I'm subscribed to our newsgroup for local roadies. I'm seriously amazed how bike advocacy is nonexistent. I commute and have to go down some high traffic roads, yet I've never had anyone hit me, throw something at me, or even really yell at me. The local riders are pretty much saying that anyone who goes down a few certain roads is an idiot and is going to die. The roads they mention are four lane roads with turn lanes that are only really high traffic MAYBE three hours out of the day? I on the other hand advocate any road and safe riding. Am I wrong here? Should the only places for biking be long country roads in the middle of nowhere or the Greenway?
Here is a clip from the newsgroup:
Re: [sccc-roadies] Re: Huntsville Times - Shuttle bus bike racks
Another vote here for avoiding heavily-trafficked roads whenever possible. "Let them yell and scream all they want" is not a smart attitude, IMO. By slowing up traffic and making life tough for drivers, you're not helping the image of cyclists, and putting yourself at risk in the process. 99% of drivers that pass you may be careful and respectful of your rights, but that last 1% can cause you some serious harm. Do you seriously want to provoke a pissed-off stranger in a two-ton vehicle just to prove your right to the road?
Believe all cyclists need to consider "risk management" whenever we get out on the road. I live in the SE, and also avoid Weatherly and Bailey Cove most of the time due to the traffic and speeds. It's our legal right to ride in traffic of course, but prudent risk management tells me there is no need to ride on those roads when there are so many other good alternatives.
On the Sunday 1 pm "Recovery" ride, we do a mostly north/south loop in SE of about 30 miles, starting at Ken Johnston Park on Mtn Gap near Bailey Cove. Lots of quiet suburban streets with minimal traffic, plus the Greenway and "speedway loop" off Hobbs Island Rd for some backroad riding. Garth and Drake can be a little busy on Sunday; sometimes we avoid them for that reason. Suggest you come out and check out some south HSV roads with us.
Seriously, is this bike advocacy at ALL? That's basically saying that bikes should only be on greenways and light traveled country roads. Does everyone just drive their bikes 20 miles out of town to ride? Risk management - follow the laws, bike smart, don't run your mouth off to cagers? How does staying off the busy roads work for bike commuters?
Am I just crazy here? This is not the only reply like this that I've seen. It's just one of them. Could it be that everyone around here is scared of traffic?