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  1. #51
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I started riding on the road in 2nd grade, along the Tamiami Trail in Florida. Then it was the main road down the Gulf Coast. It taught me to ride straight and to stay on the right of the white line.

    The next big influence on my riding was Los Angeles. As a college student, riding 10-30 miles a day and influenced by California Traffic laws and Bicycling Magazine, I started using left turn lanes and positioning my bike according to the laws of California.

    All of Florida was flat, and most of LA. But the Baldwin Hills, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and the Hollywood Hills taught me how to ride them. Back then I was very competitive. If I saw a bicycle ahead, the hunt/kill switch flipped and I would pursue them and overtake them. The foolishness of youth.

    I've lived all around Southern California, from Santa Barbara, LA, San Diego and Palm Springs. San Diego was the most challenging because of its canyon and mesa topography.

    But now I'm in Little Rock, AR. It's the toughest yet. Not many major hills, but if I ride 8 miles into downtown, its a roller coaster of 60' hills all the way in. The roads are narrow and potholed. There are only 3 roads in. One is a path along the river but wanders so it's longer, one goes straight in but is the worst road, and a third goes in from the south through some sketchier neighborhoods, but with a better road surface.

    Most of my riding is commuting, shopping or getting to town for events. I tend to ride conservatively. Mostly a non-vc style developed in my youth on the Tamiami Trail. But its been successful. I ride to enjoy the view and my thoughts more than I ride to race.

  2. #52
    chicharron
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    I just make the sign of the cross, bless myself, and go out in trafffic and go....

  3. #53
    Member mupedalpusher's Avatar
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    I commute on a Trek 7200FX that I bought a couple of years ago. I am equipped with a Trek trunk bag with small panniers on the sides. I usually drop off several days worth of clothes on my way home from church on Sundays but if I forget, I just roll them up and put them in my bag.
    I live 9 miles from my office so it takes me roughly 42 minutes depending on traffic. I don't try to kill myself with speed, I just try to ride steady. I have a few decent hills and in Missouri we have this wonderful stuff called humidity. I actually like hot weather so the fact that it gets 95-100 in the summer is no big deal, I just drink plenty and take my time.
    I ride the roads, not sidewalks. About half of my commute has a bike lane, about 3 miles of narrow blacktop near my home is the only bad part (has lots of impatient rednecks). Once I get in town the portion of the streets without a bike lane are wide enough that motorists can get around easily because it's 4 lanes.
    I am an LCI and do firmly believe sidewalks are dangerous although there are some exceptions. I'd like to find a way to reach the many riders in Columbia that ride on the wrong side of the street facing traffic. I've decided that approaching them on the street won't work but if anyone has ideas let me know.

  4. #54
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicharron View Post
    I just make the sign of the cross, bless myself, and go out in trafffic and go....

    Hey.... who exactly IS the patron saint of cyclists?

    Ohh lookee here... we have a patroness

  5. #55
    Crushing souls Hickeydog's Avatar
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    I am the runner who busted up his knees too bad to keep running cross-country but still wanted to stay in shape and see the scenery. I ride a Giant Cypress St with Shimano SPD pedals. I am very fortunate were I live to have both the Bike Path and the Towpath a stone's throw away from my house.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

    What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.

  6. #56
    Car(e) Free! koine2002's Avatar
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    I am a car-free commuter, roadie and MTB'er in Dallas proper. On my commute (and on my road training rides) I ride vehicularly. That is, I ride as though I were a car. I was a big city driver for many years until I went car-free and have been heralded as an excellent driver. I take those skills to my bicycle riding. I take the center-right of the lane, stop at stop signs and lights, dismount on the sidewalk, signal all of my moves, defer to pedestrians, and yield the right of way when it is posted. I am courteous and will pull forward when I'm the first in the right lane to allow right turners to make their right turn (I did that in my car). My commute is only 2.4 miles long and usually happens in the wee hours of the morning (I open a Starbucks), but sometimes it's a bit later. On my road bike, I'm typically riding during high traffic hours.

    The MTB, I hit it hard on the dirt and don't worry about traffic laws . However, I do use the DART Rail to get within 2 miles of the nearest MTB trail--20 miles away--(bicycles are allowed on any train/bus at any time) and practice the above road riding practices in getting to the station and from the station to the trail.
    "There is hardly a man or woman who dares to be just what he or she is without doctoring up the impression." --A.W. Tozer

  7. #57
    Junior Member kungfugoat's Avatar
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    I ride on a combination of two-lane roads and bike paths here in Georgia. It's a 22-mile round-trip to work on a 16-yr old Cannondale Mountain bike. I leave shoes at work, but I ride with my clothes folded up in a backpack. I do that about four times a week because I don't own a car and the bus is always late. The first seven miles are scary because I have no choice but to mingle with serious traffic on roads with not much shoulder. In that case, I try to stay to the side, but visible. There's about two miles of bike paths after that. They're usually safe, but I had a crazy person in a pickup truck throw a beer bottle at my bike one day while I was on a lonely stretch. It busted up my tires but I didn't crash. I don't ride crazy and I stop at almost every stop light. It just sucks that most of them are at the bottom of a hill and I lose my momentum. Since there are so many traffic lights, I try to ride very fast to catch most of them. The trip takes about 45 minutes one way and I try to ride early in the morning before traffic picks up.

  8. #58
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    I ride to work each day through the city centre. It's a 10km one-way trip, which I ride on an old 1980's road bike with mainly upgraded bits. I ride fairly fast, but I obey all the traffic signals, including stopping at red lights on quiet intersections. (A lot of cyclists jump red lights in Sydney.)

    I ride in the traffic, taking a whole lane. I'm generally going as fast as the traffic flow in any case. At lights I'll often ride to the head of the queue and plonk myself in front of the cars - I feel safer in front than in the queue. I know the phasing of the lights on my route rather well now, as well as where to see strategic reflections from buildings and billboards of the opposing lights that mean I can tell when 'my' light is about to go green, and be moving and clipped in ready to pull away fast - well ahead of the reactions of the drivers. Again, I feel safer in front, and very rarely get any aggro from drivers doing this. I try to always signal prior to turning / changing lane if there is traffic around.

    There are some hopeless 'painted on the road' style bike lanes on some parts of the roads - I ignore them, as they are lethal. Usually they are rather pot-holed, and in several cases run adjacent to the line pf parked cars. How road designers think drawing a cycle lane right in the door zone is a good idea I'll never know. On those roads I actually ride even further out in the lane than normal, just to make sure motorists get the message that I'm not going to move over into the 'bike lane' if they try to overtake when it's not clear the other direction. Luckily those streets are usually the quieter ones. (There's actually quite a few cycle lanes like that in Sydney, and the RTA produce a map showing 'safe cycle routes in Sydney' with them all marked on the map. I assume the map is called this as you can then avoid riding these routes and therefore be safer...!)

    Some of the route is on shared cycle / walk ways. The busiest of these are the least pleasant areas to ride, and where I get the most abuse, especially on Thurs / Fri evenings when there are a lot of people out in the city. Pedestrians are very unpredictable, and tend to do sudden side-steps and about-turns without looking! I don't ride fast on these sections, and give way to pedestrians.

    I wear a helmet (it is mandatory in most of Australia), and a reflective sash. At night I also put reflective bands around my ankles (very effective BTW), and I have lights (my homeward commute is pretty much always in the dark in winter).
    Last edited by trombone; 08-27-07 at 08:35 PM.

  9. #59
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    I have, for the last 18 years, lived in various Canadian cities (Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa) and have commuted from medium to high density residential areas through or into the respective downtowns. I am a dedicated vehicular cyclist and conscientiously follow the traffic laws of my jurisdiction. I have six bikes: a mid 1980's Norco touring bike which I use as my longer range commuter and foul weather training bike; a 1991 Cannondale road racing bike, mostly for fitness and recreation; a 2005 Bianchi Pista track bike, mostly for fitness and recreation; an old Specialized mountain bike retrofitted with SRAAM Super 7 rear hub/coaster brake for serious winter riding; a European style city-bike built locally in Ottawa with Shimano Nexxus 7 speed rear hub and a Nexxus front hub generator; and a Burley Django recumbent. I purchased the Burley four days ago because of back problems so it may become my only bike soon.
    If the commute is short enough that I can wear street clothing/office wear I will use the city bike with a shoulder bag, otherwise I use the touring bike with whatever combination of panniers is appropriate.
    I extend most of my commutes, if time permits, on the ride home so that I can get an extra 10 -20 km ride out of the deal.
    I can honestly say that I have never had more than one "close call" every year or two and I believe that, if I take the same route at the same time daily, after a few weeks, the motorists on that route eventually recognize me as a cyclist who obeys the rules of the road and they give me space and respect. I always take the lane at intersections, behind the last car to stop, and I never get any hassles. I also always use the correct destination positioning and, in situations in which the lane is either straight through or right turn and I am at the stop line I position myself such that right turning vehicles can turn right. When the light changes I quickly slide off to the ride side of the road as I ride out. All of this seems to work well for me.

  10. #60
    Utility Cyclist Ian Freeman's Avatar
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    I ride almost exactly like I would drive a car. I live in the suburbs/country outside Philadlephia, most roads have very little shoulder and PennDOT doesn't really maintain them too well.

    I know some people say that acting like a car isn't the safest way to ride, but all my experience has taught me otherwise. Don't get me wrong, I do ride toward the right and make it easy for cars to pass me it conditions are safe, but I never do anything with my bike I wouldn't do in a car. I don't try to squeeze by cars at a red light, I get in line with the cars. I don't ride on sidewalks. I take the full lane when passing is dangerous. I signal for all turns and lane changes. I slow and stop whenever necessary, I don't avoid using my brakes because they break momentum. The more you emulate an automobile, the more predictable you become and the safer car drivers feel around you in all situations.

    As mentioned earlier in this thread, these timeless words sum up the whole approach I have: Always assume the other driver will do the wrong thing.

    Ride like your right to the road entitles you to. There's no reason for riding to be a stressful activity filled with constant calculation of danger, biking is about fun, but always have a hand near the brakes.
    "All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost." -J.R.R. Tolkein

  11. #61
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    I'm just getting back into biking after a layoff and plan on doing 20-30 mile rides on weekends and some longer touring with my wife. I live in Iowa right on the Mississippi and there are some pretty good hills. I will spend most of my time on a steel mountain bike converted for touring. I like to ride 5-10 miles - stop and take pictures - then move on another 5-10 miles. It took me a good period to get out of shape, and I know it will take many months to get back into riding shape. My goal is to ride in Ragbrai next year 2008.

  12. #62
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    I have a Raleigh hybrid so I can sit up straight (ruptured disc in back). I ride a combination of bike trails and rural/urban roadways. I commute a couple of times a week....26 miles in one day. I start VERY early in the morning (4:00 am most days), and come home in late afternoon.

    I have redundancy (X 3) in all of my front and rear lighting.....a primary handlebar mounted headlight consisting of a 20 watt halogen (flood), a supplemental handlebar mounted Xenon headlight with a combination/alternate flashing amber light that is visible 180 degrees, a 3 watt Luxeon LED helmet mounted headlamp (spot) that also has a flashing red led row of lights on the battery pack in the back, a clip on red led flasher that attaches to my backpack nicely, and finally a flashing red led light that is incorporated into my bike lock wrapped around my seatpost (not as bright as the clip on but is visible about 270 degrees).

    I ride prepared. I have a backpack which carries extra tube, tire inflator, tools, raingear, fleece jacket and gloves in winter, water, food, etc. I also carry a small cannister of pepper spray for potential assailants (animal or human) as well as a high decibel alarm. I have a personal cell phone and a work cell phone, and a multitool all in a belt mounted pouch. I have sunglasses, sunscreen, and also a pair of clear safety glasses for the dark mornings if the bugs are bad.

    I have Kevlar reinorced tires (great!) with standard tubes for easier pedaling, but use plastic liners and sealant. I haven't had a flat since I started commuting a couple of years ago (this in spite of living in a "Goathead USA" area).

    My method of riding is assertive when necessary, but not aggressive. I ride the shoulder but not too far to the edge on a highway....my experience is most vehicles appreciate this and I rarely have any problems. The ones who don't would buzz you if you were close to the line, but generally won't come over onto the shoulder. In urban areas I ride on the less traveled roads and try to use trails where possible. I try to take different routes to mix things up, but always find the least congested ways to do them. If I have to be on a road with heavy traffic I find a way off as soon as possible. I will go out of my way to do so. I would rather ride a mile out of my way....but do it comfortably. I do run stop signs occasionally (esp. if turning right), but slow down to nearly a stop. I will not just blow across an intersection. I use the crossing signal buttons at stoplights....but always ride across.

    On the trail I use a bell when approaching a slower bike or walkers.....rather than yelling "on your left". My experience has been most people prefer that sound and do not get as alarmed.....but is still very effective.

    My philosophy is to do what it takes to feel secure when riding and still not be intimidated. Whenever possible, I defer to something larger than me regardless of the law or the rules of the road. I've found I ride with much less stress accordingly....and feel I've avoided many potential incidents with vehicles using that approach. I would rather be slightly inconvenienced and remain uninjured. Discretion being the part of valor or something to that effect...though I draw a distinction between being smart and being timid, and recognize that rules will not always save your life. I enjoy riding much more when I feel like the decisions I've made while riding have created a safer situation for myself (and anyone else I engage). For those who stubbornly insist on riding in accordance with every law and every rule 100% of the time, I salute you. But I typically assess each situation and act in proportion to the tenor of each scenario at the time. To me that is assertive.

  13. #63
    Senior Member
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    I do several sorts of cycling, and consequently I have several bikes.

    I live in Atlanta, in the East Atlanta neighborhood, which is a bit over three miles from my workplace downtown. The commute is in urban conditions, with a great deal of close interaction with motorists. I usually ride my road bike (a 2003 Raleigh Supercourse) but lately I've been mixing in my Raleigh Twenty, and for rain I have an old Peugeot Iseran equipped with fenders.

    I also do utility cycling. For the most part I choose whichever of my bikes makes the most sense for where I'm going. If it requires distance I just use my road bike (I have a pair of very large JANDD commuter panniers which are adequate for much of my shopping). Lately I've been using a Raleigh Shopper with a 3 spd SA hub as a short haul workhorse utility bike.

    For sports/recreational use I usually use my road bike, and the places I cycle for recreation and sport vary enormously. Because I've been doing centuries lately a lot of the overall miles I put on my bike tend to be in quasi-rural south metro Atlanta (Fayette, Coweta, South Fulton, and Heard counties are good areas for uninterrupted long distance miles on old county roads). But I also do group rides and recreational solo rides, mostly in the city or the Decatur area. I don't use MUPs much unless they're connected to a good park system, but I do go to the Silver Comet trail from time to time (it's connected to a number of interesting local parks, including one with the ruins of a small mill). A few of us on BF have an informal folding bikes group, and our first gathering was on the Silver Comet (and our second one is planned for there too).

  14. #64
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    how I ride

    After 2 years of commuting I have recently settled on the following "rules" which seem to work
    for me (I sometimes break my rules, but If I choose to do so and something bad happens, I would
    be willing to acknowledge at least partial blame). I am not patient enough to practice pure vehicular cycling but I want to be reasonably safe. I ride in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where there are no "bike lanes" (at least not on my commuting route) and where the Highway Traffic Act says bikes are supposed to ride "as close as practicable to the right hand edge or curb", bikes aren't supposed to ride on sidewalks, and you aren't supposed to overtake on the right unless the roadway is unobstructed and sufficient width for multiple vehicles.

    1. I wear a helmet.
    2. I put lights on front and back if its dark.
    3. I signal lane changes.
    4. I frequently roll through stop signs, but only if I can confirm that its clear in all directions.
    5. I don't drive through red lights, (unless the light is stuck).
    6. If traffic is light (less than a car or 2 per minute), I take the middle of the lane and
    yield to the right when I hear a car coming up behind me.
    7. In heavier traffic, I mentally imagine a lane about 3 to 4 feet wide, starting at the right
    hand edge of the road and I ride in the middle of it. If I move out of it I signal a lane
    change. When I come up to a line of cars stopped at a light, if my imaginary lane is clear, I
    keep going, passing the cars on the right. If a car is partially in that lane I will stop and
    wait behind it. If a car is signaling a right turn I'll stop and wait behind it.
    8. I will choose the road over a sidewalk, (except for one stretch of my commute route where
    the traffic is very heavy, the sewer grates are hazards, and there is a long empty sidewalk
    with few cross street intersections. If I am on the sidewalk I yield right of way to
    pedestrians and treat all intersections like stops signs.

    So far, since I started trying to stick to this set of rules, I haven't had any near misses,
    yelling matches, or police hassles and I am finding it quick with an acceptable level of risk.

  15. #65
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    extra stuff I forgot in previous post

    I drive my minvan from my rural home to the outskirts of the city, park it, take my bike from there to work. About 15 km of cycling each way each day. I ride a fixie and am usually somewhere between 20 and 30 km/hr.

    I do have a front brake, which I use, and I moved the brake handle to the right hand side so I can signal with my left hand while braking.

    I wear street clothes (cut offs and T shirts) and carry work clothes in a homemeade pannier that I hang on the left side ( I figger it helps to keep the cars a little further away from me if its on the left). I wear sunglasses or clear safety glasses if its not bright out 'cause I have had aggravation with dirt/dust getting into eyes and under contacts.

    I have commuted in late fall and early spring (slush and snow) and find the fixie to be great in snow, since you seem to have much more control slowing/stopping with the pedals than you do with brakes. I use cheap knobby skinny tires (700 X 30C) which work on pavement, gravel, and cut through snow to get down to pavement.

    I used to wear a helmet to keep my wife happy, but I had a nasty wipe out last year (a skinnier slick front tire got caught in a crack in the road) which resulted in a fractured helmet but no fractured head. Now I am a believer in hemets.

  16. #66
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    I can’t say I’ll label myself as a certain type of cyclist, **clinically addicted type I presume?, most of the time it’s for utilitarian purposes and getting from point A to B. During my spare time from work and studying I’ll do some long distance endurance for the charity rides. Although I should try out for competitive road cycling, I’ll stick to non-competitive riding and bicycle funness.

    Rides can take me from school to down town area of Toronto, that usually logs me in around 50-70 km. So it varies. The shortest distance I’ll log in is around 20 km from school and back. I try to be safe as possible, lights, reflectors, bells **although proven in-affective 50% of the time, and spare equipment for myself and fellow cyclist who might be un-fortunate in getting a flat without a repair kit.

    Even being on the safe side as stopping for stop lights and signs, riding only on the road, and giving hang signals **which also has proven near deathly un-affective, the two sins I have is being predictable and car weaving. For predictability, most of the blame comes from the horrible road conditions near the university I attend, north of the major city core. Here the roads are pummeled by the constant 60 km/h heavy tanker trucks, cars, and busses causing cracks wide enough to swallow tires at a whopping 700x38c. The secondary problem to the cracks is that they start all the way from the side of the curb and criss cross to the center and side again, so basically I’m weaving 90 degrees so my tires don’t fall into them. Finally to the third problem, pot holes around 2 feet wide and 1.5 inches deep also add onto the course dilemma. Even with the city repairing the same stretch of road on numerous occasions, ** with quick fix techniques since the city does not know how to use the city budget properly, the road is bound to revert back into it’s destructive quagmire expense in less than a two month time period.

    My second sin is car weaving during the rush hour situations. The vehicles are bumper to bumper and I’m stuck at a very dangerous spot in the middle of a 1.5 km industrial/sub-urban mess up road design, so to safely get to the front where the traffic lights are **instead of stuck between five busses plus three semi, I will weave through as much traffic counting the average 13 precious seconds between red and green light time index I have. Most of the times I find the driver are enraged by this act, and thus causing sometimes close calls with side view mirrors.

    But in the end, I know I have safely arrived to school when I see the ghost bike at the corner street close to the university...a quick salute and I make a daring three lane merge with 60km/h traffic to a rediculous 20 m bike lane they put on to a left turn island by the university.

    Sadly I do wear tight stretchy pants and shirts because of sensitive skin to easy chaffing : (



    Today is a good day to die!!!

  17. #67
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    I live in an urban area and I use sidewalks when no bike path is available, why well some cars don't play nice. There is a chance I can get a ticket, but I chance it any way. I forgot to mention I ride a mountain bike too, so it doesn't look as bad.

  18. #68
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    I live L.A. and ride the crazy streets everyday.I do what I have to, to stay alive.My bike is my main mode of transportation,by choice.My commute is about 10 miles a day to work and back.Weekend rides end up being around 50-60 miles,sometimes more,sometimes less.Once a year I ride to San Francisco and back.Farthest I've ridden was from L.A. to Denver and back.I ride an old steel framed touring bike (Shogun frame with a few letters missing.Now it's a Hog)I'm not in a hurry to get anywhere,if I need to get somewhere fast or carry something heavy,I drive.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  19. #69
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    Hmm, this is all very interesting. I live in a densely populated urban city that aspires to be a big garden. (I'm not kidding here... any fellow Singaporeans or Singaporean residents?) My cycling experience has been very different from all those described here - I am told that my town (Tampines, if any local residents are reading this) is the only place where it is technically legal to ride on the sidewalk (a pilot experiment before they expand the ruling to the rest of the country or something), but I'm not sure what a difference that makes, since everyone rides on the sidewalk everywhere.

    Bike lanes? Sort of - we have park connectors, which run parallel to sidewalks or pretty much serve as MUPs that are meant to link up major parks, but since the city is so densely populated, most of these run through major housing estates and effectively serve as pedestrian shortcuts or bike lanes. However, they don't always provide the fastest (or even straightest) path between parks, and are generally more relevant for longer distance rides - they're sort of like bicycle highways.

    Mountain bikes, utility bikes and folders are most common. In fact, most bikes here are mountain bikes fitted with rear racks and/or baskets (I myself ride an MTB with a basket), though step-through and women's utility bikes are not uncommon. The prevalence of mountain bikes is probably because everyone rides on the sidewalk where one occasionally has to negotiate "rough terrain" - protruding tree roots, fallen branches and so on. (Not that the "terrain" is really "rough" of course - it's just that MTBs are best suited for it.) Pedestrians know what a bike bell sounds like, and will move for cyclists. Sidewalk cycling is pretty much a manner of life here.

    On the other hand, road bikes for commuting purposes are very rare. Drivers are generally understanding to cyclists who need to cross junctions or zebra crossings, but not so to road cyclists who take the lane (quite possibly because there simply aren't many). Most road cyclists ride recreationally or competitively, but rarely for commuting or utility reasons.

    Technically, one is supposed to dismount and push the bike across traffic junctions, wooden bridges and overhead bridges, but in my experience this is rare - I used to do so, but it became too much of a hassle in a pinch. Also, in some instances, it simply doesn't leave you with much cycling - if I dismount and push my bike across the overhead bridge near my house (which perhaps 30% of cyclists do, including myself), I only ride for about another 100m or so before I have to dismount again to push my bike across a wooden bridge (which maybe 40% of cyclists do, including myself).

    As for dismounting at traffic junctions, on a regular ride, you might find two to three cyclists who do so. There was an incident a couple of years back when the Land Transport Authority installed metal blockades shaped like an upside-down U to prevent cyclists from crossing overhead bridges without dismounting, with the result that one unwitting cyclist from my town, cycling across the overhead bridge before dawn with little light, simply crashed into the blockade at his neck and was paralysed from the neck down. Our MP, bless him, blasted the LTA for the stupidity and they were removed.

    I haven't been riding long, but these are my impressions of cycling in Singapore. Basically, it's PC heaven, VC hell.

  20. #70
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Where I live:

    I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada which is a city of nearly 1 million people.

    Our climate is fairly arid and temperatures can range widely from as high as 40 C in the summer and -40 C in the winter... on a given day our temperature and weather can change radically so the serious riders/commuters I know usually carry a change of gear. Historically, the only month that it hasn't snowed is July but we typically enjoy very pleasant summer weather.

    Our city is reputed to be one of the best cities in North America when it comes to cycling as we do have over 400 km of bike paths, routes, and trails on which people can ride and a river valley park system that rivals anything, anywhere.

    I am a member of our commuters society which is an advocacy group that has worked with the city to improve the infrastructure to better favour cyclists... my primary role is usually as our shop's senior (because I'm the oldest shop rat) mechanic.

    The river valley trail system serves both as a recreational area and a travel corrider for commuters... the south side of the river can be very challenging as the climbs can be intense while the north side is much smoother.

    All in all there is about 1000 feet of elevation gain from the river valley floor to the city proper and because our city is in a river valley riding in any direction from the centre of the city is a climb.

    The winter climate can be very harsh and the city struggles constantly to maintain rodaways that are damaged by winter frost so finding any smooth stretches of asphalt can be a challenge.

    We can also get a good deal of snow in the winter... this is what my route looked like for a good part of last winter. This picture was taken at approx 5 pm and because our days are very short in the winter good lighting is also a must.



    Where I work:

    I work as a machinist in a shop that is 13 km away from my home and commute daily no matter what the weather is like. I am able to take advantage of our bicycle highway and have a route that isolates me from traffic on a good portion of my commute and the city is very good about keeping the paths clear in the winter.

    Type of Riding:

    I own and ride almost every kind of bike except a unicyle or a recumbent and have built several utility bikes for commuting and use a trailer I built to carry things I can't fit in my backpack or paniers. I chose to go car free earlier this year after being car lite for a long time.

    I enjoy cyclo-commmuting and have built a few bikes for this that get chosen according to the weather and my needs; if the weather is nice and I won't be running errands I ride a fixed road bike. If I know I have to do things like get groceries I will most often opt to use my fixed mtb or hook up the trailer.

    My fixed mtb is also my primary winter ride and if the weather warrants I have a second wheelset with studded tires I can use to keep me upright... nicer winter weather wil allow me to ride my cross bike.

    I also spend a good amount of time riding the singletrack in the river valley or riding my road bikes on the paved routes.

    Our river valley looks like this right now...


  21. #71
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    http://awheel.blogspot.com/ MY COMMUTE TO WORK

    http://u84.blogspot.com/ AROUND THE VALLEY ( more pics)


    Maybe more latter

  22. #72
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Where I live: Up until Jan.'07, I had lived in Duluth(Minnesota; I had lived there since Nov.'02). The terrain was a mix of brick, concrete, asphalt and, dirt roads. Being a 'roadie', I obviously stayed off the dirt. The worst part in the city was the cracks in the asphalt.

    I live in the DC suburbs again. Biking around here, it is asphalt everywhere. I have to be more aware of drivers around here, than I did in Minnesota. Because, just yesterday, a passenger in a passing car tried to cause me to fall off my bike. When he shouted at me, I didn't flinch.

    Christopher

  23. #73
    Crack!
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    I live in NYC, in chinatown to be more precise, i have an old road bike that i have used for a couple years and more recently i built myself a single speed/fixed gear
    i usually ride to school everyday a 12 mile roundtrip, and sometimes extra, if i have too much energy
    i learned how to ride in nyc traffic and so it usually doesnt faze me, i actually enjoy to rush of dodging obstacles and weaving through traffic. Im half careful, ill stop at red lights and intersections if i would get hit otherwise

  24. #74
    Senior Member Amber_'s Avatar
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    I'm a commuter and also ride my bike for errands near my house. I ride a Trek Mountain Bike that my mom gave me and I put a rack and fenders on. My city is about 225,000 people.

    I live in a residential neighborhood tucked behind several extremely busy arterials. I work downtown which is 9 miles away. We have only one bike lane in our city that goes for less than a mile (other than a few dedicated bike trails which are obviously for recreation) so I ride on city streets for my entire commute. I see very few cyclists on my commute, and only one that I can tell is a commuter. Most of the people who ride bikes in my city are homeless and they ride on the sidewalk.

    I ride as far to the right as practicable. Sometimes I ride in the space where parked cars might otherwise be if the gap between them is large. I stop at all stop lights even if no one is coming. I stop at all stop signs in the "urban" parts of my commute, I admit I do blow through stop signs in some of the less busy residential neighborhoods I ride through.

    I'm slow, I probably average 13-14 mph most of the time.
    Last edited by Amber_; 12-03-07 at 06:32 AM.
    my aim is true :: my life in cooking, crafts & a very grumpy Boston terrier

  25. #75
    Got another new bike
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    Where I live:

    Dundalk, Md about 60,000 people, Locally I have a 12 mile run that has nice shoulders, very rarely I have to ride the sidewalk due a bridge, some hills, but over all a nice local ride

    Where I work:

    Just outside of my town is Essex, Md, where I work, I ride eastern ave 7 miles to work, State now made it a bike route so I a decent bike lane most of the way, 2 small hills, nice 30 minute ride,I stop a lights or use crosswalks (when safe), in the morning no traffic, after noon more congested, I ride against traffic on the way home either in the bike lane or sidewalk. I just made a DIY light. I do say HI to other bikers, though being winter I might see 1 or 2 a day, during the warm weather there was 10 or more a day.
    I put on about 60 miles a week, when I get in better shape i'll do more. will be getting a perfromance illumilite jacket soon, think safty

    Type of Riding:
    MTB at heart, love it. Started commuting with my MTB bike and tires, switch to slicks. Will buy a new MTB in the spring and hit the trails

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