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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-31-09, 04:22 PM   #1
JoeyBike
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How far out of your way will you ride to avoid a "Death Zone"?

How far out of your way will you ride to avoid a "Death Zone"?

I currently ride one mile extra to avoid undue stress on my route. I have biked as much as 3 to 5 extra miles on a MUP to avoid surface streets at certain times of day. I bet plenty of you do the same thing. I would be interested to read about it.
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Old 03-31-09, 04:28 PM   #2
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what do you consider a "death zone"?
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Old 03-31-09, 04:28 PM   #3
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I try to get some extra distance in on my commute, as it's a bit short for me. I think if I took the major streets it'd be about 2.5 miles, but my default route is 3.5. It's amazing how little detouring you have to do to add a mile to your trip.

Most of the streets here are just fine for biking, though. It's pretty much only the 2-3 major streets near my commute and around my office that aren't.
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Old 03-31-09, 04:53 PM   #4
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My commute is nice. About 5.5 miles of the 8 mile one-way trip I do is on a MUP. That's the fastest way. VERY nice!
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Old 03-31-09, 04:55 PM   #5
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I guess I'm lucky, the MUPs are near the kill zone, or the path I take is the MUP.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:14 PM   #6
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what do you consider a "death zone"?
Death Zone aka Death Road: A road or intersection that is inherently dangerous or made more so by heavy traffic at certain times of the day. An area on your route that would be better detoured around for safety.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:35 PM   #7
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I love riding. More miles for a safer ride is a win win. I would say a few miles here and a few miles there. My favorite route to work has extra miles in it just for that.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:35 PM   #8
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I deal with those by driving. Life's short enough as it is.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:38 PM   #9
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You don't understand... I am the death zone.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:38 PM   #10
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In Soviet Russia, death zone avoids you.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:39 PM   #11
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Death zone is just another name for the leading edge of Chuck Norris' fist.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:51 PM   #12
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There are days when I'm up for the gauntlet, and there are days when I'm not. Since moving, I don't have to face anything as bad as 2nd Ave at rush hour, but during those days I did learn that I'm the limitation. When I'm not feeling on my game, I'll do an extra mile or so in order to avoid getting into situations my reflexes aren't up to. Probably not more than that distance, though.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:58 PM   #13
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I tend to ride the most direct route, which has means primary arterials. I do take alternate routes sometimes, but not because I'm avoiding traffic.
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Old 03-31-09, 06:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Death Zone aka Death Road: A road or intersection that is inherently dangerous or made more so by heavy traffic at certain times of the day. An area on your route that would be better detoured around for safety.
Coming from some one who claims running red lights is safe

Depends on the ride that I want. I will avoid certain road rage roads if I don't need to add miles.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
I currently ride one mile extra to avoid undue stress on my route. I have biked as much as 3 to 5 extra miles on a MUP to avoid surface streets at certain times of day. I bet plenty of you do the same thing. I would be interested to read about it.
Actually, I'll do the opposite: travel extra distance to avoid the MUP. Around here, MUPs are crowded, and most users don't seem to think of themselves as being in traffic, whereas everyone on the street has that clue. It makes things so much easier if everyone understands that we're all just trying to get from point A to point B, no matter what our vehicles.
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Old 03-31-09, 09:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulwwalters View Post
In Soviet Russia, death zone avoids you.

Yeah, but imagine a Beowulf cluster of Surly Big Dummies rolling through there...

1. Locate death zone along route
2. Roll along on BD cluster
3. ???
4. Profit!
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Old 03-31-09, 09:40 PM   #17
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I usually only need to go one or two blocks to find a way around. If it was going to be very far, maybe 2 miles +, I would probably find a way to navigate the problem area.
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Old 03-31-09, 09:57 PM   #18
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I often ride an extra 3-4 miles on my commute to avoid traffic or a bad bike path. The extra miles make it so I don't have as many stop signs to wait for. I don't really time myself, but I think this actually saves time. 1 stop sign and 1 traffic light in trade for 10 (the bike lane is just stupid with stop signs). There is another alternative to the bike path that I take that goes behind a shopping mall, and probably adds about a half mile. For whatever reason, this route has much more through traffic than you would expect considering it's effectively a parking lot. I've even seen a cop back there. This avoids some really bad intersections on the bike path.
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Old 03-31-09, 10:22 PM   #19
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I tend to take side streets anyway, and in a lot of cases it adds little or no mileage to my ride. That said, there are a few spots where I simply have to get out into traffic. If I do, I do. It's funny because I tell people around town where I ride my bike and they think I'm off my rocker. I just make myself as visible as possible and try to either get the hellouttathaway, or unambiguously take the lane, whichever seems safer.
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Old 03-31-09, 11:13 PM   #20
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I've detoured as much as 3-4 miles to avoid a Death Road. we have a lot of those here in PG County. we also have the highest pedestrian and bicycle fatality rate in the greater DC area.
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Old 03-31-09, 11:20 PM   #21
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11 miles in, 16 miles home. (It's a "death zone" in the p.m.)
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Old 03-31-09, 11:57 PM   #22
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I tend to ride the most direct route, which has means primary arterials. I do take alternate routes sometimes, but not because I'm avoiding traffic.
Same here. The most direct route. usually the bikg 4-6 lane boulevards. I sometimes want to look for a detour but I always forget. I should do that now.
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Old 04-01-09, 12:04 AM   #23
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it's a learned thing....

When I started to bike commute, I tried the most direct route... big mistake. It took weeks, perhaps months to come up with a route that made distance and safety sense.

One of the big factors was dumping myself on the left side, (hard), onto the street when my tires slipped out from under me on a greasy-wet-angled section of concrete just after the French Cafe on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood California (west-bound). I have not and will not ride that section again.

My route to and from work is very different for safety reasons. The additional time and distance in my evening commute is not a concern when it involves my safety. (17.5 miles round trip)

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Old 04-01-09, 02:25 AM   #24
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I gladly add an extra 6 feet to my daily commute to stay off the "Death Zone" Bike Lane.


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Old 04-01-09, 06:09 AM   #25
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There is a road 2 blocks from my house which runs STRAIGHT to the office, with just a few stop lights. Runs along a rail line. Unfortuantely, drivers have figured this out and turned this surface road into a mini-highway to downtown, hauling a** and driving aggressively. I've almost fully given up on riding it, except weekend mornings when it's completely empty! I take surface streets for my sanity. It adds maybe a half mile extra.
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