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Old 03-05-10, 01:20 AM   #1
Joeybsmooth
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Trucks and bridges

I want to really go some place on my Bike, but I live on a highway. So there a a few bridges and a lot of Mac Trucks on my road. How do you guys deal with those?
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Old 03-05-10, 01:45 AM   #2
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Bridges? Ride across them. Mack Trucks? dunno most trucks around here are International, Volvo, Kenworth, etc.

Just ride, and watch for traffic. If its a busy highway, I would find somewhere else to ride...drive to a quieter location?
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Old 03-05-10, 03:48 AM   #3
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Depends on the road design of the bridge, how heavy traffic is, etc., but I would most likely find a gap in traffic that I could establish the lane position I wanted before reaching the bridge, then ride across. If the design of the road and traffic doesn't allow passing while on the bridge, then faster traffic will just have to slow and wait to pass until after we get off the bridge. When we leave the bridge I would likely shift to the right to extend the courtesy of ease of passing if the design of the road allowed that, and I determined it safe for me to do so.

I don't think the type of motor vehicle whose operator desires to pass is important. Actually I find the operators of large trucks to be among the most professional and courteous on the road. What is important is that the cyclist make themself visible from a distance and ride in a predictable manner that makes their presence and lane position blatantly obvious.

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Old 03-05-10, 03:52 AM   #4
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I pretty much agree with CommuterRun. Whenever I ride through tunnels (which there are lot of here in some rural areas) I tend to take the lane entirely. Most people seem understanding.
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Old 03-05-10, 07:16 AM   #5
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I pretty much agree with CommuterRun. Whenever I ride through tunnels (which there are lot of here in some rural areas) I tend to take the lane entirely. Most people seem understanding.
I live on a peninsula that may as well be an island since the only other approach is 20+ miles away. I was returning to the peninsula with traffic and in the far right lane (no sidewalk or bike lane of course) and got hit by and older driver in a large passenger car that presumably couldn't see anything smaller than another car. This was 5 days ago I will no longer ride on a confined roadway (bridge, tunnel, etc) when there is no safe bike lane or at least a curb where I can tuck tail and dismount and walk off to the side. I survived the first time but I doubt I can't get that lucky twice in a row.
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Old 03-05-10, 07:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Joeybsmooth View Post
I want to really go some place on my Bike, but I live on a highway. So there a a few bridges and a lot of Mac Trucks on my road. How do you guys deal with those?
We ride with them everyday? It is called traffic.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...rrel-Ride-No-5

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Old 03-05-10, 07:33 AM   #7
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I will no longer ride on a confined roadway (bridge, tunnel, etc) when there is no safe bike lane or at least a curb where I can tuck tail and dismount and walk off to the side.
If I applied the same logic after I was hit by a 22 y.o. driver in an intersection in broad daylight on a sunny day, I'd be confined to riding after dark, stuck on my block, and only near the senior center.

Getting hit is no picnic. But it's also no reason to resign from the game. It's early days and your thoughts are likely to change in time once you're back on the road.

To the OP's question, naturally it varies by region, but around here I've found professional truck drivers are the most courteous. They have a vested interest in keeping their record clean and accident-free.

I take the lane where necessary, and yield it where I can. The pros seem to know how to respond to my behavior. They also seem to respect that I make myself easy to see and signal my intentions.
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Old 03-05-10, 08:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JordanOnaBike View Post
This was 5 days ago I will no longer ride on a confined roadway (bridge, tunnel, etc) when there is no safe bike lane or at least a curb where I can tuck tail and dismount and walk off to the side. I survived the first time but I doubt I can't get that lucky twice in a row.
Can I have your bike? Sounds like you won't be using it much.

A curb won't help you if a motorist is a theat. You probably won't have time to tuck tail. A bike lane won't protect you unless there is a steel wall between you and the cars.

If you are to enjoy riding, you need to realize that statistically, those events are actually few and far between. Sure you say, Artkansas rides in cycling paradise. He doesn't understand my situation. I bet he's never been hit.

Nope, I've been run over by a Mustang while waiting for a left turn light. I've been doored by a Ford Galaxie and knocked the door off it's hinges, I've had a 64' Impala deliberately slam me to the curb and a several other interesting adventures. But in 50 years of riding you have to expect a few glitches. And I've discovered that the longer you are on the road, the less frequently these things seem to happen.

Good luck riding.
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Last edited by Artkansas; 03-05-10 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 03-05-10, 09:17 AM   #9
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Can I have your bike? Sounds like you won't be using it much.
I doubt it has any use other than as evidence. It was a high speed impact and the frame is certainly ruined. To add salt to the wound (literally) the bike was thrown over the railing on the bridge and landed in 40' of salt water.
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Old 03-05-10, 09:51 AM   #10
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I prefer not to ride on highways, but "highway" is a broad term. Any pictures of the highway; bridges; lane setup and shoulder area?

Do you have Hi-Vis clothing and rear facing strobes?
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Old 03-05-10, 11:34 AM   #11
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I ride on a highway that has a very narrow bridge, no shoulder, no sidewalk. It's just at the growing edge of town, so it's pretty busy for its size. At first, I stayed right once my wide shoulder disappeared. Wrong. Buzzed on a bridge is no fun. Now, I try to time a gap in traffic to take the lane early enough that drivers coming up behind me have time to slow from 100km/h to 30 km/h. Fortunately, it's a short bridge, so I'm often over it before motorists have totally caught up to me. I keep watch in my mirror the whole way, and I'm ready to dive right if it looks like trouble (hasn't happened yet... everyone seems to see me fine).

Note on taking the lane... if you're travelling into the setting/rising sun, you may be very difficult to see. If I'm squinting, I know I may be invisible, so I keep a very close eye on my mirror if I'm travelling into the sun. I also keep a very close watch out for motorists turning left into my path if I have the sun at my back.
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Old 03-05-10, 12:42 PM   #12
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I was reading a while back where a guy was touring down on the Gulf coast of Texas and elsewhere. There were a number of places where there were long narrow bridges with no riding room but high speed traffic. Seems like he was on a recumbent trike, maybe had a trailer. Anyway, his solution was just to thumb a ride across the bridges. Half the vehicles are pickups with nothing in the back anyway, and he said that worked pretty well. I don't have that problem around here, though.

I remember my dad telling about one of the truss-type bridges down there in the Houston area where you could see where the paint was scraped up on the bridge from trucks hitting their mirrors there. I don't think that one is there anymore, though.
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Old 03-05-10, 01:06 PM   #13
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Living on a barrier island like I do, dealing bridges and traffic is an everyride thing. One bridge has a segregated bike path and the rest have wide shoulders to ride on. Only one bridge is narrow with no accommodations for bikes and peds. Most drivers are respectful, abet reluctant, to give the lane when needed. There the few that get aggravated and make threats, but no more then they do at other cars.
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Old 03-05-10, 04:24 PM   #14
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As a kid, maybe 8 or 9, I remember riding to the house of a friend who lived on Siesta Key in Sarasota. I remember crossing the bridge. It was a narrow metal draw bridge that raised up to let the boats through. There was a large truck behind me, going very slowly.

Can you say, no parental supervision. One of those times when I pedaled too far.
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Old 03-05-10, 06:44 PM   #15
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You really do have to look out for them Macks though. Every time those old bulldogs goes past a fire hydrant they want to veer off to the right and take a sniff.(pee).
Thanks all for coming to us poor old truck drivers defense.
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Old 03-06-10, 10:19 AM   #16
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I doubt it has any use other than as evidence. It was a high speed impact and the frame is certainly ruined. To add salt to the wound (literally) the bike was thrown over the railing on the bridge and landed in 40' of salt water.
Ouch, I can see why you are road shy at the moment.

But give it time and don't give up riding.
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