This is my daily commute dilemma. I live 1.5 miles away from school via a very busy 4 lane highway or I can go 5 miles down a 2 lane road and over 2 railroad tracks that makes a V shape to school.
-faster commute means less time on the road (read: time in the danger zone where a careless car commuter can hit me)
-4 lanes means 2 lanes going my way and it's easier for cars to safely pass me.
-Call it Bike evangelism: the more people who see someone commuting by bike the more likely they are to feel like they can do it and the more comfortable they'll be driving around bicycles.
-at least 10 times as many cars pass me, I see wrecks on this stretch of road every week.
-morning car commuters don't always respect my right to the road
-not a very long shoulder, maybe 0.4 miles of the trip.
Back road Pros:
-prettier commute, more foliage to look at, more shade.
-more time on the bike
-only 15 cars pass me instead of 200.
Back road Cons:
-more time in SC heat
-less time at home or at school studying (the no studying can be a pro too)
-2 railroad tracks are in poor condition and really jar me and the bike if I go more than 1 mph over them
-cars have only 1 lane so they either pass really close or have to cross a double yellow into oncoming traffic to pass
I'm sure many of us face similar conundrums. What would you choose for me, and what do you choose daily?