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  1. #101
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Taiwan ... where we spent 6 lovely car-free days near the beginning of our RTW tour ...

    There was some beautiful cycling around Hualien where we based ourselves.

    This is a road out to a lake we visited.



    This is the cyclepath along the foreshore within Hualien.





    This is the cyclepath once we leave Hualien and start cycling southward.



    The cyclepath crosses the bridge in the distance in the photo above, and then ends. But it is not needed anymore because the roads going south have a great shoulder for as far as we cycled.



    Cycling within Hualien was an experience. At first, I didn't like it because it seemed like utter chaos, but after a couple days I got into the ebb and flow of the traffic. Fortunately, most of the roads were wide enough to handle it all.







    Incidentally, if you are looking for a car-free holiday, I would recommend Taiwan. We flew in and caught a shuttle bus to a hotel near the airport. It was not recommended to cycle in the immediate area of the airport, but that's OK because the hotel was great. They quite happily shuttled us to the train station even though we had bicycles, panniers and everything with us.

    If we had folding bicycles, I think we could have taken them on the train as carry-on luggage, and we may do that in the future, but because we had full-size bicycles we had to check them. However, that was not a problem. Lots of people checked bicycles and scooters and all sorts. And even though we did not speak Chinese, and the train station staff did not speak much English, we were able to communicate just fine.

    The train to Hualien was reasonably comfortable, and upon arrival we had no difficulty collecting our bicycles. There was a form I needed to fill out and it did help that one of the other passengers who was also collecting something from baggage, spoke both Chinese and English. He helped me through the form. The people there were very friendly and helpful.

    We found a nice, basic hotel for about $30/night, and made that our headquarters while we cycled and walked in various directions exploring the area.

    Next time we go, we might do it more as a point-to-point tour, cycling from one place to another ... and we would bring folding bicycles. That would make getting around just a bit easier.

  2. #102
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    To me it looks like a crummy road for cycling because of the parked cars and narrowness. But it is hard to tell from a photo, so if cooker says it's good, I trust him. I agree that I would take the full lane, as the little paintings suggest. The paintings probably do a good job of explaining to motorists that they should expect and accept that cyclists use the lane too.
    No, as I said that's a street I use because it happens to be convenient. That divided section is only about three blocks, and I didn't like it much before the sharrows because it's barely wide enough for a small car to pass safely. It's better with the sharrows because cyclists seem more assertive and drivers seem more patient. The one-way section a block or two farther up with the contra-flow bike lane is much better.

  3. #103
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Taiwan ... where we spent 6 lovely car-free days near the beginning of our RTW tour ...

    There was some beautiful cycling around Hualien where we based ourselves.
    Incidentally, if you are looking for a car-free holiday, I would recommend Taiwan. We flew in and caught a shuttle bus to a hotel near the airport. It was not recommended to cycle in the immediate area of the airport, but that's OK because the hotel was great. They quite happily shuttled us to the train station even though we had bicycles, panniers and everything with us.

    If we had folding bicycles, I think we could have taken them on the train as carry-on luggage, and we may do that in the future, but because we had full-size bicycles we had to check them. However, that was not a problem. Lots of people checked bicycles and scooters and all sorts. And even though we did not speak Chinese, and the train station staff did not speak much English, we were able to communicate just fine.

    The train to Hualien was reasonably comfortable, and upon arrival we had no difficulty collecting our bicycles. There was a form I needed to fill out and it did help that one of the other passengers who was also collecting something from baggage, spoke both Chinese and English. He helped me through the form. The people there were very friendly and helpful.

    We found a nice, basic hotel for about $30/night, and made that our headquarters while we cycled and walked in various directions exploring the area.

    Next time we go, we might do it more as a point-to-point tour, cycling from one place to another ... and we would bring folding bicycles. That would make getting around just a bit easier.
    Wow, you sure do have a lot of beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing them!

    Actually, I kind of intended this thread to be about regular streets near our homes that we like to ride on. I was inspired by your comments on another thread, which unfortunately was deleted from this forum. You and some others mentioned that you don't care for bike trails or paths, but prefer regular streets for cycling. So I started wondering, what kind of streets do people like riding on, and what features of a street make it more attractive for cycling?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  4. #104
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Taiwan ... where we spent 6 lovely car-free days near the beginning of our RTW tour ...

    Incidentally, if you are looking for a car-free holiday, I would recommend Taiwan. We flew in and caught a shuttle bus to a hotel near the airport. It was not recommended to cycle in the immediate area of the airport, but that's OK because the hotel was great. They quite happily shuttled us to the train station even though we had bicycles, panniers and everything with us.

    If we had folding bicycles, I think we could have taken them on the train as carry-on luggage, and we may do that in the future, but because we had full-size bicycles we had to check them. However, that was not a problem. Lots of people checked bicycles and scooters and all sorts. And even though we did not speak Chinese, and the train station staff did not speak much English, we were able to communicate just fine.

    The train to Hualien was reasonably comfortable, and upon arrival we had no difficulty collecting our bicycles. There was a form I needed to fill out and it did help that one of the other passengers who was also collecting something from baggage, spoke both Chinese and English. He helped me through the form. The people there were very friendly and helpful.

    We found a nice, basic hotel for about $30/night, and made that our headquarters while we cycled and walked in various directions exploring the area.

    Next time we go, we might do it more as a point-to-point tour, cycling from one place to another ... and we would bring folding bicycles. That would make getting around just a bit easier.
    Wouldn't this type of post be more appropriate in the Touring subforum?
    Gimme that car-free living!

  5. #105
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Wow, you sure do have a lot of beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing them!

    Actually, I kind of intended this thread to be about regular streets near our homes that we like to ride on. I was inspired by your comments on another thread, which unfortunately was deleted from this forum. You and some others mentioned that you don't care for bike trails or paths, but prefer regular streets for cycling. So I started wondering, what kind of streets do people like riding on, and what features of a street make it more attractive for cycling?

    Thanks.

    And yes ... that's why I'm posting the photos I am. We've lived and cycled in many places.

    All those Alberta photos came from a time when I was living and cycling in that part of the world. Same with the Manitoba ones. I've also spent a good portion of my life in BC. Then when we travelled around the world for 8 months, our home was wherever we happened to be.

    Also, these photos answer the questions about what kinds of streets we like riding on, and what features of a street make it more attractive for cycling.

    In the photos above of Taiwan ... we enjoyed cycling on all those streets and paths, and we enjoyed cycling on them because of the nice wide shoulders, the nice wide roads in general, and the quality of of the roads and paths. They were beautiful!

    And it was quite easy to get around without a car.

  6. #106
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Thanks.

    And yes ... that's why I'm posting the photos I am. We've lived and cycled in many places.

    All those Alberta photos came from a time when I was living and cycling in that part of the world. Same with the Manitoba ones. I've also spent a good portion of my life in BC. Then when we travelled around the world for 8 months, our home was wherever we happened to be.

    Also, these photos answer the questions about what kinds of streets we like riding on, and what features of a street make it more attractive for cycling.

    In the photos above of Taiwan ... we enjoyed cycling on all those streets and paths, and we enjoyed cycling on them because of the nice wide shoulders, the nice wide roads in general, and the quality of of the roads and paths. They were beautiful!

    And it was quite easy to get around without a car.
    It sure would be great to have a thread about our tours and vacations. I think I will start one! I hope you'll post some more pictures there.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  7. #107
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    "what kind of streets do you all like to ride on? What are examples of highways that are shared nicely by cars and bikes?"




    In the UK and in Australia, there are a number of roads that look like the ones in the following photos. They are paved roads which are about one lane wide, and they meander all over the countryside. These particular roads are in Scotland, but close to the England border. They are beautiful little roads for cycling because the traffic is usually quite light and relatively slow. Also the distance between one town and the next isn't usually very far (in the UK). If there were an event or market or something in the next town, it would be quite pleasant to cycle there on roads like these.








    As you've probably already guessed, I like wider roads with good shoulders ... but I also like these roads equally as much.

  8. #108
    Lazy vegan bicyclist Drv1913's Avatar
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    For my everyday riding, I prefer:
    1) Tree-lined, residential streets for their scenery and much-needed shade this time of year
    2) Streets with wide outside lanes; on these, I generally don't worry about traffic volume or speed, and I don't care whether or not they any kind of bicycle signage or markings.
    3) Moderately trafficked streets with 2 or more lanes each way; motorists can easily change lanes to pass.
    3) Streets with sharrows

    I used to be indifferent to bike lanes, but now I am beginning to actively dislike them, since around here they tend to be full of debris and other hazards. For some reason, regular WOLs don't attract as much debris - or maybe it gets swept away more often.

  9. #109
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    We have also enjoyed the small and interesting roads found in many of the towns in Europe ... often with these roads we would do a combination of riding and walking in order to check out the shops, etc. Streets like these can be fascinating.






  10. #110
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drv1913 View Post
    I used to be indifferent to bike lanes, but now I am beginning to actively dislike them, since around here they tend to be full of debris and other hazards. For some reason, regular WOLs don't attract as much debris - or maybe it gets swept away more often.
    Too bad you feel you can do without this built-in cycling infrastructure. Maybe someone should start complaining to the city. No use in creating lanes if you can't ride in them.

  11. #111
    Lazy vegan bicyclist Drv1913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Too bad you feel you can do without this built-in cycling infrastructure. Maybe someone should start complaining to the city. No use in creating lanes if you can't ride in them.
    Oh, I do complain. The problem is that there is a lot that needs doing and limited resources for doing it. Also, some of the hazards are not ones that the city can do anything about - like the woman who was deliberately walking slowly in the bike lane on a busy stretch and blocking it so that I could not pass without putting myself in danger. Every few steps, she would look back at me and give me a malicious smile. Ugh. I finally passed her on her right, taking care to avoid all the gravel and golf ball-sized rocks - much to her surprise and disappointment.

  12. #112
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drv1913 View Post
    Oh, I do complain. The problem is that there is a lot that needs doing and limited resources for doing it. Also, some of the hazards are not ones that the city can do anything about - like the woman who was deliberately walking slowly in the bike lane on a busy stretch and blocking it so that I could not pass without putting myself in danger. Every few steps, she would look back at me and give me a malicious smile. Ugh. I finally passed her on her right, taking care to avoid all the gravel and golf ball-sized rocks - much to her surprise and disappointment.
    Why couldn't you pass her on the left, well out of her reach?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  13. #113
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Smooth streets ... every once in a while you encounter some really smooth and lovely roads. All roads should be so smooth.

    Craters of the Moon ...




    Wide shoulders ... in Texas ...




    And along the Gulf of Mexico in Pascagoula, Mississippi ...




    South of Lake Charles, Louisiana ...





  14. #114
    Lazy vegan bicyclist Drv1913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Why couldn't you pass her on the left, well out of her reach?
    Because there was a steady stream of cars in the traffic lane on her left, and I didn't want to dart in front of one of them. Also, she was waving her arms and her bag around, trying to take up as much space as possible. This is a narrow street with a fairly narrow bike lane - travel lane on the left, minor ditch, gravel, and railroad tracks on the right. Part of her enjoyment was in knowing that there was no easy way for a cyclist to get around her. At least not this cyclist. I'm sure that others might have just whipped into busy traffic to dodge her, but I waited until I had an opportunity to pass without putting myself in harm's way.

  15. #115
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Over to Australia!!

    This is the Federal Highway, a main highway, going into Canberra. Most of the main highways in Australia have wide shoulders like this and allow bicycles.




    And this is the Bruce Highway, heading down to Brisbane.





    Nice quiet roads in Queensland. These roads were beautiful ... light traffic and they smelled so good.







    (These photos were taken in 2004, with a disposable camera ... hence the poor quality)

  16. #116
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It's not where I would like to ride and a picture of some broad countryside vista from a past long tour .

    Where I DO live now .. I go half a block up hill and coast down the 1/4 mile to the Post Office & Downtown Proper ..

    on the way back I use the lower Road (US 30/Marine Drive). mostly flat , then walk the 1/2 block to my front door.

    View of the Columbia River 2 blocks to the North, out 3 sides ,
    but its about the same height off the river as the Bridge of the ships passing by at high-slack-tide.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-13-14 at 11:22 AM.

  17. #117
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Bob, are you pushing your bike uphill that half block? The (then) principal of the Astoria high school was on my Hood to Coast team for a long time. We stayed the night at his house, and once we went for a post-race recovery run from his house way up on the hill. Ouch! That town has some serious hills.
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  18. #118
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    These streets, roads, and highways in this post, and my next few posts, are in the area of Australia where Rowan and I lived for a number years ... north of Melbourne ...


    First ... lots of pretty, quiet, little roads. Yes, these are roads with two-way traffic ... and there's a network of them around the area where we lived, all over Victoria. They were wonderful for cycling.







    [IMG][/IMG]












    And dealing with the traffic on these roads ...


  19. #119
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I'm getting there.
    You're obviously a keen photographer, but I'm starting to feel photo-bombed .

  20. #120
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    You're obviously a keen photographer, but I'm starting to feel photo-bombed .
    I like a lot of streets!! I'll ride on just about any road quite happily.

  21. #121
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    You're obviously a keen photographer, but I'm starting to feel photo-bombed .
    Me too.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  22. #122
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Me too.
    You asked!!

  23. #123
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You asked!!


    Ok, I get it now.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #124
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've posted a lot of photos of country roads ... and of course, country roads are the best! My favourites.

    But I do have a few photos of streets within city/town limits.


    This is the town where we used to live north of Melbourne, and this is Rowan cycling home with pizzas on top of the panniers. As you can see, the road is nice and wide ... amply wide for bicycles and motor vehicles. This was a road we used for everything ... transportation, utility, fitness and recreation. And the road in the second photo was one we used when we moved to another home in that town.






    This is the main street of that town, and what you're seeing here is one half of it. There is another lane coming toward the camera on the other side of the parked cars on the right. It can get a little bit busy sometimes, but fairly easy to negotiate by bicycle.




    This is a town near the town where we used to live north of Melbourne. It is the main street and as you can see ... nice and wide.




    This is a street in a town southeast of Melbourne. It is an interesting setup ... you won't get doored, but you do have to keep an eye out for reverse lights. Otherwise, quite comfortable for cycling.




    And a similar setup in a town in the southwest of Victoria.




    Another, larger town with roads wide enough for bicycles and cars.


  25. #125
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    This is a local road, quite near where we currently live (Tasmania). I've stopped and am looking back down the road. It's a route we've ridden several times recreationally and for fitness. The route goes past the local outdoor exercise equipment, so we often combined the ride with a workout on the exercise equipment. As for the road itself, it isn't quite as wide as I would ideally like, however, with the parked cars located along the road the traffic is quite slow and fairly cautious.






    I don't actually have many photos of the roads in the Hobart area. Most of our cycling has been out in the country ... or on the cycleways ... or we're too busy negotiating traffic to stop and take photos. Yet anyway ...


    Meanwhile, this collection contains our photos of Australia ... our cycling and our travelling and wandering around the areas where we live ...

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/machka...7602419256784/

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