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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 04-03-09, 07:12 PM   #1
daredevil
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on the shoulder or the road?

70 mph highway with a wide shoulder with a surface much like a gravel road and a rumble strip separating it from the highway. Where would you ride?
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Old 04-03-09, 07:21 PM   #2
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someplace else.
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Old 04-03-09, 07:25 PM   #3
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someplace else.
Me too. Fortunately I don't have to ride it but saw someone today. Tourists ride roads like these too. I'm guessing most people say the shoulder with some beefy tires?
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Old 04-03-09, 07:31 PM   #4
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What 70mph roads even allow bikes?
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Old 04-03-09, 08:05 PM   #5
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What 70mph roads even allow bikes?
We got em everywhere.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:15 PM   #6
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A rider was killed in this area a couple of years ago (or less, i'm not sure), when he and his wife were on a ride. There route took them on US Hwy 280 just north of Auburn for about 1 or 2 miles. This is a 4 lane divided highway, and the speed limit there was either 55 or 65, most people routinely do 65 or 70, or more. The driver was reaching for something that fell off the passenger seat, drifted over to the shoulder, hit and killed the husband. The wife was hurt, but I'm not sure to what extent her injuries were. They were both experienced cyclists.

Cyclists vs. auto. Cyclists always loses.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:17 PM   #7
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No. I don't think that would be an ideal situation. We aren't the same class of vehicle as cars -- think of motor scooters as being an equivalent. All cities and suburbs should connect up lower-speed parallel routes for every highway or arterial street.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:19 PM   #8
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I do my commuting on a 50 mph road with no shoulder and plenty of trucks including trucks with pup trailers. Would you guys do that?
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Old 04-03-09, 08:33 PM   #9
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What 70mph roads even allow bikes?
A great many. I see you're in LA, so a fairly local example is the I-5. It's legal for bicycle travel on the shoulder from the Bay Area (spec. Tracy) to a little north of the LA area (spec. Santa Clarita), a stretch of about 370 miles. While bikes are not allowed on the 5 through the LA metro area, they are again permitted from a little south of San Clemente until Oceanside. Portions of many other freeways in the western states also allow bicycle travel.

Fortunately the I-5 shoulder is well-paved so one isn't faced with the situation of the OP. It does have the hazard of a great deal of truck tire debris. As this degrades, it leaves sharp steel wires from the woven belts in the tires that can puncture bike tires (we once referred to these as 'Michelin thorns').
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Old 04-03-09, 10:46 PM   #10
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I do my commuting on a 50 mph road with no shoulder and plenty of trucks including trucks with pup trailers. Would you guys do that?
Everyday. I have traveled thousands of miles on roads like that- some with posted 55 MPH limits. Just ride in the left tire track. Motorists eventually figure out how to get around you. No sweat.
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Old 04-03-09, 11:06 PM   #11
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Everyday. I have traveled thousands of miles on roads like that- some with posted 55 MPH limits. Just ride in the left tire track. Motorists eventually figure out how to get around you. No sweat.
So what do you think of the topic?
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Old 04-04-09, 02:26 AM   #12
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70 mph highway with a wide shoulder with a surface much like a gravel road and a rumble strip separating it from the highway. Where would you ride?
Anyone who rides their bike on the highway(not a state highway), needs their head examined
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Old 04-04-09, 06:02 AM   #13
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Why not just ride down the middle of train tracks? Much more direct route that way. If a train conductor doesn't see you he should be fired anyway.
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Old 04-04-09, 07:34 AM   #14
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A handful of posts in and not one person has answered the question. You folks have only managed to sound outraged that someone would ride on such a road. You do realize that some people don't have a choice? I guess the folks that hang out here in A&S to care about riding that much.

I also kind of assumed somebody would actually be an advocate for riding just about anywhere. What do they feed you (mod edit) in here anyway?
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Old 04-04-09, 08:40 AM   #15
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It seems to me that most respondents did answer your question. They just didn't do so with one of your two prescribed answers. A true advocate would also include some useful information on the topic at hand in their post, (something that you failed to do) and not resort to calling people names.

Double fail for you.
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Old 04-04-09, 08:54 AM   #16
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It seems to me that most respondents did answer your question.
You need to read closer. You didn't answer either.

...and the ***** comment was a bit tongue in cheek to get some action on this thread. Don't be so thin skinned.
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Old 04-04-09, 08:58 AM   #17
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I rode roads like this all the time in Vermont...
Rt. 4 into Clarendon for instance. I rode to the
right of the strip. A few flats during mud season but
if I cared enuff, flat proof tires would have fixed that.
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Old 04-04-09, 09:00 AM   #18
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I rode roads like this all the time in Vermont...
Rt. 4 into Clarendon for instance. I rode to the
right of the strip. A few flats during mud season but
if I cared enuff, flat proof tires would have fixed that.
THANK YOU! Only took 17 posts!

...although prathmann did address the topic.
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Old 04-04-09, 09:04 AM   #19
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Ooh that's a scary one. I would avoid it like the plague, but if I had to ride it, I would probably ride on the shoulder. Only because at 70mph, people are too likely to get into a "highway hypnosis" mode and not see you until it is too late. In this case, I believe that the chances of getting hit would go down if you ride on the shoulder. In (almost) every other case, I would ride in the middle of the lane (or right tire track, depending on the idiot level of the day).
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Old 04-04-09, 09:05 AM   #20
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I guess a good mountain bike could handle the gravel road, but having to ride through that for a few miles can wear you down. Walking might be a better option if it's a reasonable distance. I wouldn't ride on the highway under any circumstances. There are just too many incompetent drivers on the road.
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Old 04-04-09, 09:10 AM   #21
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Now we're getting somewhere. Keep it coming. What if your only other choice was not to ride at all? Would you really give up cycling? I couldn't.

One thing I can add is that there is not a tremendous amount of traffic on these highways. Rush hour could be a little dicey. Otherwise, traffic would be fairly easy to monitor.

The problem with the shoulder of course is that many people won't bother changing lane position as they pass you which gives you no indication whether they see you or not.

Let me ask our gentleman from Vermont. Do you try to monitor traffic with a mirror or do you just ride along with fate in your hands? Do people generally change lane position for you when you are on the shoulder? Shouldn't a person feel safer with a rumble strip there too?
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Old 04-04-09, 10:42 AM   #22
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This is easy; take the lane. It's what you do when you don't feel safe, right?
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Old 04-04-09, 10:48 AM   #23
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This is easy; take the lane. It's what you do when you don't feel safe, right?
It's what I do in my situation. Not so sure on this one.
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Old 04-04-09, 10:51 AM   #24
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Let me ask our gentleman from Vermont. Do you try to monitor traffic with a mirror or do you just ride along with fate in your hands? Do people generally change lane position for you when you are on the shoulder? Shouldn't a person feel safer with a rumble strip there too?

I NEED a mirror. Here in Fl Im sure its saved me more than once. In Vt,
I didnt like the rumble strip as a cyclist, especially when riding a fixie, but I
suppose it did help keep the riff raff on 'their' side. Even in bicycle friendly
Vermont I would not be so stupid as to try to take a lane on Rt. 4. I was on
that road at 5:30 in the morning which is totally dark. A car/truck going 65 or
so is sort of outdriving its headlites relative to seeing a guy on bike, on a
highway, riding in dead winter, snow all around. In any state Ive commuted
in, people changing lanes are a micro minority. In PA and VT, they give you
a little room, in FL, you cant change lanes because the traffic is too dense.
I can assure you, if someone needs to hit a cyclist to avoid hitting an SUV to
their left, they will . Actually slowing usually doesnt enter the thought process.
I expect someone from California to tell me Im wrong, though.
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Old 04-04-09, 11:36 AM   #25
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Taking the lane is bike speak for becoming a hood ornament, or even worse, becoming a human speed bump.
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