This is it.
Background- I'm on a stiff road bike and am wearing road shoes with external cleats so walking is slippery an awkward.
I'm traveling from west to east so I have the wind at my back. This overpass often gets congested so traffic often is slowed to a crawl but when released by the nearest stoplight, will resume its speed of roughly 35mph. It's stop & go.
This overpass has no shoulder or bike lane so that my options as I understand them are:
(1) get on the sidewalk and use the crosswalks to traverse the fast-moving entering and exiting HW101. Possible but slippery and akward in road shoes with large external cleats.
(2) merge from the expiring shoulder into the (far right) entrance/exit lane and ride that over the overpass until the shoulder resumes
(3) take the middle lane to avoid the entering/exiting traffic in the right hand lane but risk greater exposure to faster (35mph-) traffic.
What I did today-
approached the overpass and saw that traffic was congested and slow-moving. I was confidend and merged from the expiring shoulder to the right hand entrance/exit lane. Then there was an opening in the middle lane so I merged into it, only to run out of gear- I think I was in my 39x12- and probably impede the people behind as I had one or two cars on my right pass me. At that point, mercifully, the shoulder resumed and I jumped into it. And out of the middle of the road. This all happened at about 2:30 so visibility was good.
I have very mixed feelings about what I did. I know that confidence and assertiveness are important but I don't want to impede traffic or be seen as reckless or, perhaps, just stupid in what I am doing. That part of the city tends to be lower income which means that road cycling is not part of the culture and I think people tolerate me there because they're just too surprised to react with anything but caution and accommodation.
Give me your thoughts. Should I just start using the sidewalk from now on?