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Old 02-03-17, 02:13 PM   #1
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Two lane road...3 miles long

Am I allow to ride on this kind of road?
It's 3 miles long. No shoulder for the entire distance.
This picture must have been taken on early Sunday morning.
It gets pretty busy during the day.
I'm afraid I'll get in trouble, like a ticket for "holding up traffic."
At night, I come home late...so around 10:30 pm, less traffic, but still alot.

This is sort-of rural...so alternative route is same, no shoulder.


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Old 02-03-17, 02:27 PM   #2
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allowed? don't see why not. any doubt, call your local police station
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Old 02-03-17, 02:30 PM   #3
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Not sure where you are, but I don't see a problem. Looks like it would be pretty dark at night, so hopefully, you already have some bright front and rear lights for the night time.
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Old 02-03-17, 03:41 PM   #4
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Why are you asking us? There is a cyclist in that picture. If it were me, I would have followed in my car, waiting to see if a CHP chopper landed in front of them and carried them off, kicking and screaming. See how close to the fog stripe that cyclist is riding? That is how you NOT get pulled over for "holding up traffic". There is a car ahead of the cyclist that must have passed them in the very recent past. My worry wouldn't be "getting in trouble" it would be getting a rear view mirror in the back of the head by a Hummer. Some things aren't worth the agida.
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Old 02-03-17, 03:58 PM   #5
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If I ride it during the day, there would be a long line of cars behind me.
That road is usually pretty busy during the day.
Speed limit is 40, but people here usually drive 10 over.

I need to take a bus to Downtown. To get to the bus stop, I need to ride this road for 3 miles. Then I throw the bike onto the bus.

I guess I can pull over into the ditch every few minutes to let cars pass.

When I get back from Downtown at night, is when I'm most scared.
I'm afraid drivers will get mad at having to drive at 12 mph for 3 miles, and vent their frustration at me someway.

I have a comfort bike...so my max speed at about 12 mph.

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Old 02-03-17, 04:08 PM   #6
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Traffic looks more like this during the day.
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Old 02-03-17, 04:53 PM   #7
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I'd be wary of riding on such a road with no shoulder, especially at night. Nowhere to go if a driver behind you doesn't see you. Make sure you wear bright and reflective clothing and have plenty of lights on your bike.
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Old 02-03-17, 04:54 PM   #8
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What is to stop motor vehicles from pulling across into the other lane? I've ridden on roads like that throughout my entire cycling career (UK) and had no problems with cars queueing up behind me. Depending on your average speed, 3 miles can be covered in 9 minutes (20mph) or12 minutes at 15mph. It is highly unlikely, unless rush hour traffic, in an obviously rural area, is so heavy that there are no gaps in oncoming traffic, that you will be impeding other vehicles for more than a very short time (minute max).

I suggest you check with your state's rules re cycling and impeding traffic - bearing in mind that you are traffic and not some weird form of transport unknown to man.
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Old 02-03-17, 05:56 PM   #9
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If I ride it during the day, there would be a long line of cars behind me.

Why? If you are positioned like the cyclist above, traffic can (and will) filter past you. I don't see any "ditch" to pull into. Once you get on that road you are committed.

That road is usually pretty busy during the day.
Speed limit is 40, but people here usually drive 10 over.

They aren't all idiots. How many do you imagine would be passing you at 50mph? Are you trolling?


When I get back from Downtown at night, is when I'm most scared.
I'm afraid drivers will get mad at having to drive at 12 mph for 3 miles, and vent their frustration at me someway.


Only if you are doing something provocative like "taking the lane" for 3 miles. You wouldn't get away with it for one mile, let alone three. You are trolling...
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Old 02-03-17, 07:10 PM   #10
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Nothing illegal about riding that road. The question is, how comfortable and safe will you feel riding on that road? If you feel unsafe you probably won't want to ride it.
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Old 02-03-17, 07:14 PM   #11
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Most of the road I ride are two lane with no shoulders. If there is traffic in both directions, I ride far enough out in the lane that drivers don't try to squeeze past when there is oncoming traffic. I also drive on the same roads and when traffic is too heavy to pass cyclists, I just stay behind them and I've found it doesn't really add as much time to the segment as one might think. Most of the roads I ride aren't nearly as straight as the one pictured, so there's very limited room for passing. That road should make it easy for everyone. You belong on the road as much as anyone else. Don't worry about it.
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Old 02-03-17, 07:49 PM   #12
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Use the full lane.

If there's faster traffic tailing you, and it is safe to do so, move right when there are gaps in oncoming traffic, encouraging those behind to pass. Signal and move left before oncoming traffic resumes.

Positioning farther left in a substandard width lane is legal in all states. Exceeding the posted limit or intimidating cyclists with your motor vehicle is not.
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Old 02-03-17, 08:10 PM   #13
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I regularly ride up a road that looks just like that, only instead of 3 miles long, it's 12. There's bike lane on like the last 2 miles of it, up where there's no traffic.

Some nice bright taillights recommended.
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Old 02-03-17, 08:27 PM   #14
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Roads like that are on my A list. Not only would I ride it, I'd seek out more like it.

Don't ride it on the fog line, making it seem as if cars can pass without moving over. Move out at least to the right tire track, so you'll be seen and so cars know they need to change lanes to pass.

If oncoming traffic is heavy enough that passing opportunities are scarce, wait for cars to match your speed, them you can move right to create a passing opportunity. Close passes aren't a problem when the speed differential is very small, so if traffic is really as heavy as you indicate, having a small compression wave behind you making them all slow then pass carefully is actually safer than when the road is wide open and drivers aren't thinking about what's ahead.
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Old 02-03-17, 09:39 PM   #15
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allowed? don't see why not. any doubt, call your local police station
mtb_addict, do not call the local police. More often than not, they will not understand the cycling laws and wrongly tell you that cyclist are not allowed on such a road. Unless they have provided a reasonable alternate route (extremely unlikely), you cannot be banned from this road.

Look up your slow moving vehicle laws. You should comply with this law in regard to traffic backing up behind you.
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Old 02-03-17, 10:06 PM   #16
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....

Look up your slow moving vehicle laws. You should comply with this law in regard to traffic backing up behind you.
The OP could look up the slow vehicle rules in his state, but he probably doesn't need to. In most states they explicitly exempt bicycles, and where the language isn't clear, they're generally interpreted to not apply to bicycles operating legally and acting reasonably on roads like this. For example, in NY state, there are no rules requiring any special courtesy from bicycles, and the only slow moving reference is the obligation of passing vehicles to do safely.

(the text ---S 1122-a. Overtaking a bicycle. The operator of a vehicle overtaking, from behind, a bicycle proceeding on the same side of a roadway shall pass to the left of such bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear thereof.)

So, do whatever it takes to shore up your nerves, take the lane, and be ready to move over as necessary to let cars filter past before they back up too much and drivers get impatient and start taking risks.
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Old 02-03-17, 11:05 PM   #17
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Only time I'd worry about riding that road would be with the sun low on the horizon, morning and evening. If the map is correct it's running east/west. Very difficult for vehicles with low sun in their eyes.

An experienced cyclocross racer was killed on a similar road a couple of months ago. She rode that route frequently for training. The police report said the driver's vision was obscured by the low sun. I remember that day -- I was riding a similar road westbound at the same time and was a bit concerned for about a mile because the low sun was so bright I had difficulty seeing and removed my polarized sunglasses to reduce the glare. Yeah, drivers should slow down and drive more cautiously in those conditions, but some don't and it's the cyclists and pedestrians who suffer.

I bought a brighter Cygolite Hotshot taillight that week and run it on strobe in daylight (I'll switch to a slower pulsing mode at night, and steady for nighttime group rides). And I bought more hi-vis dayglo aparrel, including hi-vis yellow and orange jerseys and windbreaker. It can help. I plan to get a second helmet in hi-vis colors too. I try to avoid wearing anything dark, black or gray. Those blend in with typical asphalt country roads -- very difficult to see at a glance, even when I'm looking for other cyclists. I don't understand the obsession with wearing black, including helmets, when riding in traffic, but I see a lot of cyclists doing it.

And I'd ride in the rightmost wheel track, not the shoulder or fog line. Seems to help nudge overtaking vehicles into giving me more room while passing. Some drivers overdo it, giving me more room than necessary and endangering themselves with risky passes toward oncoming traffic. I appreciate the extra room, but in every case they could have waited only a few moments -- not minutes, just seconds -- for a safer passing opportunity. But that's their poor judgment. Not much I can do about that. At least they're not crowding me.

I wouldn't ride lane center. Even on dry days it can be slippery from oil and gravel. Some cyclists would ride the left wheel track. I'd want to be able to cruise comfortably at 20 mph for miles before I'd try that. Also, passing drivers in the oncoming lane occasionally pull the same dumb stunt as overtaking drivers, so I'd feel more comfortable to the right of lane center. But it's a judgment call and faster cyclists might choose the leftmost wheel track.
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Old 02-04-17, 12:30 AM   #18
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Allowed by law? Most likely yes it is unless the slow vehicle laws govern the road, which I have found is rarely the case on a rural road...at least in the States that I've ridden in.
Is it a safe road to ride? Heck, I don't know. If it is a slow part of the day, yeah, probably....

The issue I have with roads like that, and I've ridden those rural two lane roads my whole life, is it boils down to the individual motorist on that road when you are. If you encounter an intolerant motorist then the situation can get dangerous with oncoming traffic, especially if the intolerant driver is behind you and wants to pass.

The other thing that can get a bit un-nerving is when one of two cars coming towards you decides to pass the guy in front and goes into your lane to make the pass. I look for that when cars are approaching though and always try to have an escape plan.

I'll admit that I go on high alert on a tight road like that with anything more than light traffic. It's the lack of shoulder and passing cars that makes it a challenging ride.

I'm not saying don't ride on a road like that but I am saying exercise a lot of assertive safe riding behavior to minimize the danger to you.

More often than not though my issue with rural roads is farm dogs not motorists. They can be a royal pain in the butt.


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Old 02-04-17, 12:37 AM   #19
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The OP could look up the slow vehicle rules in his state, but he probably doesn't need to. In most states they explicitly exempt bicycles, and where the language isn't clear, they're generally interpreted to not apply to bicycles operating legally and acting reasonably on roads like this. For example, in NY state, there are no rules requiring any special courtesy from bicycles, and the only slow moving reference is the obligation of passing vehicles to do safely.

(the text ---S 1122-a. Overtaking a bicycle. The operator of a vehicle overtaking, from behind, a bicycle proceeding on the same side of a roadway shall pass to the left of such bicycle at a safe distance until safely clear thereof.)

So, do whatever it takes to shore up your nerves, take the lane, and be ready to move over as necessary to let cars filter past before they back up too much and drivers get impatient and start taking risks.
But in many states, the slow moving vehicle laws require the slow vehicle to move onto a safe turnout to allow passing if 5 (other #s in some states) vehicles are backed up, to allow passing of backed up vehicles.

Cyclist should understand these laws and how they apply, as well as bicycle laws before being confronted by police or road raging motorist.
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Old 02-04-17, 01:00 AM   #20
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Only time I'd worry about riding that road would be with the sun low on the horizon, morning and evening. If the map is correct it's running east/west. Very difficult for vehicles with low sun in their eyes.
Good point. Long, straight open stretches are the worst in the sun. I avoid one local road near sunset because when I drive it I realize I'd have a hard time seeing me on a bike. If you have to ride a road like that into rising or setting sun, you want a serious tail light.
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Old 02-04-17, 09:13 AM   #21
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I think the real issue here is the poster's attitude more than anything else. He's not used to riding on the road for long distances, and is afraid of what traffic will do. You need to adopt a typical road cyclist attitude; if somebody honks, either yell a smart quip, or else gesticulate. Don't give an inch. You have as much right to be there as they do.

If you ride timidly, then the sociopath drivers will seek you out, just like the way lions go after the weakest animal in the herd.
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Old 02-04-17, 09:46 AM   #22
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I don't have a road like this on my main commute, but I do have two stretches of road like this if I ride to my stepdaughter's from the office. (totaling about two miles) Traffic gets heavy during rush hour. I have my glasses-mounted miror and my handlebar mirror. I look behind me often. If cars are coming up from behind and towards me in the oncoming lane, there my be a tight squeeze, so I pull onto the grass and stop for half a minute and let traffic clear. Sometimes it takes a bit longer.

My mirrors are my friends.

(I looked at the edited video of one of my rides to my daughter's and I left out those stretches; probably to not alarm my family.)

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Old 02-06-17, 01:00 AM   #23
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I think the real issue here is the poster's attitude more than anything else. He's not used to riding on the road for long distances, and is afraid of what traffic will do. You need to adopt a typical road cyclist attitude; if somebody honks, either yell a smart quip, or else gesticulate. Don't give an inch. You have as much right to be there as they do.

If you ride timidly, then the sociopath drivers will seek you out, just like the way lions go after the weakest animal in the herd.
Forty-some-odd years ago, I was just like the OP. I had a three mile stretch of road on my commute that was similar to what he shows but had a bit more in the way of curves. In my inexperience, I initially tried to ride the fog line. I got hit three times (none serious, just glancing blows that failed to knock me down). Then I read the vehicle code. (When all else fails, read the instructions/manual/law.) I saw that on substandard width lanes, those not wide enough for a motor vehicle to pass safely while entirely within the lane (generally accepted as fourteen feet), I could simple ride in the middle of the lane.

Oh, what a difference! Sure, I had a few people honk at me and indicate that they thought I was number one, but no one has ever come close to hitting me again on such a road.

I'm sure there are places where a cyclist can ride the fog line on roads with 10-11' lanes, but those places are not likely to be in America. Take the lane like you own it, which you do.
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Old 02-06-17, 06:15 AM   #24
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But in many states, the slow moving vehicle laws require the slow vehicle to move onto a safe turnout to allow passing if 5 (other #s in some states) vehicles are backed up, to allow passing of backed up vehicles.

Cyclist should understand these laws and how they apply, as well as bicycle laws before being confronted by police or road raging motorist.
When I am driving I also tend to drive at the speed limit, which to some is a bit slow. As far as moving over, there is no law that requires an operator to move over unless it is safe to do so.

Generally I will pull off at posted turnouts, not at high risk, unmarked, places.
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Old 02-06-17, 08:21 AM   #25
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Traffic looks more like this during the day.
Was there supposed to be a photo accompanying this post?
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