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View Poll Results: Do you take the low road (Street) or the high road (bike path)?

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  • Street, even when there is a path

    19 45.24%
  • Path

    23 54.76%
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  1. #1
    And he's single... jmarkley710's Avatar
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    New Cyclist Questions & Bike Path or Road?

    I recently purchased a road bike, not from my LBS. No offense to them but their way overpriced. Not a little but a lot. Not only that but there is nothing in the way of free tune-ups or anything to justify it. I just guess it has to do with the part of town it's in and the $$ the people have that shop there. I'll give them credit that they do a good job though and sell good bikes/equipment. Anyways that's another story. But I purchased a GMC Denali. Yes, Yes please don't post about how I shouldn't have gotten one or anything. I've never had a road bike and I'm loving it so far. Later down the road will come the higher investment equipment. Anyways a question. Do you guys/gals bike on the road or path? I rode on two paths and the road today. I had less issues with the cars on the road than I did with the people on the path (i.e. almost went endo trying to avoid an "uneducated" I ride in my ankle length denim shorts with a baseball cap cyclist and then a I'm going to do tricks on my bike in the middle of the path right as this guy is coming up on us). So obviously situationally I should choose the road but what is your choice? Also what is a good cycling distance to start at? I used to ride mountain bikes albeit not regularly. Yesterday I rode 13.65 miles and today I took a kind of off day and rode 4.9 miles (recovery mode ).

  2. #2
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. I think the road versus path all depends on how busy it is. I ride the road 95% of the time and a lot of the time it is less busy than the paths routes. Riding the road takes getting used to. My wife refuses to ride down any road outside out neighborhood out of fear of being hit, so I prefer her to ride the paths and in the confines of the hood.

    Initial ride of 13 miles is very good. I did 4.5 and was about dead.
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  3. #3
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Road for getting from point A to point B unless the path provides a good shortcut. Path for toodling around with a gal, pet or just enjoying a nice ride to enjoy the scenery...plant, animal, mineral and human.

    Any distance is a good distance as long as you are enjoying yourself.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  4. #4
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    I use both, so I can't really answer your poll question, since there is no choice there for "both."

    I tend to stay off the path on weekends. Too many trail users, including runners, guys on Wal-Mart bikes, slow recreational riders, and Lance-wannabes acting like total A-holes to everyone else on the trail

    But I'll take the path if there's barely anyone there, and crank up the speed myself

    As for the street, I generally try to take residental neighborhoods and streets with really low traffic or low (25 MPH) speed limits. There aren't very many cars, and the ones that do appear on these streets tend to be a lot more patient and understanding compared to the multi-lane 45 MPH arterials.

  5. #5
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    I only road mountain bikes as a KID,they weren't called mountain bikes,they were just the bikes that we had less reguard for. I've riden Road bikes for a long,long time as a teen and adult. These days,since I'm out of shape (that should change), I ride on the road to get to a large naighborhood. If I can put an hour and a half on my bike and killin' myself ,I'm satisfied. I don't care if I pass the same place many times.If I can practice the turns ,shifting,sprint,untill I get out of breath and ride 'till my legs ache,whichever comes first,I'm fine. After a month at most riding like this,I'll venture further away each time untill I'm an hour each way or more. I 'd ride at a large High School property,or a industrial park as well on Sundays.First do the time,then take note of the miles if you like. It just gets better and better no matter what.

  6. #6
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    I ride strictly roads on my commute, but anywhere else it's usually a mix - and depends on the time of day. If it's a "amateur hour" on the MUP, then I'm on the street. I'll take my chances with the cars over the snotty brats and oblivious others on the MUP .

    Also, really depends on the bike I'm on. On my MTB I generally avoid streets as pushing over 18mph on flat ground for me is nearly impossible, on the roadie/hybrid I can do much better than that, so I don't mind the street. I also generally stay on 35mph and under limit streets.

  7. #7
    Senior Member guybierhaus's Avatar
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    I started with a hybrid bike a couple years ago and rode every trail I could find. However after a year I came to enjoy paved road better, so wanted to give a road bike a try. I want to ride far, but want to ride easy, and like a bit more speed, so a road bike and paved surface have become my ride of choice. When we get into the heat of summer I usually get back on the hybrid and do the trails. Trails usually have more shade and therefore cooler. Trails for me quickly become monotonous with the same scenery, the road has so many variations I still have many more new miles to ride.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarkley710
    I recently purchased a road bike, not from my LBS. No offense to them but their way overpriced. Not a little but a lot. Not only that but there is nothing in the way of free tune-ups or anything to justify it. I just guess it has to do with the part of town it's in and the $$ the people have that shop there. I'll give them credit that they do a good job though and sell good bikes/equipment. Anyways that's another story. But I purchased a GMC Denali. Yes, Yes please don't post about how I shouldn't have gotten one or anything. I've never had a road bike and I'm loving it so far. Later down the road will come the higher investment equipment. Anyways a question. Do you guys/gals bike on the road or path? I rode on two paths and the road today. I had less issues with the cars on the road than I did with the people on the path (i.e. almost went endo trying to avoid an "uneducated" I ride in my ankle length denim shorts with a baseball cap cyclist and then a I'm going to do tricks on my bike in the middle of the path right as this guy is coming up on us). So obviously situationally I should choose the road but what is your choice? Also what is a good cycling distance to start at? I used to ride mountain bikes albeit not regularly. Yesterday I rode 13.65 miles and today I took a kind of off day and rode 4.9 miles (recovery mode ).
    I can't answer your poll, because it depends, if the path is going, where I am going, and saves me a hill, or a bunch of traffic lights, or having to go out of my way, I'll take the path, otherwise I use the road.

    The right bike, is the bike that is comfortable, fits, and you want to spend time on. The wrong bike, is the one that is uncomfortable, ill-fitting, and you would rather get two teeth drilled without freezing, then want to take that infernal contraption out of it's hiding place in the back of the garage.

    There is no set starting distance, some people ride 1 mile on the first day, others might ride 20, if 13.65 feels good, then go for it.

  9. #9
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    I ride on the road unless the path has a better route or there is another reason I want to use the path.

    BTW, I suggest you check out this thread about the GMC Denali.

  10. #10
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    Speaking from experience, I have had more safety issues (close calls) on MUP's than anywhere else. Skaters think it's their path way, dogs & their walkers think so too, along with everyone else.

    And most especially do "Sunday Riders" with no riding sense at all. Mom or pop takes little Johnny out for a ride. You will slow down to <10 whhile calling out your arrival, the adult pulls to the side, saying to little Johnny "look out behind you" and he does, he looks behind him with his little training wheeled bike now turning right into your path.

    I've been told by a certified bicycle safety instructor that MUP's are a close second to sidewalks in accident reports. My personal experience agrees.

    I stay on the road unless I have no other choice.

  11. #11
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    Almost always the street. But that can depend on conditions on both. In general I feel safer on streets, even with high speed limits reactions to given situations are much more predictable.

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfblue
    Speaking from experience, I have had more safety issues (close calls) on MUP's than anywhere else. Skaters think it's their path way, dogs & their walkers think so too, along with everyone else.

    And most especially do "Sunday Riders" with no riding sense at all. Mom or pop takes little Johnny out for a ride. You will slow down to <10 whhile calling out your arrival, the adult pulls to the side, saying to little Johnny "look out behind you" and he does, he looks behind him with his little training wheeled bike now turning right into your path.

    I've been told by a certified bicycle safety instructor that MUP's are a close second to sidewalks in accident reports. My personal experience agrees.

    I stay on the road unless I have no other choice.
    Like so many things, it depends... MUP's have a high accident rate? Yes, but...when everyone wants to go on their once per year bicycle ride, where do they go? The MUP. You have lots and lots of inexperienced cyclists using them so of course the accident rate will be higher. An experienced cyclist is less likely to have an accident in any situation - road or MUP - but, since most of them are comfortable with riding on the road, the road accident rate is going to look lower.

    You have to be vigilant at any time while riding a bike on any facility but one place isn't necessarily safer than another. I ride anything. I don't really care. I know not to trust anyone on a roadway or bikepath, whether they are in a car, on a bike, dressed like a racer or dressed like a fred. Anyone of them can do something stupid at anytime. That racer dude? He's likely to blow a stoplight right in front of me, even though I'm going 35 mph downhill. That pedestrian? He's likely to step to his left and turn around to look at who is calling out 'ON YOUR LEFT!' or let his stupid dog on his 45 foot leash walk over to the river effectively making a nice clothesline. That car? He's likely to turn right on red without a second look on the same hill where the racer dude jumped out in front of me.

    I don't trust any of them! But that's the way you should operate any vehicle.

    As for using bikeways, if the bikeway goes where I need it to go, I'll use it. Often times they are like freeways...especially early in the morning on the way to work. For example, from my house to my work is 11 miles. I could ride on major street nearly the whole way. There are probably 30 stoplights and a hundred intersections I'd have to ride through. (I stop at all lights and signs.) It'd be a hassle to deal with all of those. Or I can go a half a mile north, pick up a MUP and ride for nearly 7 miles without having to stop or slow down. The choice is pretty clear.
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  13. #13
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    Road, unless there's no other way. MUPs are dangerous, IMHO.

    Steve

  14. #14
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I'm a road ridwer myself, but then again it's difficult to go for 30- 160 mile rides on an MUP......

    That said, my Summer activities include bike touring, so hence, the road!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  15. #15
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    I'm a road ridwer myself
    ...and a vewy, vewy good one too!


    I'm widing for wabbits!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    I live in the heart of the city, and I just can't take the annoyance of having to stop at every other light -- not to mention the occasionally very heavy traffic and stupid drivers. Even when the bike paths are crowded (and in D.C. they can get crowded), I feel safer having a little distance between me and the giant speeding death machines. (Of course, I have to ride on the roads to get to the trails.)

  17. #17
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    i tend to enjoy bike paths but i'm one of those n00bs weaving all over and causing general chaos.

  18. #18
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    ...and a vewy, vewy good one too!


    I'm widing for wabbits!
    What can I say, I was typing with my toes today!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  19. #19
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    Road................... Much better for longer rides and no joggers or pedestrians to deal with............Just watch that traffic!!!!!!!!!

  20. #20
    Senior Member landshark1's Avatar
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    We have hundreds of mile of bike paths in my area. The scenic neighborhood or lakeside paths tend to have the most hazards (kids, joggers with Ipods, dogs, wandering walkers, rollerbladers, etc... ) and the paths that seemingly go to nowhere seem to have the more serious bikers only.

    I knew a guy who was run over and killed by a car while biking on a low traffic highway. I take paths whenever possible.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by landshark1
    We have hundreds of mile of bike paths in my area. The scenic neighborhood or lakeside paths tend to have the most hazards (kids, joggers with Ipods, dogs, wandering walkers, rollerbladers, etc... ) and the paths that seemingly go to nowhere seem to have the more serious bikers only.

    I knew a guy who was run over and killed by a car while biking on a low traffic highway. I take paths whenever possible.
    Gee, you want to know something, I knew about this guy, who was run over and killed by a truck, while driving a car on a low traffic highway, guess you better not drive a car on those mean highways.

    All kidding aside, there are four things to remember to NOT get killed while cycling on the road:

    1) Be Visible, if you don't have or want a bright high-vis jacket, get one of those mesh traffic safety vests, AND run your tail light in blink mode at ALL times, not just at night. I tend to run the tail light in blink mode during the day, and steady mode at night.

    2) Be aware, a mirror helps, because you can see cars behind you, as well as in front of you.

    3) ALWAYS have an escape route, I stay at least 1m from the side of the road, if someone is coming to close, I have that 1m to move over.

    4) Always assume all other traffic is made up of clueless idiots on cell phones, who are paying attention to everything BUT what they are doing. Yup, that means keep at least 2 fingers on each of your brakes at all times.

  22. #22
    Senior Member tonphil1960's Avatar
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    Glad you are on a road bike no matter what bike it is. As for path vs road. I have the same problem, I would rather be on the road, we have a nice 14 mile round trip path near here but unless you are there early in the Am there are too many people to really ride without any problems. We have the group of runners that take the whole path, the 3 or 4 women walking abreast taking the whoel path. The kids riding in every direction but foward, you get the picture.

    Regards T

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    We have the group of runners that take the whole path, the 3 or 4 women walking abreast taking the whoel path. The kids riding in every direction but foward, you get the picture.

    I have to say, I thought the pedestrians/runners were bad on the paths in D.C., but the kinds of horror stories I'm reading here give me a new appreciation for them. There are some people who walk/run two abreast, and a very occasional pedestrian completely on the wrong side, but my biggest problem is when there's a slow-moving pedestrian/jogger/bike ahead of me and I have to slow down because the oncoming lane is too crowded to safely pass them. I don't know if the folks in D.C. are mindless sheep or upstanding citizens, but I'm glad they're the ones on my trail.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonboyDC
    I have to say, I thought the pedestrians/runners were bad on the paths in D.C., but the kinds of horror stories I'm reading here give me a new appreciation for them. There are some people who walk/run two abreast, and a very occasional pedestrian completely on the wrong side, but my biggest problem is when there's a slow-moving pedestrian/jogger/bike ahead of me and I have to slow down because the oncoming lane is too crowded to safely pass them. I don't know if the folks in D.C. are mindless sheep or upstanding citizens, but I'm glad they're the ones on my trail.
    Ah yes, the moving meat pylon. I usually use my bell as a first indicator, and a loud "excuse me", as I am preparing to stop, between the two, that works about 75% of the time. Of course with children, just slow down and steer around them, you can't say anything to them, unless you want to get arrested as a child molester, these days.

    I have a friend who finds move your ****** big fat *** out of the ****** way ya dumb **** for brains. Works great on men, makes older women faint, gets a type look out of children, never heard him try it with pretty young women (I wonder why), but I don't ride much with that group anymore.

  25. #25
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    Paths are great, they bring the tenison level down where you can enjoy your bike. Here where I live there are some really nice greenways that are great for cycling. No cars, smooth wide paths and the only thing to worry about is the occasional chipmunk or squirrel running accross the path. Gwinnett County (suburban Atlanta) also has also started linking all the parks with bike paths that run along all of the roads which are nice too. They are like giantside walks that have smooth transitions instead of curbs. The only problem with those are they are not finished so there are parts where you have mix back with traffic.

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