I live in a small city 40,000. I ride on all errands and to pick up my daughter at school in a pull behind. I get mad at some jackass every day. I rode a lot twenty five years ago and have just now have gotten back into it. I don't remember having any traffic hassles at all. Now all the drivers are jerks. If I rode like I belonged there I'd be dead. The cars make sure they keep me in my place. It's only a matter of time before I go off on somebody. Today I was passing a house when a guy backed out his truck. He stopped at the sidewalk and I made eye contact. Both of us knew I would have to stop if he came out. If I was a car he would never have pulled out. He did. I stopped. This happens every day in some form. I will eventually catch one and deliver justice. I'm a big guy. People who would never jack with me standing next to me on the street will just go for it when you're on a bike. I can't fight a car with a bike but the first one that gets out of the vehicle is toast folks.
It's bad here. They all believe bikes have no business on any road. I ain't making this up y'all. Yesterday a car passed me/buzzed me on the left and almost hit a police car head on. THE POLICE CAR DIDN'T EVEN STOP. I had a 6 year old in the back. He got away at the light right before I got there. I'd have ripped off his head and pissed in the hole.
I'll say something about where this happened. It's a couple hundred foot stretch of two lane chaos. I can't go another way because it's the only way out of our subdivision. It's a funnel of death and a perfect place for a bike lane. I just wrote the Alderman. It's also the only way the kids can walk to school. They don't anymore. They ride three blocks in SUV's. I'm going to try going through the right channels first....but if that don't work... it's by any means necessary time.
MY POINT. It don't matter how careful we ride to appease the cars. Until the police start busting people who won't give us the right of way when the law says we have it, we will be unable to ride safely. I think I'm on my own....and if I'm on my own....don't blame me if I get creative.
5 days/week (whenever possible)
about 10.5 miles (each way)
How I ride:
- 80% subdivision roads - very little traffic, speed limit 25 mph
- 10% two-lane, high use roads w/ bike lane, speed limit 45-55 mph
- 10% separate bike path - very low use.
- This is the edge of the Sierra foothills, so fairly hilly.
How its working out:
- Stop signs - if 'all way' stop, and I can see that there is no traffic, I'll just blow thru (but at a 'reasonable' speed). Otherwise I'll do a 'rolling stop', or if needed a full stop.
- Signals - my route only has two signals, and I have to turn at both. To make a left turn I move over into the left turn lane. Most of the time i can trigger the sensor and everything is good, occasionaly it just won't trip... when that happens I wait till I am sure it's safe and then go. For right turn, I slow down enough to make sure I can make the turn without going wide but just keep going.
- In general - I mostly stay to the right and in the bike lane (where there is one)... the roads are in good shape as far as potholes and such and there is very seldom anyone parked in the bike lanes. There is occasional road debris to get around, particualrly broken glass.
In general I haven't had much in the way of problems. A few cars that have gone by closer than I would like, and one guy in a deisel pickup who intentionally tried to smog me, but really nothing much to complain about.
Bike is a Trek FX 7.5
I live in a suburban area with relatively busy traffic which picks up for rush hour and when schools let out. Its in central Georgia, in Peachtree City, relatively hilly, some routes hillier than others. 30 to 45 mph speed limits, and some roads so hilly with so many bind turns that Ive never seen a cyclist on and would never ride myself. Now, the weird thing about this place where I live is that there are over 100 miles of pedestrian, bicycle and golf cart paths... everyone in this town owns and drives a golf cart. I ride on the paths to go to the grocery store run errands etc. on my Schwinn Crosscut. But, the paths are really death traps for cyclists, especially if you have toe clamps because the law in town is that a 15 year old with a learners permit can drive alone and a 12 year old can drive with anyone over 21 accompanying them. And teenagers and 12 yearolds drive like its GTA 4. Even on the Crosscut with a full load of crap on the bike people have come around blind turns in their golf carts or bikes on the wrong side of the path and almost collided with me. The good thing about the bicycle is that I can ride a bike a lot faster than a golf cart can go and if some kid says something unsavory about me on the bike I can respond with my water bottle and burn rubber. This is a big topic of contention among myself and my non-cycling friends who think sharing the road is a nuesence and that people should just use the cart paths. But to me its more dangerous to be on the death paths than the road. Kind of as a result of there being cart paths, drivers feel that cyclists should "get on the f-ing cart paths" so I try to ride where there arent any or I just yell back at them "Is this where you want to be when Jesus comes back?" But that kind of sucks.
So when I want to get on the road bike, Redline Conquest, and really hammer down the road, I avoid the cart paths like a kid playing lava tag. When Im on the road I stop at big intersections and if I cant see on coming traffic or if there is on coming traffic. If I can see the intersection is clear I will blow right through it. The only stop lights I encounter are at busy 55 mph state highways so I just stop and wait for a car to trip the sensor and I dont pull that stuff where people pass a big line of cars to get to the front of the line at a red light, however I do that when I ride in Atlanta. There is almost never space between the white line and the shoulder and there are several places where the shoulder has a dramatic drop off from the road to the curb. I ride on the white line whenever it is well maintained enough or if there isnt a dropoff like what I just described.
I usually ride solo or with a friend, I am not a big fan of group rides, I dont know why I just am not. I use hand signals and all that stuff, but I listen to the ipod on my rides, on low volume so low that Id be able to hear a person talking to me or a police car or ambulance coming from behind me.
I live in one of those "planned" communities...planned for the automobile and to decrease through traffic on residential streets. The latter can make it difficult to get around without going on the major roads which are 4 lane, curbed with no shoulder, and traffic traveling 45-60 mph. Fortunately, there are multi-user paths that allow one to travel those areas by bike, but they are narrow and, if you meet pedestrians or other cyclists, you may or may not get room to pass. The best part about the paths, though, is there are a number of underpasses that allow for getting across major roads without crossing at signalized intersections. The bad thing about the paths that follow major streets is, just like with sidewalks, motorists do not pay attention to them at intersections. Almost had a incident today at the driveway for a major grocery store. Fortunately, I was going slow because I had that feeling the woman was paying no attention.
The options for leaving the subdivision by bike are rather limited. All the roads are high speed, 50 mph speed limits and either have no shoulder or are access roads for the freeway. If the access road speed limits were 35 like in the city, I'd feel a bit more comfortable riding them. I'm not one that is easily intimidated by traffic, but it seems motorists these days pay even less attention than they did when I cut my teeth on street riding back in the late 60's and early '70's. Or, maybe I'm slowing down.
Overall, I'm an advocate of getting the bikes off the paths and on the streets. But, the paths have a place when they allow safe access to destinations and a way to cross other than at grade. The paths require more diligence to ride than the streets though, and slower speeds, both because of other users and the manner in which they're laid out.
Recumbent Rider in PA
I live in central PA. I built my recumbent bike last year and began riding it this past spring. Three weeks ago, I began riding specifically to train for a century. It's an eight-week training period. I plan to ride a century solo in September. It would be nice to ride with other bicyclists, but I live in the sticks.
The roads I ride on are two-lane paved roads with no parked cars and few intersections. I avoid hills like the plague. Still, this area is hilly even if you stay off the thousand-foot high mountains. Compared to upright road bikes, I'm slower going up hills and faster coming down hills.
I stopped running when I started biking this summer. It also hope to lose 15 pounds. Biking is a funner than running because I go three times as fast and see three times as much scenery. Plus I can actually use it for transportation.
When I have ridden my bike 100 miles, then I will decide whether or not to ride it to visit a relative in Philadelphia. ( 240 miles)
well... i live in vegas. there's streets that i ride often, and streets that i try to stay off of. there's certain routes that i -usually- take to get to certain places. sometimes i'm feeling adventurous and change it up a bit... there's not many hills, unless you're going from one side of town to the other (then it's usually either a nice ride down or climbing up). snow has existed here maybe 2 times in my life and rain is not an everyday issue so i really don't have to worry about that too much.
i ride carefully and am constantly looking behind me (sux). but oh well.
I live in a small college town. I just got my first bike in 30 years (I'm 50), a Fuji road bike 2 weeks ago, I ride VERY carefully, stopping at all stop signs, lights,etc. Trying to get my stamina back up. Did almost 5 miles today, 5.5 miles last week. Feel good. Average speed right now about 19 MPH. I couldn't care less about speed/racing, I'm all about exercise and fun now.
Hello, when I'm not working on the trainer, I'm out riding rural or semi-rural roads on the central California coast, 50-75% of them have bike lanes, or a MUP. There are some low hills and some high ones, depending on where I ride. Most of the time I ride medium fast on roads with no shoulder just to get out of that section as soon as possible without wearing myself out, and then slow down on the bike paths.
I like to ride into town, a 5 mile round trip, mostly downhill into town, and then all uphill on the way home. Sometimes I'll get up on the sidewalk and walk my bike, to get the kinks out of my muscles. I'm prone to sudden extreme tiredness and muscle pain because have CFS. I don't want to overdo it, or I'll get laid up and I'm very unhappy if I go more than 2 days off the bike. I love cycling... it makes me feel more alive! But if I'm not 100% alert, I won't go out on the roads. I don't like being the stupidest person out there... :P
How do you ride?
Okay, easy answer - depends on who i'm cycling with.
* Solo - Vehicular style and a good few feet from the curb.
I find that being a good few feet from the curb makes me a sufficient pain in the arse for drivers to pause & slow down before passing me. A regular glance over the shoulder also has a positive effect in slowing them down.
The biggest safety benefit of vehicle cycling though in my experience is when approaching & passing a 'pedestrian island' where the the carriageway narrows. Before adopting the technique and riding further away from the curb I found riding through these gaps horrendous in traffic, whereby passing traffic would swoop towards the curb (and me!) to avoid the island, not giving a toss about the life of the cyclist in his or her path. By riding almost in the flow of traffic, drivers tend to slow down and follow me through the obstacle - even if some of them are a little annoyed afterwards, who cares when your bod is still intact?!
As a partial consequence i've stopped filtering through traffic next to the curb as much as before, and indeed found doing so the other day (when in a rush) recklessly, put me in a few dodgy predicaments that were best avoided. In other words, wished i'd just sat in the queue - whats the rush anyway & its good for catching your breath!
* With Wife (who isn't at all confident on the road) and/or with the Kids - bit of Vehicular, and on the pavement if the road conditions are too fast.
I'm trying to pursuade the 'better half' to go on a cycling course. I think it'll improve her skills in traffic, give her more confidence on the road & hence give her more enjoyment out there as a result. She takes the idea as an insult. If anyone has any good arguments for, then please get them posted. Wend doesn't drive so hasn't had any road experience from that either, and tends to get stressed in traffic, especially when having to cross a carraigeway for example - hence its sometimes safer during a ride to hop on a quiet pavement to get through a hazardous section of road.
Also we have too kids - Emm, the eldest @ 6 yrs old rides a tag-along behind me when doing any kind of distance. Because the thing can be so bloody unstable i'm considering a tandem of some sort for better handling and as a result, more confidence - until then its all as above, in fact more on the pavement than off it if the traffic is heavy and fast. Moll, the youngest @ 2 either sits in a pannier mounted seat or in a trailer. The trailer is a recent acquisition which seems okay on the road, though i've taken to doing our grocery shopping with it to give myself a little more confidence with its road presence. On her bike seat (with homemade hi-viz graphics on the back), she is fine if its not raining - its more sociable for us to chat for example, and is great for vehicular cycling - though I increase the glances over the shoulder tenfold to see whats approaching & to let approaching traffic know its been eyeballed.
When traveling through an intersection on my bike, I always merge to the through lane so that right turners aren't slowed by me going straight in the right turn lane. I see other cyclists go through the intersection in the right side of the right turn lane,,,,am I doing it wrong?
I used to commute 12.5miles each way a number of days a week. Now I work from home I try to go out most days. I ride to stay fit and reasonably healthy. It also keeps the weight down.
I prefer to ride quiet lanes/roads (I live in a rural area) to avoid problems with traffic. I find that the majority of drivers are reasonable. But there are some that are total maniacs. My rides vary in length from 18km-60km. I have a favorite route that is 25km and has many alternatives to vary it.
I run a road safety campaign in the area where I live. I send letters at both local and national levels. My website is http://www.slowerderbyshire.co.uk
I commute to work 5 days a week 5.5 mi. each way. I also ride and do errands on Sat./Sun. My riding is 100% urban - streets. I ride to work in the afternoon and get off work at 10:30 P.M. At night I ride more cautiously than in daytime. I'm always cautious but have a higher level of awareness at night. Friday nights call for even more caution due to all the people at restaurants and night spots. For the most part motorists here in Cleveland have been pretty respectful toward me.
I ride a fixed gear bike mostly and I have a Kona rigid MTB that I run with wider tires and full fenders for bad weather (which we get a lot of).
I had started riding mostly for fun but but take it pretty serious now. Sometimes when I'm driving I find myself wishing I were on my bike. It's a great way to live - I try to encourage more people to start biking. I hope to commute until I retire.
I commute from a westrn 'burb of Minneapolis into the city about 13 miles each way. Most of the trip is on dedicated paved trail, but currently I must go through downtown. There is a bikelane, but I still prefer the trail. Road bike in summer, hybrid in winter.
Riding a bike is a passion for me.
Let it be all about speed but it sholud be safe also.
It is very necessary to take precautions while riding bike or driving cars. We should follow the traffic rule also.
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Well, I love going to different places using a bike. It's a cost-effective way to get to where you wanna go.It's a healthy exercise as well but make sure to wear helmets and safety gears.
I commute to work whenever it isn't raining, I don't mind the cold too much, I live in Northern Indiana so pretty soon the lake effect snow will blast its way off Lake Mi. I don't believe I'll ride in the snow, my childhood memories of doing that have a huge thorn bush sticking out!
My route starts out on eastern side of my city,Mishawaka,In. through the "downtown" area of the tiny town of Osceola,In. then through the larger city of Elkhart all the way to its eastern side, which is one big industrial park.
I have about 8 miles of a 16" shoulder riding on a two lane stretch of St Hwy 933 which is dead straight and nearly flat. At 6am there are no pedestrians out so I generally use the sidewalks in town, but coming home its mostly street except one little nasty intersection. 12.7 miles one way. new Trek 820 mtb, soon to get road slicks. Only started this about mid summer this yr, cant wait till the weather breaks in the spring!
I recently wrote an article entitled, "Cyclist Management Principles" for Cycling Weekly magazine. It parallels the mental model of the discussions here. It's about riding safely. I am not permitted to post the website link on this forum but my website is on my profile. If you browse this link go to "CMP's."
I ride a Torker boardwalk 7 speed with bar handles added rack trunk good lights front and rear because I ride up to the local coffee pot most night about 6 mile one way. I genraly follow the law and ride 90% of the time on the road. But there are places here were no peds and nice sidewalk I obey stop signs on side streets like yield signs a lot.
I genraly ride about 15 to 30 miles a day for fitness I've had 2 heart attacks a double buypass diabetic and a pile of other crap I've lost 85 lbs and am @ 285 last Dr vist shooting for 230 or so.
I am retired 53 and take a lot a all day trips. Iam in SE michigan just south of Detroit not a bike friendly place at all but most folks are decent about it. Thou I did get hit in july hit and run but I got the license number :) totaled my first torker. Ride were ever I considered it the safe place to be. I just bout a new schwinn World GS 2009 ya I know a a comfort bike that is kina looked down on here but I liked it and that's all I care abouit iam not speed demon and never will be. Never been on a group ride or even with another rider. I like the lone peace and quiet. I run my lights day or night wear reg clothes I've had a few knuckle heads yell honk and what have u I try to ignore them sometime it works :/ Anyone here in the downriver area wyandotte. PM me maybe we hook up for a ride if you don't mind a fat old guy get less fat everyday 1 more thing I always wear a helmet and it most likely save me a lot hurt when I was hit in July. I like to get out and act like a kid again and just explore for hrs on my bike must be second childhood duno lol by the way a Torker Boardwalk is a great bike for a clydale I was 371 when I started and the Torker I call the tank has held very well I highly recomend it
I live in Grapevine, TX which is at the north end of the runway of DFW Airport. I like to use my bike for utilitarian purposes, like going to work, supermarket, pet store, etc. I use my bike instead of my car any time I can, which means I'm on my bike literally nearly every day but only get in the car once or twice a week on average.
The roads around here are suburban, though I can cycle to the train or bus stations inside the airport and get to downtown Dallas or Fort Worth if I have the time to commit to the trip.
The biggest hurdle I face around here is the hostile drivers. Most of the roads I cycle on have a 35-45 mph speed limit but the cars actually go much faster. Although I have two road bikes, the bike I ride most often and consequently feel most comfortable is my commuter. Hubby leans more toward the "roadie" POV though.
Many people argue that we need to "educate" drivers that cyclists have a right to the roads. As you've experienced, this just isn't true. Most drivers know we have a right to the road they just don't want to share the road, so they play dumb and say cyclists don't belong in the road. As you pointed out, motorists know that if they pull out in front of a cyclist, the cyclist will have to stop regardless of who has the right of way. Life doesn't have the same value it once had.
Originally Posted by Joe Phillips
Philadelphia. It's fairly bike friendly. The roads suck outside of center city, but they're usually empty enough to get around the bad parts without being nailed. Drivers are nice, or at least tolerant. I've only had a few confrontations.
I ride to school every day, rain, shine, hot or cold. I have never taken public transportation. It's either 2 or three miles, depending on which campus. I can do it in 7-10 minutes, respectively. It can be crowded, especially in morning rush hour, so I occasionally slip onto the sidewalk to get around tight jams.
I always do grocery shopping on the way home, so I've learned to get exactly what will fit in my messenger bag, no more no less. You can't hang paper bags off track drop bars, I've discovered. They catch in the spokes and explode.
I also ride recreationally on the bike path by the river. There's a great ten mile loop for quick steam off-blowing.
Moderate to fast. When I'm in a hurry I blow more lights, of course, but I try to follow traffic laws as much as is reasonable. I ride fixed most of the time, usually at the speed of the traffic (slow city streets). I've seen too many people get hit to be reckless, though those duck bus thingies have these great tempting handles to skitch off and sometimes I can't resist.
First thing in the morning I'm usually barely alive, and the ride perks me up. Somehow my brain goes into autopilot and I can float through traffic, even though I'm so fogged sometimes that all I can say is 'Snnnnrg?'
Yeh, biking is my pleasure and salvation and probably my downfall (literally) one fine day.
I have three bikes, my Masi is on the trainer for indoor use; my Cervelo RS is for recreation and my Marin 29er is my commuter bike. My commute is a wimpy 1.6 miles, but I can go home for lunch and get 6.4 miles out of my daily commute. I roll out of my drive way and hit the main road after about .3 miles of pedaling. The main road is a three lane, with a turning lane down the middle. The road is wide enough for me to ride near the white line and avoid traffic. There is no shoulder, but because of the turning lane, cars usually slip over into the turning lane and give me plenty of room. There is no on the road parking, so I do not have to worry about being doored. I do have to watch for debris, usually in the form of collected leaves or small tree limbs. If necessary I could roll into the gutter or even jump the curb. Jumping the curb has not been necessary and I only rolled into the gutter a time or two to see how it would work. I watch the cars behind me with my mirror. I have a bright head light and three tail lights. I run my lights day and night. I always wear a helmet. At sixty I don’t want to learn my ABCs again. The last leg of my commute is across a university campus, my place of employment. I watch for golf carts and student drivers.
If I had it to do over again, I would have bought a touring bike for my commuter bike. The Marin 29er is a very good bike, but it is heavy (33 lbs with the knobby tires). I replaced the knobby tires with Schwalbe 32cm. I think a good steel frame touring bike with 28cm tires would be the ideal ride for my commute. A Reynolds 953 or 853 frame could be as much at 10 lbs lighter. Since my commute is so short, the 29er works fine, but I would like to use my bike for longer rides around town. And, since I am accustom to riding the Cervelo, I don’t want to slow down too much. I am wondering if 25cm tires for the Cervelo would make it an adequate commuter bike?