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  1. #1
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    What should I do on these roads?

    There a road about 2 miles long that I have to ride to get to the highway. Theres a gravel plant where many big gravel trucks use that road. When I hear them coming I just get off my bike and get to the left side of the road and walk it till they are gone. 4 trucks passed me today in one instance and they slowed down for me a long ways away but i wouldnt take the chance riding on the right side cause one truck passes me and the other truck wouldnt see me good cause of the dust. I guess I ride like normal till I hear them trucks. I can hear them miles away.

  2. #2
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Just to clarify - you normally ride on the right, but when a truck is coming up behind you, you cross over to the left to be sure you are well out of its way - is that right?

    I see your point that the first truck might pass you but the following one might not see you due to dust.

  3. #3
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    I get off my bike and walk in the left lane when I hear a truck behind me so that im fully aware of whats happening from the front and back.

  4. #4
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipknot0129 View Post
    I get off my bike and walk in the left lane when I hear a truck behind me so that im fully aware of whats happening from the front and back.
    Left lane? I thought you meant you go over to the left shoulder.

  5. #5
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    Left side of the road since its an unpaved road. No shoulder but I could walk on peoples yards. Also there was a semi in front of me as the other semi's were coming behind me. They slowed down when they saw me.

  6. #6
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    I hope someone else with rural backroad experience chips in - I have nothing to offer.

  7. #7
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    It sounds like you're doing the right thing - getting out of the way of the trucks and making sure they see you.
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  8. #8
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    I think I will stay to the right cause they could probably see me.

  9. #9
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Get outta the way(other side of the road is ok if you ask me) since they ain't slowing down for no cyclist.... those guys can barely stop at intersections. dangerous.

    a) rocks and dirt will go flying in your face if you are close.
    b) pressure wave from truck can suck you over.
    c) truck will have to switch out of the tire tracks if you are in one of the tracks and this makes controlling it harder and flings more crap around. Many drivers won't want todo this and that will be very dangerous for you since that makes for a very close pass if you are on the shoulder and they choose not to switch tire tracks.
    d) be super visible, if it is raining the trucks will have even less control.
    e) if two trucks are coming at once from opposite directions seek cover - just get off the road.

  10. #10
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    I will probably do what the above says. Takes me 15 mins to go through that road but proably alot of times I wont meet those trucks.

  11. #11
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    I share roads with dump trucks on part of my work commute, and ride near the center of the right lane. I watch them in my mirror and then ease right once they start to get near. I receive good treatment almost all of the time.

    Is your lane wide enough to share with a large truck? I have one section that isn't, and then I just stay centered and signal for them to wait behind when there is a blind curve or I see oncoming traffic approaching at the same time. One guy gave me the long honk a couple of times, but even he passed me safely after the coast was clear.

    If you're concerned about multiple trucks and dust, you especially want to make sure the lead driver moves left. Any following drivers will know something is up and play follow the leader. You'll see all this in your mirror.

    The bigger concern here is preventing a close pass where you are likely to be clipped, not worrying that they will run over someone right in front of them. Happy riding!
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  12. #12
    Senior Member Milice's Avatar
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    Trucks are all just part of the ride, they are not out to run you over, jsut as the average car driver is not out to get you I would just ride that road the same as I ride any other road.
    If it looks like the $3000 bikes but costs less than a decent helmet, it probably isn't a wise investment.


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  13. #13
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    You should be either a vehicle or a pedestrian - don't switch between the two for momentary changes in conditions. Truckers can see you ahead, switching, and don't know what the $%^&* you're going to do next. Better to be predictable - then they know what they're dealing with.

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    pictures would help. the idea of crossing the road from one side to the other to wait out the truck passing sounds unnecessary
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    You should be either a vehicle or a pedestrian - don't switch between the two for momentary changes in conditions. Truckers can see you ahead, switching, and don't know what the $%^&* you're going to do next. Better to be predictable - then they know what they're dealing with.
    Bingo! We have a winner.

    [/thread]

  16. #16
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    I think I confused the drivers when I switched to a pedestrian. Ill stick to the right but it might be hard cause the outside has more loose gravel.

  17. #17
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    You mentioned that in fact they slow down before overtaking you, so clearly they are taking your safety quite seriously.

    You mentioned that one concern about being on the right, is that the first truck might pull around you while the second may not see you in the dust. I can understand that. However the second driver knows that the first truck has slowed down and veered around something, so presumably he will be on his guard.

    If you move to the left, and let the first truck pass to the right of you, there is a risk that his dust will then obscure you from oncoming traffic, or from an impatient person passing the truck and hitting you from behind. So I guess keeping to the right wins out in the end.

    The only situation I have faced something like this was training on a two way section of the TransCanada Highway during a consulting trip to Kenora. On one uphill, right-hand curve, the shoulder narrowed to nothing, forcing you into the lane riding slowly uphill with full-speed vehicles coming blindly around the curve behind you. In that case I premptively moved all the way over to the left shoulder before the curve, since it had good sight lines and a shallow ditch, and if oncoming traffic decided to pull onto the shoulder I had room to evade them.

    That was still a bit different from your situation.

  18. #18
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cone Wrench View Post
    Bingo! We have a winner.

    [/thread]
    No, have you been on a ****ty dirt road with loaded gravel trucks passing you before. I don't think it is as cut and dry as simply acting like a car. For one gravel trucks don't pass cars on dirt roads and being in a car provides a larger margin of safety. I would treat this the same way you should treat a snow-plow coming from behind, move to the opposite side of the road or just get off the road and wait for it to pass.

  19. #19
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    I don't think it is as cut and dry as simply acting like a car. For one gravel trucks don't pass cars on dirt roads and being in a car provides a larger margin of safety.
    Cars are much wider and going as fast as the trucks... that's why the truckers don't pass 'em... it's too hard and unsafe!

    Passing a slow moving narrow vehicle (a bike) is much easier and safer, especially if the cyclist doesn't allow an unsafe pass.

    The fact that the road is unpaved/gravel means the trucks will be going slower than they would on pavement, lowering the speed differential between them and a bike. This gives everyone more time to interact with each other.
    Last edited by AlmostTrick; 03-05-10 at 09:50 PM.
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  20. #20
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    Cars are much wider and going as fast as the trucks...
    It isn't safer for the cyclist, the relative speeds when vehicles are passing each other are what make things dangerous. Anywhere you look, the faster the relative speeds the more dangerous the passing and risk of a sudden movement being fatal without a chance for correction.

  21. #21
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    It isn't safer for the cyclist, the relative speeds when vehicles are passing each other are what make things dangerous. Anywhere you look, the faster the relative speeds the more dangerous the passing and risk of a sudden movement being fatal without a chance for correction.
    Edited into my last post as you were posting:

    "The fact that the road is unpaved/gravel means the trucks will be going slower than they would on pavement, lowering the speed differential between them and a bike. This gives everyone more time to interact with each other."

    Have you had (m)any close calls with trucks in this situation?
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  22. #22
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    Edited into my last post as you were posting:

    "The fact that the road is unpaved/gravel means the trucks will be going slower than they would on pavement, lowering the speed differential between them and a bike. This gives everyone more time to interact with each other."

    Have you had (m)any close calls with trucks in this situation?
    Lots, where i used to ride there were 3 gravel pits... These guys do 60-80km/h on two lane dirt roads.

  23. #23
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    I think it would be safer to stay to the right cause alot of cars drive on that road slow not trying to get their car dirty. The trucks seemed to react very fast to me.

  24. #24
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Since it's a two lane road the trucks have plenty of room to move left to pass a cyclist safely. As the cyclist you just need to get off the far right edge of the road so they don't try to sqeeze by in the same lane. Right tire track usually suffices. This is even more important when there is oncoming traffic blocking them from moving left.

    electrik:

    The op has noticed that the drivers are showing care as they deal with him/her, and the majority of the posters above have found the same to be true. If you are having lots of close calls, I respectfully submit that you may want to consider addressing your techniques in these situations.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  25. #25
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    You should be either a vehicle or a pedestrian - don't switch between the two for momentary changes in conditions. Truckers can see you ahead, switching, and don't know what the $%^&* you're going to do next. Better to be predictable - then they know what they're dealing with.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cone Wrench View Post
    Bingo! We have a winner.

    [/thread]
    Funny, I don't see a solution, just an opinion.

    Frankly there are times when it's just best to get the **** out of the way. Doesn't sound like its that frequent.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

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