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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 05-14-11, 02:12 PM   #1
Gharp23
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double striped, no shoulder roads

would you ride a road like this? I'm fairly new to commuting and found this road that cuts off a trail I ride often, it circles around a good 25-30 miles which is my ideal daily ride. Speed limit is 45 max. It's residential. light to moderate traffic depending on time. It's double striped and no shoulder all the way. The lane is kind of narrow also, so it seems it would be hard for someone to pass. If the speed limit was any higher I would probably say nay but I am kind of in the middle on this. Seems safe enough right? I have bright blinkys and headlights so that should help a bit.

What do you do on roads like this if you ride them? Any tips?


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Old 05-14-11, 02:22 PM   #2
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I recommend wearing one of those safety or construction vests with reflective stripes. Make yourself as visible as you can.
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Old 05-14-11, 02:36 PM   #3
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How much traffic on this road?
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Old 05-14-11, 03:01 PM   #4
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If that's your only route, then there aren't any options? I'm not sure of your area, but the law in my area states ride to the right as far as "practical". It is really up to you what you feel is the correct thing to do. Even on roads where I can take the lane (residential streets) I do ride towards the right most of the time.

Since that looks like a long straight road I would probably ride toward the right maybe hugging the white line within about a foot. However I would also do what I can to make myself visible with something along the lines of a reflective vest and maybe one of those poles with a flag that I see on recumbent's. Of course with flashing rear lights as well.
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Old 05-14-11, 03:05 PM   #5
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Why the heck is that road double-striped?
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Old 05-14-11, 03:08 PM   #6
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I would ride it, if it's lightly trafficked. I was hit by a truck on a similar road, but that road was fairly busy and hilly. Yours seems safer. Control the lane and I think you'll be fine. Lighting, reflectivity.
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Old 05-14-11, 03:20 PM   #7
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Love these kinds of roads (assuming light traffic.)

I would ride in the right tire track generally. Just keep an eye on your rearview mirror and you'll be fine.
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Old 05-14-11, 03:41 PM   #8
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if it's double striped and too narrow to pass safely in the lane (which that one is), it's imperative to ride far enough out that even the most feeble-minded driver can see they are going to have to cross the magic double line to pass. Otherwise they will squeeze by, your safety be damned. We have lots of these around here, not sure what the thought process is to paint the lines.

And yes, I prefer lightly traveled roads with no shoulders to heavily traveled roads with shoulders.
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Old 05-14-11, 04:16 PM   #9
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Looks like a beautiful stretch of road. Take enough of the lane so you're not squeezed by yellow-line purists. Even though you describe "light to moderate" traffic, there might be times you'd cause a multi-car backup. I'd then pull off for a moment to be courteous. If this happened a lot, I'd consider a different route.
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Old 05-14-11, 05:38 PM   #10
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That's pretty much my entire route right there, so yes, I'd ride it and do daily. The traffic is not too bad so I just ride. If there happens to be oncoming traffic when cars come up behind me, they just have to wait, it's never more than 10 seconds.
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Old 05-14-11, 08:11 PM   #11
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Looks like part of my route, agree with above posters, control the lane, reflectors, watch your mirror.
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Old 05-14-11, 11:25 PM   #12
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Besides the hi-vis clothing and lights already recommended, get yourself a rear view mirror. Then position yourself near the center of the lane, and monitor traffic. When oncoming traffic is present hold your ground so overtaking traffic behind you will have to slow for a few seconds instead of squeezing by. Add slow/stop hand signals and look backs when necessary. When oncoming traffic is not present you can glide slightly right to help facilitate / encourage a pass by overtaking traffic once they are near.
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Old 05-15-11, 05:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
if it's double striped and too narrow to pass safely in the lane (which that one is), it's imperative to ride far enough out that even the most feeble-minded driver can see they are going to have to cross the magic double line to pass. Otherwise they will squeeze by, your safety be damned. We have lots of these around here, not sure what the thought process is to paint the lines.

And yes, I prefer lightly traveled roads with no shoulders to heavily traveled roads with shoulders.
Well said.

Speed limit is less important than what the cars actually do. I'd go by that.
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Old 05-15-11, 07:09 AM   #14
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I have a couple of stretches of roads like that on my commute, so yes. If your area is anything like my area, be prepared to be honked at even if there is no oncoming traffic.
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Old 05-15-11, 07:14 AM   #15
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I would. Do this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I recommend wearing one of those safety or construction vests with reflective stripes. Make yourself as visible as you can.
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Old 05-15-11, 08:19 AM   #16
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Looks swell.
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Old 05-15-11, 09:02 AM   #17
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Personally I can't see any reason for tha road to be double-striped. A 'safety' thing for the sake of doing something I guess. On that road, I'd monitor the traffict situation in front and behind. If there's oncoming traffic and cars behind you, control the lane. Otherwise sit a bit further over in the right tyre track. That way, you're still visible and motorists can't squeeze past you in the lane. If they want to pass you (which seems perfectly safe on that stretch despite the double line) it's their call if they want to cross the line. I'd run a bright rear flashing light even during the day.
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Old 05-15-11, 09:30 AM   #18
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From my POV, that road is a prescription for road rage.
(Lanes too narrow to pass a bike) + (Double stripes making it illegal to pass slower-moving vehicles) = (frustrated motorists, especially if a bike takes the lane)

If I had a road like that around here I would be complaining to the authorities.
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Old 05-15-11, 09:56 AM   #19
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My regular commute has a road just like this. 5 miles long w/rolling terrain and ditches of 3-4 feet in places. It's the main arterial route between a highly travelled urban main road and a less travelled, but main semi-rural road. Plenty of lighting and reflective material. Been riding it since 2006 w/o so much as a horn blown at me in that whole time. Of course I ride it at 5:15 AM and 3:45 PM which puts me ahead of the main glut of traffic. Take all necessary precautions and ride it as much as your nerve will allow. I'll admit to being intimidated the first few times even though I'd ridden in heavy urban traffic for most of my commuting life. But, after a while I got used to it and now it's just another road to me. YMMV.
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Old 05-15-11, 10:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
From my POV, that road is a prescription for road rage.
(Lanes too narrow to pass a bike) + (Double stripes making it illegal to pass slower-moving vehicles) = (frustrated motorists, especially if a bike takes the lane)

If I had a road like that around here I would be complaining to the authorities.
If a driver doesn't pass a cyclist on a road like this when nobody is coming from the opposite direction, then road rage is the least of his/her problems. A little common sense goes a long way to alleviate that issue.
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Old 05-15-11, 11:43 AM   #21
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when I lived in western Ohio (very, very few road cyclists), I'd have a problem with drivers refusing to pass over the double yellow about 1-2 times a month. Never had that problem in PA.

There's a stretch of road near my parent's house that I have to ride in order to reach the surrounding rural areas. It's a one lane each way stretch that's very narrow, uphill (going outwards), and fairly heavily trafficked with no places to pull off. By the time the road widens again, I usually have 4-5 cars behind me. I wouldn't choose the route over any other viable alternative, but its at least usable.
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Old 05-15-11, 11:56 AM   #22
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Doing some research, it seems some states have an exception to double-yellow lines laws if the passed vehicle is a bicycle.
I just found my own state, (CO), has such a law.
This was news to me.
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Old 05-15-11, 12:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Doing some research, it seems some states have an exception to double-yellow lines laws if the passed vehicle is a bicycle.
I just found my own state, (CO), has such a law.
This was news to me.
http://www.michie.com/colorado/lpext...main-h.htm&cp=


42-4-1005. Limitations on overtaking on the left.

Quote:
The provisions of this section <the section talking about no passing zones> shall not apply:
... (d) To the driver of a vehicle passing a bicyclist moving the same direction and in the same lane when such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with, impeding, or endangering other traffic lawfully using the highway.

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Old 05-15-11, 12:41 PM   #24
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Have a few roads like that but mostly in what people call "the sticks" and everyone drives a huge truck.
And roads like that here are usually pitch black at night and some times there is a ditch on the side. :/
Some drivers were nice enough to pass and others just haul ass even when no one is coming from the opposite direction.
I've had people yell and say I can't ride on here and they can't pass because of the double striped which is really stupid. It's just fking paint.
Even though the speed limit is 40 - 45 people drive 70 on it. The traffic varies.


I don't have any mirrors or bright coloured clothing and I ride a single speed. I run lights during the day too.
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Old 05-15-11, 01:09 PM   #25
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I ride roads like that all the time -- half my commute is like that. Roads posted at 35 or 45; drivers usually doing +10mph. Law in my state is "...as far right as practicable..." and if the shoulder is crumbled, I'll get as far into the lane as I need to in order to ride safely.

States I ride through both have 3' passing laws; ME has a "cars can pass over double yellow to pass bikes when safe to do so" law on the books.

But honestly, 99 out of 100 cars give plenty of room when passing and slow when I'm way out in the lane if passing is unsafe. I wear hi-viz only about half the time, but run awesome lights and two out back for dark or dreary days.
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