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  1. #1
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    Bike paths or Roads

    g'day,

    i am curious to find out what people prefer....bike paths or roads? Now on many rides i've been on, you use both to get to where your going, but which do people prefer riding on. What about riding in groups, do you feel more safer riding on the road with more people?

  2. #2
    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    Roads! Bike paths are a joke. They get us off the road and we have to share it with walkers, joggers, dogs, rollerbladers, etc. And they all get pissed because we're on the bike path. We have a right to the road. In my state it's the law.

  3. #3
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Even though we have a real gem in the American River Bike Trail, I still have to say roads.

    Why? Neither my house nor my office are on a bike trail.
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    Senior Member seacycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctyler
    Roads! Bike paths are a joke. They get us off the road and we have to share it with walkers, joggers, dogs, rollerbladers, etc.
    Exactly. IMO, nothing's more dangerous than a bike path crowded with the above. If it's cold out and the path isn't too populated, I may give it a shot, but otherwise, I'll take my chances on the road.

  5. #5
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Roads all the way. Apparently some people here in Brisbane find the bike paths ok - just about every cyclist I talk to uses them for some part of their commute, but then again they never give themselves the chance to get used to riding on the road with traffic. Avoiding traffic has never been a high priority for me. In fact, I reckon that the heavier the traffic is, the safer it is to cycle. You can't tell people that though - it's just seems too counter-intuituve to them.
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  6. #6
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    Roads. One of the problems with bike paths is that since you are separated from the street, you are less likely to be seen by autos. So when you have to cross a street, you more likely to get hit than if you were on the street. I ride some bike paths, but only ones that don't cross very many streets (they run along lakes, rivers, or railroad tracks).

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister
    Avoiding traffic has never been a high priority for me. In fact, I reckon that the heavier the traffic is, the safer it is to cycle.
    I've noticed the same thing. More witnesses seems to be a guarantee of less trouble in these parts. My biggest issue with bike paths is the fact that so few of them actually go anywhere -- and those that do tend to go to places that I rarely have any need to visit (or any interest in visiting). It's rather difficult to get a decent ride on the same 200 metre stretch of concrete. Even then, it's still a question of dealing with any number of pointless deviations that go nowhere.

    Then of course, there's the safety issue. On most bikepaths, the treatment at intersections is such that one is better positioned to deal with them by simply remaining on the road in the approach. Not to mention all the other obstacles that seem to crop up on these things relentlessly such as overhaning branches, massive cracks in the concrete, huge dropoffs on the edge of the path that have a nasty habit of tripping tyres. It's much safer to just stay on the road.
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  8. #8
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    We ride road bikes and we ride mountain bike.... not path bikes. That's not to say MUPs and path systems aren't a wonderful resource, but they aren't one that we necessarily have a need for in this stage of our lives.

  9. #9
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Roads. I'd rather take my chances sharing the road with motorized vehicles and cyclists than share a MUP with pedestrians, joggers, bladers, dog walkers, kids, and cyclists.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  10. #10
    FixedGearQueer nolageek's Avatar
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    It depends. Some of our roads are really crappy. But, comunting I only have one stretch of road that has a bike path - and I take the path everytime.

    I find it ironic that the same people that complain about pedestrians on the paths are the same people that get all in a tissy when motorists complain about cyclists on the roads. The ugly truth is, we all get annoyed when someone is in our way - be it a cyclist in the road or a kid on the path.

    I ride my bike to avoid road rage - I'm certainly not going to replace it with.. path paroxysm?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolageek
    I find it ironic that the same people that complain about pedestrians on the paths are the same people that get all in a tissy when motorists complain about cyclists on the roads. The ugly truth is, we all get annoyed when someone is in our way - be it a cyclist in the road or a kid on the path.

    I ride my bike to avoid road rage - I'm certainly not going to replace it with.. path paroxysm?
    That's a pretty astute observation actually, but since cycling is recreation for me and not primary transportation I can easily put up with path issues. Most urban paths though (American River Trail excepted) are much more dangerous than roads, especially when they parallel them. Yikes.

  12. #12
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolageek
    I find it ironic that the same people that complain about pedestrians on the paths are the same people that get all in a tissy when motorists complain about cyclists on the roads. The ugly truth is, we all get annoyed when someone is in our way - be it a cyclist in the road or a kid on the path.
    If I rode my bike on the road the way pedestrians behave on the paths, I'd end up dead, or at the very least, arrested. The issue has nothing to do with being "held up" or anything else, just certain standards of behaviour that are appropriate.
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  13. #13
    'Bent Brian
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    I've recently switched my commute route to incorporate the Elyria to Oberlin portion of a rails-to-trails MUP. Doing so allows me to avoid some narrow roads with high speed vehicular traffic (and a lot of crazies). I have had no problems on the path, in fact I would say it is pleasant. I usually see 15-20 cyclists, 3 or 4 roller bladers, and a few joggers. In fact, on my commute last night the best parts were exchanging pleasantries with the roller bladers and joggers.

    All of the MUP intersections with streets and roads are clearly marked and controlled by stop signs. The path does go "cross country" and does not parallel any roads making the crossings not near any road intersections. I do have to ride a couple of busy streets to access the path but for the most part I can move suffiently with the traffic to avoid having any issues. I guess it all comes down to how well the path is planned and how well it is controlled. And how well the users of the path "follow da rules".

    'bent Brian

  14. #14
    Big Man Riding... MMPC's Avatar
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    Like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with bike paths. In one sense, it's nice knowing you're not going to be mowed down by a car. There's always the chance, however, that you'll have a "close encounter" with a pedestrain, blader or jogger. For the most part, the people on the trails here seem to understand rights of way and I have yet to experience a major problem. I compare it to rush-hour traffic at times, though, because of the high number of trail users. In that sense, I like the road better and figure I'll just take my chances with cars. My strategy? I'm very choosey about the routes I take and alway follow the rules of the road. And, while I'm not a very religious person, I do find myself saying "there but for the grace of God go I" before each road ride. So far, it's working...

  15. #15
    FixedGearQueer nolageek's Avatar
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    I'm not saying you have to use them, but I think it depends on the road and/or the path. At least for me, I wish we had more paths, because our roads are disgusting. It's like riding on marbles in some of the areas. On the one bike path we have on my way to work, there's hardly anyone ever on it so it's not a problem for me.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolageek
    It depends. Some of our roads are really crappy. But, comunting I only have one stretch of road that has a bike path - and I take the path everytime.

    I find it ironic that the same people that complain about pedestrians on the paths are the same people that get all in a tissy when motorists complain about cyclists on the roads. The ugly truth is, we all get annoyed when someone is in our way - be it a cyclist in the road or a kid on the path.

    I ride my bike to avoid road rage - I'm certainly not going to replace it with.. path paroxysm?
    Yep, you took a brave stance and pointed out some blatant hypocrisy.
    Riding a bike path at hours when it's not crowded is always nice.

  17. #17
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    Yep, you took a brave stance and pointed out some blatant hypocrisy.
    Riding a bike path at hours when it's not crowded is always nice.
    I don't think there's as much hypocrisy as you think. One factor in deciding whether a cyclist will take a road or a nearby path is the number of obstacles (pedestrians, dogs, roller-bladers) on the path. Obstacles make the path less-cyclist friendly and make the road more efficient.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Depends.

    I live only a couple of miles from the 200 mile long crushed limestone KATY trail. This year, they added a paved connection to a popular park. I ride both on occasion. Sometimes I also load my bike onto the car and drive a ways to ride some rural roads. I like that too. I'm not crazy about riding urban streets so I avoid them whenever I can. To me, each environment has it's place and each has it's own set of individual drawbacks. The only problem comes if you try to make one into the other.

    I think that if I had to "marry" myself for life to one and forever foresake all others, I'd pick the rural roads.

  19. #19
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    IT depends. There are some roads I would add great distances to avoid. Certainly a bike path would be preferable...Generally, I prefer roads and am lucky hereabout, because almost all our roads have a decent dedicated bike lane.
    But a really busy narrow road, w/o a bike lane..I would either avoid or if possible use a bike path.
    THe one major bike path we cyclists use to go to the beach..Unless it is a nice weekend day, it is pretty nice..Little traffic from joggers, etc. The road is mostly ours. Pretty nice. Guess, reason so little non-cycling traffic..It is on a river bed, sort of away from human activity and is fairly wide and nearly 9 miles long.

  20. #20
    Banned. FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Depends.

    I live only a couple of miles from the 200 mile long crushed limestone KATY trail. This year, they added a paved connection to a popular park. I ride both on occasion. Sometimes I also load my bike onto the car and drive a ways to ride some rural roads. I like that too. I'm not crazy about riding urban streets so I avoid them whenever I can. To me, each environment has it's place and each has it's own set of individual drawbacks. The only problem comes if you try to make one into the other.

    I think that if I had to "marry" myself for life to one and forever foresake all others, I'd pick the rural roads.
    Luckily for me that's all I ride, quiet rural roads. I have ridden a few paths in Ft Wayne, and as able to easily manuever, YMMV

  21. #21
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    I wish I had useable bike trails for commuting in cleveland. I know that politically I should be pro roads, but at this point I feel like a martyr for the cause. Roads (and air!) stink in cleveland and can be very unwelcome for cyclists, females esp.
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  22. #22
    FixedGearQueer nolageek's Avatar
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    I agree. As much as I think we're entitled to be on the roads, sometimes I just don't feel like dealing with the a-hole drivers that harrass me. I've had people come up right behind me and honk like madmen when there's TWO other empty lanes to the left of me. As I said, our roads SUCK and a lot of times the outer parts of the lanes are even worse so I have to stick to the center if I dont want to rattle my poor beater to pieces.

    There's a big to-do about trying to get 5% of road construction costs (or something) for cyclist infrastructure in New Orleans. I have a feeling if we do get it, it'll just go into some politician's pockets. New Orleans can suck sometimes.
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  23. #23
    @ Checkmate Cycling jbhowat's Avatar
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    Ft Collins is very biker friendly. There are some paths, but I have no problem with the streets. Most of the major streets have a dedicated, WIDE bike lane in each direction. The roads that don't I go right down the center of the lane. If a car or cars comes up behind me, I move over some, still keeping myself safe from doors and/or cars backing out. The cars understand and go around, leaving plenty of room. Supposedly Ft Collins in one of the most biker-friendly cities in the US. The thing that really freakin annoys me is when cyclists use the WRONG bike lane. Two days ago I was coming back from Old Town, riding in the right-hand bike lane, probably going about 20-25. Out of nowhere these two morons (guy and girl) turn left into my bike lane and start heading towards me - SIDE BY SIDE!!!! WTF? I guess they were two lazy to wait for the light to cross to the other bike lane? The kicker is that they didn't slow down, or even get in a single file as they approached me. I literally had to stop and slide over right next to some parked cars to avoid getting run down by two morons on some ******** cruisers. AHHHH! I feel better now.

  24. #24
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    Given a choice between the path and the roads I would have to ride to commute in, the path wins hands down. It can get crowded during the evening commute, but generally there are more bikes than walkers/runners and more walkers/runners than rollerbladers (the ones I really worry about.) In the morning it is about 90% bikes - I saw only 2 bladers in 11 miles this morning.

    I'm riding into Boston. Our roads generally suck and the possibility of getting doored is very, very real.

  25. #25
    Big Man Riding... MMPC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbhowat
    Out of nowhere these two morons (guy and girl) turn left into my bike lane and start heading towards me - SIDE BY SIDE!!!! WTF? I guess they were two lazy to wait for the light to cross to the other bike lane? The kicker is that they didn't slow down, or even get in a single file as they approached me. I literally had to stop and slide over right next to some parked cars to avoid getting run down by two morons on some ******** cruisers.
    Hey fellow Coloradan. Don't you love that kind of thing? Usually happens to me with pedestrains/joggers. They'll come at me two-abreast, taking up the entire bike path, looking right at me and won't move an inch! Now, technically they have the right-of-way (bikes yield to peds), but they had plenty of room if one had scooted in behind the other and I was the one climbing a grade. I would've thought common courtesy would dictate they at least make some room for the climbing biker. I was somewhat annoyed as I approached and yelled "hellllllllllloooooooo!" I think they got the message that I wasn't stopping and quickly moved with an embarrassed look on their faces. They also apologized and we left as friends. I just don't understand this mentality though. I've been "in the zone" too - but it doesn't cause you to tune out all logic...

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