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  1. #1
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    Very long commute club: week 13

    I'm back from Cape Cod. It rained every day but 2. We went to the beach on one of those days and Provincetown the other. P-town is a trip and I highly recommend going there if you ever are on the Cape.

    I saw a lot of cyclists on CC, but something kinda strange, nearly every last one of them was riding on the sidewalk. I would guess 99%. Traffic is bad on the Cape, but I took my bike last year and found the cars ok with cyclists. I am interested in the proportion of cylcists who ride on the sidewalk vs the street. I'm thinking of doing an analysis of the risks of cycling on the sidewalk. I know that some researchers have found that sidewalk riding is more dangerous, but I am VERY sceptical about those findings. A very imposrtant consideration is the prevalence of sidewalk vs street riders in doing this research.

    Are any of you intersted in formally counting sidewalk vs street riders in your city/commute? Of the top of your head, what proportion do you THINK ride on the sidewalk vs the street on your commute?
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

  2. #2
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Hey Mars, I see a lot of cyclists on the bay bridge. Most of them ride to the bridge, on the road, and then go back and forth on the bridge. Now as for commuters, I see about 5 a day. But it's hard to tell because they don't have bags or trunks on their bikes.

    On one 1.5 mile part of my commute the street is not a place to be so I ride on the sidewalk because the speed limit is 50 mph thought there and I can only do 37 mph top speed. So I run up the sidewalk at 25 mph. I am looking for a good back road to take instead. I hate ridding on the sidewalk.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  3. #3
    RIP Gonzo So Cal commuter's Avatar
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    My two cents would be that there would be more minor accidents on the sidewalk, but no or very few fatal ones. On the road, there would be much fewer accidents, but the accidents that did happen on the street would be much more severe.

  4. #4
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    I'm in a rural area, this year, other than myself, I have seen one (1) cyclist that was riding on the road in the right direction. I see about 2 or 3, mostly kids, on bikes every day, about half on the road half on the sidewalks. So I guess thats almost-all to 2.
    Fear of traffic and the widespread misbelief that going against traffic is safer is what keeps people around here playing trauma chicken. But then again when you run or walk you are supposed to travel against traffic (at least that is what I've always been told), and the road is never the place for young children. And the sidewalk is where a whole lot of us first learned to bike, no wonder it's hard to get people off of it.

    --A

    P.S. Welcome back, Mars, glad you had a good time. I'm dying to get out of here for a spell.

  5. #5
    Lost in Los Angeles Bizurke's Avatar
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    If I were to ride on the sidewalk here I'd be dodging cars parked all the way accross the sidewalk, uneven slabs that have 6"+ difference, big holes, areas where the sidewalk stops for no reason, trees in the middle of the sidewalk, and a whole mess of other things.

  6. #6
    jur
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    I was in Cape Cod in 1989 for a course; I rented a bike (step-thru frame with a baby seat!) and cycled all over the place at night and the weekend. I rode on the road. I don't recall seeing sidewalks except in the mall area.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  7. #7
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    There is a portion of my commute upon which I ride the sidewalk. The road is a 50+ MPH section and in the morning there are lots of cars going plenty fast. There is no parking on that stretch of road, and a bike lane. However, plenty of motorists use the bike lane as a passing lane. It's not legal for them to do so, but unless ther is a police officer present, they are not going to get ticketed. Mass of car >> mass of bicycle. Therefore, the laws of physics triumph over the laws of man.

    The siedwalk in that section is 20 ft wide and has only 2 stop lights in a 1.5 mile stretch. There are plenty of people on bikes on that stretch of sidewalk.

    My rule of thumb is that I will ride where I feel safest. On that stretch of road, I feel safer on the sidewalk. On other roads, I feel safer on the road.

  8. #8
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Welcome back, MARS....
    I just got back from the coastal islands of Maine and am re-packing to move again
    I hope your vacation was as nice as mine (other than the rain !).
    I ride on a very short portion of sidewalk on Rt. 4 out of Rutland.
    For the sake of brevity I wont elaborate on the why's of this situation but for ecomony
    of time and more importantly, safety, I ride this short portion of walk. I dont think the
    things you mention as wanting to study would apply to the very experienced people who
    frequent this forum because they are so different than the casual weekend kruiser.
    The sidewalk does have its dangers as does the road. When I ride the 'walk I go walking
    pace and make all efforts to stay out of peds way. On the section I ride now Ive never
    met a ped but in another section I had to ride earlier this year I actually said 'hello' and
    exchanged pleasantries with the few Peds I passed every morning.
    This discussion rages with the very friendly, happy and open minded advocatistas over in A&S
    on any given day. My personal ideas are that no one rule can cover all peoples situations,
    all the time. Bicycles have the unique advantage of being able to safely move about in almost
    any terrain/area/situation and all can be taken advatantage of with a little common sense and
    respect for others.

  9. #9
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    Its really hard for me to guess on the number of sidewalk commuters I see. There are a lot of bike messengers who ride on everything, that confuse things. It also seems like the number fluctuates wildly. In some weeks I might see several sidewalk commuters, but then I might go a couple of weeks and see none.

    Like others I use the sidewalk for short sections where I think it is safer to be on the sidewalk than on the street. Generally, I find roads easier and safer, but I have no religious opposition to sidewalk riding. I would agree with some of the observations above. First I would guess most sidewalk accidents are probably minor compared to roadway accidents. I think the data might also group together two disparate groups -- regular commuters who use the sidewalk and kids/adolescents on the sidewalk. I would not be at all surprised if kids/adoloscents have more sidewalk accidents -- entering streets unexpectedly, driveway intersections, etc. Getting good data could be really tough and probably excruciatingly boring.

    The double HH's have returned to DC -- heat and humidity! It was like riding through a bathroom after 6 people have taken a shower in there. It's still nice to be riding, just not so fresh feeling. I did 65 miles yesterday on a gravel canal towpath and it took its toll. The legs were fine, but by the end my butt, back, shoulders and arms were hurting. I think in the future I need to remember to take a few more breaks to reduce the damage. The plan is to do perhaps another 40 miles tomorrow with my wife and son, then it will be time to rest up for the charity ride this coming weekend. 200 miles down the C & O canal over 4 days -- it will certainly be the longest ride I've ever done, but I'm feeling ready. I just have to wit for the big day.

    Ride safe everybody -- and remember to count those sidewalk riders!
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  10. #10
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    Yesterday I had the worst bike ride of my life -- and that includes one ride when as a child I had an unexpected encounter with the top bar on my stingray.

    The family went riding yesterday on the C & O Canal -- couldn't be easier riding right?

    Well a 1/2 mile out my wife breaks a spoke. I have spare spokes and some tools along, but not everything I need. As we struggle to change the spoke a couple touring the canal stop to offer help. They don't have the tools, but along comes another guy touring from Ohio with a BOB trailer and he has all the tools. So we get the cassette off, replace the spoke and true up the wheel. So we are off riding again and only 45 minutes lost. More evidence that bikers are the best of people.

    About a mile down the trail my son wipes out in a mud puddle and I was a little too close and run into his bike. Fortunately, he is unhurt but I raise a good size knot on my leg just below my knee. We get the bars straightened out and ride on a little dirtier, but still pedalling. About 5 miles further my son is complaining about not feeling well so we decide it is the heat and turn around. With a lot more water and a lunch break he seemed to be doing better.

    Resigned to pulling the plug on our ride we head toward the car. About a mile from the car I'm riding along and pitch a stick the thickness of my thumb up between the spokes of my front wheel. It jams and I go flying over the bars. I get the wind knocked out of me and pick up a few more scrapes but no physical damage. My front wheel is bent too much to ride, so after I catch my breath I take it off and manage to straighten it enough that I can push my bike the rest of the way to the car. As we got in the car we were joking that with our luck the car would explode or catch on fire when we started to drive!!

    Here's hoping your rides are better than mine!!
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  11. #11
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    ^^^^
    Wow MDnewbie........
    Sorry to hear about all your recent impromtu meetings with asphalt and
    steel
    I dont think anything will dampen your enthusiasm but I hope your Son
    still wants to ride !

    You did eat/recover at the Canal House, right ?

    Here it was heat and headwind today.
    Shirt off, lots of water.....real slow

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Lem -- thanks for the comiseration. Fortunately our enthusiasm was not as dented as the rest of us. We were west of Great falls and not yet as far as White's Ferry so we were kind of in the middle of nothing. Its a pleasant section of shady riding when you're not playing out some slapstick farce.

    I will be riding tomorrow. I plan to take Friday off the bike since Saturday I start my first long ride -- 184 miles down the C & O Canal from end to end. Despite the lacerations, bruises, contusions, etc. I am still excited to ride. Weather looks good, towpath conditions look good so let the fun begin.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  13. #13
    Specialized Crossroad XC xroader's Avatar
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    Light week this week - short work week, and I am on "taper" for the triathlon this weekend. (It's a short one - the ride is only two miles longer than my commute, so it should be fun)

    I commuted today, and had a great ride dispite all of the storm clutter and Independence day trash on the trail. The ride home (again in a downpour) was great - I only saw about five serious riders (and three runners) on the trail and we all shared a "damn the weather, full speed ahead" commradarie.

    I have the '89 Sirrus road bike that I picked up cheap just about fixed up now - new tubes, pedals, bar tape; wheels true; chain clean and lubed. I'll ride it into work on Friday if the weather is good, then, if all is well in the tri on Sunday.

    Maryland, sorry about the bad day on the C&O. I had an way too short ride there with my family last month when my 10-yr-old got a case of the whiners, but nothing as bad as all that.

    Hope everyone had a great 4th.

  14. #14
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    Lots of trees down on the CCT this morning -- all in a brief section at the Georgetown end of things. The Park Service had a crew there just starting to cut up the first one. Should be clear by this afternoon.

    I feel like I should congratulate myself for making one ride without an accident or injury. Maybe its a sign my luck is changing.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  15. #15
    On your left fatty Gusboh's Avatar
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    Next week's game is to see who has lost the most weight from their commute, or alternately, who has gone from a weedy little stick, to a thigh monster from their daily.

    (be creative with this one peoples. e.g. gaining a missus is + 120 lbs etc...)

    In other news, my bike is finally complete - i have my brooks, my fenders, my light setup, my pedals and shoes. I've just got to figure out how not to destroy stuff from riding along and i'll be happy.
    Anyone recommend a set of cheap brake calipers - side pull or dual pivot. Need to be long reach?

  16. #16
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Well this morning I wanted to see what I could do with very light traffic. So I left the house at 4:35 AM. and got to eork at 5:38 AM. Ended the run with a ARTS of 22.88 mph. I watched the stage 4 of the Tour de France and notice that their average speed was 25 mph. So I tried to see if I could hold that average. Well with the trunk and handlebag bag and a 6 lbs. battery, rain gear, work close and tubs tools, ect.... I could not.

    Anyways, had a very nice ride to and from work today.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  17. #17
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    My name is Nelle and I am a Slacker.

  18. #18
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Velogirl, your not a Slacker. Your a Relaxer.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

  19. #19
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie
    Lots of trees down on the CCT this morning -- all in a brief section at the Georgetown end of things. The Park Service had a crew there just starting to cut up the first one. Should be clear by this afternoon.
    Check out this tree blocking the C&O on Saturday! It covered about 35' of trail.

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  20. #20
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    Got my practice miles in for the 18mi 1-way I hope to start next month. I did my normal 12 mile ride in only to find I left my car keys [clothing, badge etc. in car]. So a nice 24 mile RT home in some rather damp cool weather. Since this is my RT day I also rode home for a total near 50 miles - whew.
    Korval is Ships
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  21. #21
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    Robtown -- it is amazing how much space some of these trees take when they are laying down. Makes you wonder what things looked like when they first cleared the land. I rode the eastern 26-27 miles on the C & O on Sunday and it was clear although you could see lots of debris on the sides of the towpath. I gather you were out riding the canal in training for the charity ride in September. I will be doing a charity ride down the C & O this weekend, although with a much more relaxed schedule than yours. Good luck with your ride.

    No commute for me as the bike and I are resting up. Tonight I'll give the drivetrain a good cleaning and make sure everything is tightened down and I'll be ready to hit the trail. Then I just have to pack my stuff. There is always so much to do on that last night.

    Velo -- I agree, go with the "Relaxer" tag, it sounds like you have it all planned out.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  22. #22
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    Back on the bike, 14 miles this morning, no problem.

    Got my chain link fence down...now to build a new fence from scratch. Posts go in tomorrow.

  23. #23
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie
    I will be doing a charity ride down the C & O this weekend, although with a much more relaxed schedule than yours. Good luck with your ride.

    No commute for me as the bike and I are resting up. Tonight I'll give the drivetrain a good cleaning and make sure everything is tightened down and I'll be ready to hit the trail. Then I just have to pack my stuff. There is always so much to do on that last night.
    Enjoy your 4-day ride. Your son is going too? I've challenged my 14 year old to ride the 2007 Seagull Century. I just got him a new-in-box Univega steel frame from the early 1980's. I'll ride SheRa - a Raleigh Gran Sport from the mid 1970's w/brooks saddle.
    I'll be riding the 50 mile qualifier Saturday from Carderrock to White's ferry.
    Korval is Ships
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  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Robtown -- Nope no son along on this trip. I'm not sure he's quite up to it yet. We did a mini-tour over Memorial Day (40 miles out -- hotel overnight -- 40 miles back) and he made it, but I think it was close to his limit. The family does keep making noise about wanting to ride the canal someday, so I figure maybe next year.

    Velo -- good luck with your fence. We pulled out a hedge and replaced it with a fence about 3 years ago and it was a lot of work. Fortunately, it still looks great and gets compliments from the neighbors. Don't work too hard and just remember -- plumb, straight and level.

    Have a great weekend everybody.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  25. #25
    Senior Member CigTech's Avatar
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    Hey Velogirl, what me to take a couple of hours and ride up there to help with the fence. Like it would only take a couple of hours... just kidding... it would take me about 14 days of non stop ridding to get up
    there. Good luck with the fence.

    Maryland, how long did it take you to go 40 miles? I would love to ride till I got tired and then the next day ride back. But I night on the way home from work I decided to see how far I could go and went 68 miles before I got home. And still had about 20 miles in me that I could have gone.
    May your feet keep move'n with the wind to your back.

    CigTech

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