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  1. #1
    MTN Bikin'
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    Any Vegas commuters...?

    I just moved to SoCal after living in Vegas for 20 years of my life. So far, I've become quite satisfied with my morning commutes by bike and I want to carry on with it when I move back.

    Well, SoCal isn't all that it's cracked up to be, so my girlfriend and I will be moving back in January.

    I know I've seen a few random sidewalk riding fools, but I want to know if there are any real commuters. I only rode MTN bikes when I lived there, so I don't have any experience with the drivers and whatnot. I can only assume that it's the type of town full of morons who don't know that bikes belong on the road.

    I know it's a long-shot due to the insanely hot summers and lack of Vegas-related threads in this forum, but I figured I'd try any way. I'm not too concerned with the heat thing because I've driven the Red Rock loop many times and I always see bikers on there. If they can brave the heat for 13 miles, I think I can handle an early-morning commute.

    I'm sure that different parts of town will respond to a biker on the road differently, so if anybody has any experience in Summerlin or Cheyenne & 215 area (those are the only places we are looking at moving to right now) that would be better.

    Thanks for any help that you guys can give.

    -Jared

  2. #2
    Member Tat2Art's Avatar
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    Well Jared, I guess you can say that I am one of those "sidewalk riding fools". I've lived in Vegas now for 6 years and just two years ago I got back into biking. When I drive my car here I'm a nervous wreck. I learned to drive in Philadelphia, Pa and have put many miles on driving in NYC as well as Jersey. I though those people were crazy. I don't know how long you've been away from Lost Wages, but there are people that drive drunk (up on sidewalks too), they drive while putting on makeup, while they are talking on their cell phones, they even steer with their elbows while text messaging. It's no wonder their are so many "sidewalk riding fools". I can't be of much help to you other than that 'cause I don't work therefore I don't "commute". I see some roads that have a designated bicycle lane but I don't see that the automobile drivers pay any attention to them. The lanes seem to disappear after a while and go nowhere. I've seen a macadam stretch on Lake Meade across the street from The Fiesta in Henderson for bike riding but I don't even think it runs for a mile. If you come up with something other than that please let me know. Maybe we'll hook up and take a ride some day. Commuting to work by bike (even by automobile) is definitely taking your life in your own hands. My advice - quit work. Haha.

    Art

  3. #3
    MTN Bikin'
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    Heh... sorry, didn't mean to offend if I did.

    Well, I've only been gone for 4 months, so I'm sure it's still the same old people on the road. I know what you mean about the bikes lanes; they just get driven over and the lines turn to a nice gray that blends in well with the pavement.

    If you go on to the rtc's website (www.rtcsouthernnevada.com), they have a section that maps out official bike lanes in Vegas, though most of them are in Summerlin.

    Lastly, what's this 'no work' stuff you speak of?... lucky *******! I wish I could get away with that.

  4. #4
    Member Tat2Art's Avatar
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    Oh pirate, it takes a he77 of a lot to offend me so absolutely no offense taken at all. Actually I liked the way you coined that phrase and I've found myself using it more often when describing the type of riding I do. Haha. So I owe you a thanks. Just don't call me late for diner!

    Yeah, I know about that nice gray blending, I also like the "ghost lanes" up on 95.

    Thanks a bunch for the link. I'll definitely check it out.

    Well you're right I am a lucky ********! I do actually work but not a regular 9 to 5. I came across a quote one time that went like this:

    "My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants."
    - J. Brotherton

    It struck a deep cord in me and I've become more of a minimalist than ever before. I'm lucky in the part that I can survive from the art I produce. Check out my "Home Page URL" for more info or send me a private message.

  5. #5
    Bossy Bunny mirage1's Avatar
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    I'm in AZ so I check this forum pretty regularly...

    Great tattoo site! I was browsing your cover up pages and I loved the one with the butterfly that incorporated the rose/Paul, especially.

    I have one tattoo and I knew exactly what I wanted, but I'm still pissed that I didn't choose the artist more carefully. I foolishly assumed that anyone at that shop would do the same high quality work that I'd seen from other artists at that shop. Live and learn, I guess, huh?
    Margie

    "Assume a virtue, if you have it not." ~ William Shakespeare

    This advice is the reason I'm masquerading as an athletic person.

  6. #6
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    I've been living here for about 6 months, and am pretty much carless. I commonly commute to a location about 20 miles away. If you get at it early enough, the heat's really not an issue.
    I do spend a lot of time on the sidewalk. The bike lanes are decent is some areas, but they'll collapse into nothing sometimes. Also, sometimes they are so small that they aren't safe to ride in. So, sometimes the only safe choice is to get on the sidewalk.
    All in all, biking is safe choice in Vegas, you just have to be willing to vary your riding from roads to sidewalks to parking lots.

  7. #7
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    Vegas is pretty friendly to riders. I've been biking mostly in the Henderson area, but I understand that the area you will be looking into, Summerlin... is set up even better. Lots of bike lanes, especially in the newer parts of town. You will also be close to Red Rock. I ride down Sunset quite a bit, which is busy, and never run into problem drivers. I get the occasional guy who cuts me off, but I usually can see them coming.

    Riding on the strip can be dangerous though, as there are no berms and the buses and shuttles usually hug that right side of the strip. I have had a few bad experiences there.

  8. #8
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    My condolences on your return to Vegas, may it be temporary.

    I only ride the Strip on group rides, otherwise I take a route about a mile out of the way to bypass the worst of it. I've been sporadically commuting (I usually take the bus for my return leg) for about a month and have only had one scary encounter with a deranged motorist.

    I'd be wary of sidewalk riding, even though you'll see a lot of it around the resort district. I've seen several close calls where folks were cut off by cabbies making right hand turns.

  9. #9
    Member Tat2Art's Avatar
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    I ride sidewalks when they are not populated by people (mostly around parks and various sport fields) because I just feel safer. I started wearing a helmet about 4 months ago and do ride the streets obeying the traffic signals (well 96% of the time). Believe me my eyes are wide open to everything around me including low branches and holes in the road. I've also started doing the majority of errands within a 10 mile radius on my bike. I find that if it's only a 3 or 4 mile trip though, I want more.

  10. #10
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    I was curious about this as well. I commute by bike to work, but it's only about a mile. Whenever I have classes at the Charleston Campus of CSN, I ride there as well, and that is about 3.5 miles.

    Sadly, my classes right now were only available at the Henderson Campus, which is a 23 miles commute, and there is no chance I am going to do that commute on bike when I would have to trek back to my side of earth at 8 PM.

    I have yet to have any issue with cars, in fact I have less problems than when I would just walk. While walking to work, I have been hit by people who check for oncoming traffic when trying to turn right at an intersection, but they don't check in front of them as they are pulling up to it.

    It really is like a lot of the guides to commuting say, if you show that you are a part of traffic, other cars will treat you as such. Don't run reds, or swerve in between cars, and hold your lane and hand-signal (the directional ones, not the f-u ones) and cars will acknowledge you just fine. That is especially true in the rush hour, when no one is really moving that quickly, so you are all holding pace with each other anyways.

    If you notice on the rtc site, they highlight the dos and do nots (cant seem to find it at the moment)... one of the big do nots is riding sidewalks. Not only is it illegal, it's much more unsafe than being in and amongst the traffic. There are cars pulling out onto sidewalks, people walking and/or sleeping on the bus stops, broken glass, random items like trash cans, garage sale or open house signs, and poles of all types (well except for parking meters)

  11. #11
    Junior Member Ecks51's Avatar
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    I just started commuting via bike Friday, and haven't had much of an issue with motorists. I try to never ride on the sidewalk (it is prohibited), but was forced there this morning traveling southbound on Valley View @ Sahara. I'll be more careful tomorrow at that intersection.

    Pirate, have you moved back, and started commuting yet?
    Take it easy,

    -Ecks51

  12. #12
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    I live right in that area, and the road is in terrible shape and people are crazy around there. I really wonder why it is on the Las Vegas bike map, because it goes from between two cramped lanes and then random turn lanes. Valley View desperately needs to be widened to accommodate all the traffic, as well as buses and bikes, but there is no space in the areas that really need it.

    Arville is just a half mile west and while it's not in the best shape, it is far from congested, and offers a safer route. Usually if I need to go to anywhere around that area, I opt for the extra distance just to avoid that messy section of Valley View.

    I find it really funny to try and use the RTC's "bike map" because while the roads on it are signed, they aren't necessarily the best option. I have spoken to another coworker that commutes multimodal from Sunset/Mountain Vista to Valley View/Charleston and she pointed out a few of the listed routes are suicidal options, such as the full length of Warm Springs.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Ecks51's Avatar
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    The RTC's map is, at best, a joke.

    My first commute was on Arville (I live between Arville and Valley View north of Charleston), and almost got winged a couple times. I'm not a fan of High Schoolers, Clark is at Arville and Edna, not when I was in HS and definitely not now that I'm out. (I'm just older and cranky lol). Traffic around HSs is just insane anyway, I'd rather take my chances on Valley View than with a bunch of teenagers who haven't been driving less than two years.

    I've been more mindful (and aggressive) of my position at that intersection, and haven't had any further problems.
    Last edited by Ecks51; 03-25-08 at 12:46 PM.
    Take it easy,

    -Ecks51

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