be far more comfortable with the shoulder if it were only for a fairly short stretch connecting up an other wise good route, than if it were for miles on end.
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Old 01-12-17, 02:02 PM   #8
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How far of a distance would you be riding wrong way on the shoulder, and how many crossroads/driveways would you pass? If the answer is "far" and "lots", I'd not do it.
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Old 01-12-17, 05:55 PM   #9
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Would I travel on the wide shoulder facing traffic doing 50 while I was doing, say, 15, resulting in me taking evasive action when a truck, with an approach speed of 65mph, has a puncture or mechanical failure and swerves onto the shoulder?

Hmm. Difficult.
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Old 01-12-17, 07:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
There are 2 lanes of traffic going in opposite directions separated by double yellow lines.

The traffic is heavy including trucks moving at 40 to 50 mph, 65kph to 80 kph.

The lane with traffic going in the direction you wish to proceed has either no shoulder or a very narrow shoulder.

The lane with the traffic going in the opposite direction you wish to travel has a very wide shoulder.

The state is NJ if that matters. The area is a rural highway, mostly commercial businesses.

Should I ride in the traffic lane going in the same direction I am proceeding? Or should I ride on the opposite side of the roadway in the wide shoulder with the automobile traffic going in the opposite direction I am traveling?
And when I am cycling on that shoulder at 20 mph with the flow of traffic, where are you going to swerve to avoid a head on collision with me?
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Old 01-12-17, 08:20 PM   #11
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And when I am cycling on that shoulder at 20 mph with the flow of traffic, where are you going to swerve to avoid a head on collision with me?
I don't think the OP has to worry about that. You're 5,000 miles away, so it'll take you a while to get there. Or you might just give him 10 days notice if planning to visit NJ, and he'll change his route.

As the OP describes it, all the options stink (kind of like the last election). So, yes, riding the shoulder has problems, but I'm pretty sure two cyclists can negotiate passing each other, or the OP can yield by moving to the verge and stopping while the other guy passes.
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Old 01-12-17, 08:29 PM   #12
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It would have to be a very wide shoulder before I'd consider it. And it's something I might do on a one time basis, but I wouldn't do it regularly.
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Old 01-12-17, 09:28 PM   #13
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I don't think the OP has to worry about that. You're 5,000 miles away, so it'll take you a while to get there. Or you might just give him 10 days notice if planning to visit NJ, and he'll change his route.

As the OP describes it, all the options stink (kind of like the last election). So, yes, riding the shoulder has problems, but I'm pretty sure two cyclists can negotiate passing each other, or the OP can yield by moving to the verge and stopping while the other guy passes.
Considering that I have been in 48 of the 50 states, the OP cannot count on me not showing up.

If the OP does not think about the oncoming cyclist before hand, he will end up head on into motor traffic. I see it happen about once a month.
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Old 01-12-17, 09:57 PM   #14
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Considering that I have been in 48 of the 50 states, the OP cannot count on me not showing up.

If the OP does not think about the oncoming cyclist before hand, he will end up head on into motor traffic. I see it happen about once a month.
I get that on Kam Hwy on either side of Wahiawa from time to time. I have to admit, I don't really have aloha and don't like to move into the lane, but in most cases Mr Salmon will move into the grass before I get close.

I might for tactical reasons ride salmon in certain spots, but in general it scares the s--- out of me to ride against traffic.

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Old 01-13-17, 02:04 AM   #15
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After a cyclist was injured last year after hitting a road defect while riding on a shoulder in NJ and a judge ruled that the state had no responsibility because the shoulder isn't intended for travel, I wouldn't ride on the shoulder in NJ just on general principle, let alone salmon on one.

I get it that some riders don't feel comfortable taking the lane and the abuse that comes with it. Do what you have to do, but know that if anything goes south it's 100% your fault, legally and otherwise.
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Old 01-13-17, 06:20 AM   #16
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I've done the salmon thing on road shoulders before, but only for very short distances and when no other option exists. As another poster put it, it scares the $h** out of me every time I have to do it.




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Old 01-13-17, 10:19 AM   #17
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The state is NJ if that matters. The area is a rural highway, mostly commercial businesses.

What highway and where in the state?
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Old 01-13-17, 10:41 AM   #18
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Take the safest route. I would pretend that the wide shoulder is a bike path/lane and use that.
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Old 01-13-17, 11:29 AM   #19
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Take the safest route. I would pretend that the wide shoulder is a bike path/lane and use that.
Riding against traffic on a shoulder on a busy road is the safest route? Pretty sure that it isn't.
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Old 01-13-17, 11:33 AM   #20
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Riding against traffic on a shoulder on a busy road is the safest route? Pretty sure that it isn't.
I agree that it isn't the safest.

However, if you read the OP, you might agree that it's the safer of the two options.(or you might not)
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Old 01-13-17, 11:36 AM   #21
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I agree that it isn't the safest.

However, if you read the OP, you might agree that it's the safer of the two options.(or you might not)
If it was a block or so, I might do it. Would probably walk the bike if there was no other option. There usually is another option though. OP hasn't responded yet. Would like to see where this is on Google Maps honestly.
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Old 01-13-17, 03:06 PM   #22
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I decided to do this on a very busy divided highway for about 3 blocks because my destination was on that side, and the only other way to get there legally involved a very long ride to the next major intersection then doubling back.

I didn't particularly like doing it, but the shoulder was very wide so I wasn't anywhere near traffic. If I had encountered another cyclist, I would have dismounted and gotten out of their way.
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Old 01-14-17, 12:44 AM   #23
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I Vietnam, the salmon takes the gutter 99% of the time. Makes sense to me. Over here I doubt it works the same.
I have ridden the narrow side at times. I would expect the traffic would naturally move left, as long as they see you. Not so good and idea at night.
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Old 01-14-17, 06:01 AM   #24
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I'd like to see the road on google maps.
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Old 01-15-17, 06:39 AM   #25
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Personally, I would look for a different route, maybe a second mode of transportation if needed like a bus for that section. How far in the wrong direction?
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