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  1. #1
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    Have you ridden on roads that have no shoulder and a 65 mph speed limit?

    Have you rode your bike on roads that have no shoulder and a 65 mph speed limit? My family thinks it crazy that I want to ride to town on this road that has no shoulders and 65 mph speed limit. They said I would get runned over by semi trucks. I think its rare that you get ran over by a vehicle on a bike. The road isnt very busy. I think their just trying to scare me.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I think its rare that you get ran over by a vehicle on a bike. Once is all you need.

    Pic the time of day where the traffic level is low.
    Use a mirror.

    Did this last summer.

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  3. #3
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    I dont ever remember a time seeing more than 2 other cars. Most of the time nobodies behind me.

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    My old commute was a narrow, curvy 55 mph road, which means everyone went 70 mph. I would ride the 40 miles into work at 2:30 A.M. to avoid the traffic. For my return in the afternoon, I would take a 60 mile alternate route through the coast hills to avoid the trouble. I currently ride on a different 55 mph roadway with no shoulder several times a week. Usually only have about two cars per mile pass me. I take the center of the lane and, when it is safe for a car to pass me, I will move to the right and wave them on. About one in ten will just pass on a blind curve. When that happens I wish my phaser worked.

  5. #5
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    Have you rode your bike on roads that have no shoulder and a 65 mph speed limit? My family thinks it crazy that I want to ride to town on this road that has no shoulders and 65 mph speed limit. They said I would get runned over by semi trucks. I think its rare that you get ran over by a vehicle on a bike. The road isnt very busy. I think their just trying to scare me.
    I check my route out, before I go out. Because, Regardless of a shoulder, I won't ride on a road that has a speed limit above 40MPH. As for a road with a shoulder, I won't use the shoulder. I will 'take the lane', all the time.

    Even though this videohttp://www.flickr.com/photos/thisisbossi/3260902176/ is almost a year old, because the construction in the video was completed, it shows part of a major road I bike on. That is a 40MPH road. It doesn't have a shoulder but, it does have the sidewalk. Since I stay off the sidewalk, I 'take the lane' on that road.

  6. #6
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    My family said the same thing about the roads around here when I moved back here. Most of these roads are 55, a few are 60, few have paved shoulders, all have substandard width lanes. I ignored them and just ride. Since then, personal experience has borne out what I thought would be the case. Using the paved shoulders of these roads that have them is more dangerous than riding the roads without paved shoulders. Riding the shoulder invites higher speed and closer passing. On the roads without paved shoulders I choose a lane position that makes it clear that I have the entire right half of the lane. Nearly all completely change lanes to pass. Many slow before passing. In the presence of oncoming traffic most will slow and wait before passing. A few will try to pass with oncoming traffic, but even they give me plenty of room.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    I've ridden on a few shoulderless 65mph roads. Make yourself visible and you'll be fine.
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
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  8. #8
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
    I check my route out, before I go out. Because, Regardless of a shoulder, I won't ride on a road that has a speed limit above 40MPH. As for a road with a shoulder, I won't use the shoulder. I will 'take the lane', all the time.
    curious perspective. take the lane all the time, but just the slower ones? never share the road, never ride on the shoulder, but never use higher speed roadways?

    this has left me quite befuddled.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    I could see how riding on the shoulder is bad. It makes everybody go the fastest they can. Then they dont have reaction time to see you there on the shoulder when they have to swerve to the right. Im gonna ride on the middle of the lane then pull to the right side to let them pass,that also gives people in cars further back a hint that they should be more alert.

  10. #10
    Senior Member oban_kobi's Avatar
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    If the traffic is as low as you say, go for it, just be visible, take the lane, all that. I ride a similar road quite often, 60 mph limit, though it does have a shoulder. I rarely use the "bike lane" on it, it's rather narrow and covered with all sorts of stuff. I have a mirror, and have never felt unsafe riding it.

  11. #11
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    Is the road busy? I do high speed no shoulder roads all the time, I prefer the ones that have as little traffic as possible.

    If they were busy I probably wouldn't ride them. I consider it busy if I'm seeing more than (about) a car a minute on average. And around here two lanes with no shoulders generally don't have that much traffic... Of course this is all subject to my own distorted view of time, I don't get out a watch to time traffic. But if I'm getting people backed up waiting it's definitely busier than I want to deal with outside of the city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oban_kobi View Post
    If the traffic is as low as you say, go for it, just be visible, take the lane, all that. I ride a similar road quite often, 60 mph limit, though it does have a shoulder. I rarely use the "bike lane" on it, it's rather narrow and covered with all sorts of stuff. I have a mirror, and have never felt unsafe riding it.
    Probably really isn't necessary... Don't hug the fog line for dear life, but a foot out is probably fine.

  13. #13
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    Yeah I guess I'll ride on the shoulder if theres one there on a fast speed road if its busy. I wouldnt want to back up traffic.

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Also, if the road runs east-west, you'll be in serious danger if you're riding towards the rising or setting sun, because motorists will have a difficult time seeing you against the glare of the sun. It's even worse if they have a dirty or pitted windshield. If that's the case, WAIT IT OUT or find an alternate route.

    Beyond that, yeah, make sure you're really visible. In daylight hours, a neon-lime outer layer would be smart. At night, a reflective vest (a real highway-worker ANSI Class II type, not the skimpy cyclist-specific type), reflective legbands, and a multitude of lights.

    If you can afford a high-end taillight, I suggest a DiNotte 140 as your primary. They're visible from long range even in the daytime. Supplement that with at least one additional taillight, such as a SuperFlash or a Danger Zone. Trek's bar-tip lights are also good: http://bontrager.com/model/06988

    Also, I would worry mostly about the regular drivers, not the professional truckers. The truckers in my area are excellent drivers.

  15. #15
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Is there such a road? I guess there must be ...

    Certainly there are such roads where vehicle travel over 65 mph; but I think that is somewhat different.

    Anyway, with respect to roads that cars travel 65 mph, yes. Probably the only one that I used consistently is Canal Road leading to Chain Bridge Road. But even there, most cars are not going that fast.

  16. #16
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    curious perspective. take the lane all the time, but just the slower ones? never share the road, never ride on the shoulder, but never use higher speed roadways?

    this has left me quite befuddled.

    How so? Not complaining, just curious about your confusion.

    In Maryland, on the road, a cyclist has to ride at least 10mph below the posted max speed limit. So considering the congestion around the DC-Metro region and, the pervasive 'me first' attitude by motorists, I choose to stay off roads that have a posted speed limit above 40MPH.

  17. #17
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    It's not the speed limit of the shoulder-less road but the AADT (Average Annual Daily Traffic) that's the number you should be looking at. If the road is 65mph and no shoulders but an AADT of 300 vehicles per day, you'll be fine. If it's one with 10,000 vehicles per day, it's not a smart idea. Personal knowledge of the road helps also. Two lane or four lane? It is a commuter route, meaning less traffic on the weekend?

    Most states have their AADT stats online, you can probably google yours, and check out the road you want to ride on.

  18. #18
    Devil's Advocate andychrist's Avatar
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    I ride on shoulderless highways all the time and I hardly ever get run over.

  19. #19
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    I'm not sure 65mph speed limits exist on non-divided highways here, but I have ridden on 55mph shoulderless roads. I've never been run over, obviously.

  20. #20
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    road popularity..jpg

    The roads im gonna ride on is 59 and 270

  21. #21
    Conservative Hippie
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    Oh yes, crhilton's above response to oban_kobi reminds me of something. Something I do on this type of road in the absence of traffic approaching from the rear is to take the entire lane. This helps prevent oncoming vehicles passing each other as they pass me going in the opposite direction. A very dangerous scenario, I do this regardless if the road has paved shoulders or not.

    When some single digit I.Q. moron does pull out to pass, and it does happen, I get their attention by aggressively pointing directly at them and then aggressively pointing back into their lane while holding my line in the middle of the lane.

    As in,
    "YOU!"

    "GET OVER!"

    "NOW!!"

    Every once in a while you'll get one so stupid they won't get the message, so be prepared for that.

  22. #22
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    The blue on the roads is what roads im gonna ride.

    road popularity 2..jpg

  23. #23
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    With a mirror.

    Keep in mind people pay a bit more attention to the road above 50mph.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Is there such a road? I guess there must be ...
    Most of the farm-to-market roads around here are 60MPH, with no shoulder at all or occasionally a white line within 6-8 inches of the grass. There are definitely some 65MPH ones, but not on my usual rides.

    Last edited by KD5NRH; 11-14-10 at 08:31 PM.

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