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Trucks on Narrow Twisting Roads

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Trucks on Narrow Twisting Roads

Old 05-14-23, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
...if, in my opinion it's unsafe to pass, and sometimes I hold up my left index finger to signal wait a second. I will always look over my shoulder to let them know that I know they are there.
My "body language" when a car catches up to me is to stand up on the pedals and look like I am trying to hussle-up in order to delay them as little as possible. They usually get the message and remain patient. On flatland this means I might hit 30 mph for a block or two which certainly appeases everyone. Up a 7% grade for 1/4 mile, not so much. But at least it will LOOK LIKE i am trying my best.

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Old 05-14-23, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
By "body language" when a car catches up to me is to stand up on the pedals and look like I am trying to hussle-up in order to delay them as little as possible. They usually get the message and remain patient. On flatland this means I might hit 30 mph for a block or two which certainly appeases everyone. Up a 7% grade for 1/4 mile, not so much. But at least it will LOOK LIKE i am trying my best.
I do something similar, but I do the chicken head bob thing as I speed up. Does it do any good? Maybe a little, but it costs me nothing, so why not?
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Old 05-14-23, 04:39 PM
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Traffic has increased greatly in non-rust belt states over the years but not the highways. I live in a rural area where up until 15 years ago I would ride on the roads. But today I would not as it is too dangerous and one incident could either kill me or cripple me. The problem is that 99% of Americans are grossly overworked and focused on survival and as a result drive with little thought to what is around them in terms of other vehicles. Add in the estimated 15% increase in vehicular accidents with so many drivers using smartphones while driving and it is a very hazardous environment for cyclists.

I decided that it was best to drive to a place where it is safe to bicycle. This can be in more urban environments where motorists are driving at much slower speeds and there are more alternate route options or on dirt trails.

In the initial days of the pandemic shutdown we bought a 16 cu ft freezer and put it in our garage. It has turned out to be a great purchase as we can stock up on items we buy at the local supermarket or Trader Joe's or Costco and make half as many trips to buy groceries. We save far more on driving expense than the $4 a month to power to freezer.

We also group our trips and go to 3 or 4 places on a purchasing run so we minimize the miles driven as much as possible. I modified a laundry room by adding wall cabinets and did the same in our garage so we can buy more food items in bulk and then store it until it is needed.
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Old 05-14-23, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
Traffic has increased greatly in non-rust belt states over the years but not the highways. I live in a rural area where up until 15 years ago I would ride on the roads. But today I would not as it is too dangerous....

I decided that it was best to drive to a place where it is safe to bicycle. This can be in more urban environments where motorists are driving at much slower speeds and there are more alternate route options or on dirt trails.
Same here.

Great idea with the freezer. I'll be looking at some changes with a move in the next year that might include your idea. Thanks. Somehow I had not thought of that yet.
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Old 05-15-23, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
I've seen more than a few deer who tried that. Couldn't be in more pieces if they swallowed a stick of dynamite. Pass. Hard pass.

Bad call.

There is zero shoulder available in that photo. If a cyclist sticks to the shoulder and forces the truck out around him...they will be dangerously close...and you have no place to go if you encounter a pothole, sewer, or the tiny shoulder closes.

Out in the middle of the road...the truck and can see you, and you have space to maneuver right and left. He can wait. Precious few drivers are going to knowingly mow over a rider in front of them. They can see and understand why it's happening, and that it's the best call.

Take the land, stand and pound through the section as fast as you can in front of the truck and then free him. This is absolutely a case where the "shoulder" is a death trap waiting to close on you.
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Old 05-15-23, 03:01 PM
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Even a diehard FRAP advocate like me can see that post #30 and earlier iterations are, in the o.p. scenario, the best possible call. Totally unnecessary for this to hit 30 posts of point/counterpoint. Sadly, its why despite the low participation of Americans in cycling of all kinds, but especially the transportation kind, we are top of the heap in death and dismemberment statistics. Too much disagreement on common commonsense scenaria.
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Old 05-15-23, 04:04 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by MaxKatt
Bad call.

Take the land, stand and pound through the section as fast as you can in front of the truck and then free him. This is absolutely a case where the "shoulder" is a death trap waiting to close on you.
My call was misunderstood apparently. I'm not cycling on that road. That's my call. Your idea is the best IF I had to bike that thing. My idea is best overall. I have nothing to prove. I'll ride somewhere else.
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Old 05-16-23, 08:14 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
My call was misunderstood apparently. I'm not cycling on that road. That's my call. Your idea is the best IF I had to bike that thing. My idea is best overall. I have nothing to prove. I'll ride somewhere else.

I could see your decision to avoid a road like that if you knew it existed.

We have a short stretch of road that's actually worse than OP depiction. An experienced guy in our club refuses to ride it. I take it because it's the most efficient link to the next roads I need. With neon clothes/helmet, blinking tail light, and being in the center of the lane I feel pretty safe. It's actually an uphill, curved, rock cut with no shoulder (Short Clove Road off 9W, Haverstraw, NY anyone?) , but it's only 50-70 yards long. Drivers wait, and I don't even get horns. They see me standing and hammering through best I can.

My advice stands thought for the many times riders just find themselves in a situation in which a perfectly fine shoulder degenerates to too narrow or nothing in seconds. Hugging the side and inviting cars to squeeze past can be a recipe for disaster.

It's not about "having something to prove" or ego though. Cyclists have a right to the road, and have to do what they have to do to be safe.
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Old 05-16-23, 12:41 PM
  #34  
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Dollar for dollar the best investment for safety OF ALL ROAD users is providing shoulders. That would be a tough assignment on this road, because it would involve taking a lot of private property on both sides. 3 Feet on both sides would be typical for a road in locations similar to this one.
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Old 05-16-23, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
One or two of the 2 lane country roads I ride here have a lot of dump truck traffic going to a from a nearby gravel pit. They are some of the better behaved motor vehicles on the road. They stay a respectful distance behind till they can take the other lane fully and then they will pass when it's clear. So I'm not sure what scares you in the picture. It matters not that the wheels are off the side of the road since there isn't anything in front of it to run over. And you are making the assumption it wouldn't just stay behind you till it was in the clear.
My experiences have largely been the same. With a helmet mounted rear view mirror, constantly monitoring the roadway to anticipate difficulties similar to the one illustrated, and a sharp ear, it is doable.

My local 18 mile road to a small town (civilization!) has log trucks, lowboys, gravel trucks, plus other traffic. Everyone has close calls on that road from to time. With the arrival of trailer and RV traffic, eternal vigilance is called for. There are shoulders and wider lanes in opportune stretches.
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Old 05-18-23, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Anyway I was riding the potential roadways virtually through Google Maps when I came upon this scene that kinda made me jump out of my seat, then get a good laugh. Reminded me why I gave up road cycling as much as possible. I love the positioning of the passenger side wheels of the dump truck.
And? The road depicted in the photo has no designated bike lane. Which means that for all means and purposes it is a single-lane (in each direction) road. All vehicles on this road, including bicycles, are expected to position themselves single-file, one behind the other. Any kind of side-by-side driving/riding would be considered lane-splitting or overtaking. I don't know what SC lane-splitting laws are, but in any case ensuring safety of any maneuver is responsibility of splitter or overtaker.

In short, you just don't split lanes with such trucks on such roads, period.

Or are you concerned about situations when the truck driver might decide to unexpectedly overtake you in this fashion? That would be dangerous all right. But you don't really need SC or road like that to get in trouble with a careless truck driver.

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Old 05-18-23, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by AndreyT
And?...

...are you concerned about situations when the truck driver might decide to unexpectedly overtake you in this fashion?
Not concerned because I will be avoiding this road for cycling. Just found the photo amusing as I was scouting online for decent/safe bike routes. Yeah, the truck wheels in the rough told me just what I needed to know. I won't be going there.
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Old 05-18-23, 07:46 PM
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Here's another beauty I found. Lanes are a little wider than the OP photo but what EVIL GENIUS puts a sheer curb at the edge of a roadway? It's a TRAP! 35 mph limit so not terrible if anyone drove the limit, or under it. No sidewalks but no problem....nobody in Greenville suburbia dare walks anywhere. Also uphill in this direction to further slow down any cyclist brave enough to tackle this road. And throw in a double yellow line for good measure so it's illegal to give a cyclist any extra fraction of the lane. Impressive.



Source Google Earth

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Old 05-18-23, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike
The two worst states to cycle in are Hawaii (Island of Oahu) and South Carolina.
Somehow missed this. I have never seen a truck on a narrow twisting road on Oahu. I guess the only candidate would be Kaukonahua Rd but I haven't experienced it. The only places with significant truck traffic is Sand Island or Kalihi Makai and Kalealoa but unless you are commuting to an industrial job there, no reason to cycle there. The only place I see some truck traffic is on Kunia Rd and there is adequate shoulder and I have never been bothered getting passed there. I suppose also Farrington on leeward coast but I have no reason to go there, and when I have it's traffic in general, not truck traffic. Now back in the day when you had cane and pine trucks on the roads, that was a pain as they were often slow and tracked on the shoulder, leaving clay clods if it was rainy at all. But the days of cane are long gone, and Dole has so little pines I rarely see anyone in the fields by Helemano.

scott s.
.
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Old 05-19-23, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Here's another beauty I found. Lanes are a little wider than the OP photo but what EVIL GENIUS puts a sheer curb at the edge of a roadway? It's a TRAP! 35 mph limit so not terrible if anyone drove the limit, or under it. No sidewalks but no problem....nobody in Greenville suburbia dare walks anywhere. Also uphill in this direction to further slow down any cyclist brave enough to tackle this road. And throw in a double yellow line for good measure so it's illegal to give a cyclist any extra fraction of the lane. Impressive.



Source Google Earth

I have been trying to find the statute, but I read one website that claims that the motor vehicles can cross the solid line to pass a bicycle.

What's the speed limit on that road?

ETA--answering my own question--35 mph. I wouldn't see taking that lane to be much of a big deal.

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Old 05-20-23, 12:49 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
I have been trying to find the statute, but I read one website that claims that the motor vehicles can cross the solid line to pass a bicycle.

What's the speed limit on that road?

ETA--answering my own question--35 mph. I wouldn't see taking that lane to be much of a big deal.
That might be in with the legislation that specified the 3' or 4' clearance when passing cyclist. So if it hasn't been fully merged into the rules for cycling in that states codes and regulations, then it might be in the amendments that sometimes you have to hunt for.

My state too allows for vehicles to pass cyclists on a solid yellow when it can be assertained that nothing is coming the other way. Big difference in how much room is needed to pass something moving at less than 25 mph than another vehicle moving at 50 mph or better. I'm sure you are well aware of that, but I included that for the masses.

Not sure why this same thing doesn't apply for when passing other slow moving vehicles. Maybe it does and I've just not noticed.
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Old 05-20-23, 04:02 PM
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Even if there were no statute. As a driver, would any of you simply run down a cyclist ahead of you because they weren't keeping up with the posted limit and couldn't, or wouldn't get out of the way?? I know things are bad, but, really? CDL's are not that easy to come by. A fair amount of what is attributed to 'bad driving' should more accurately be categorized as 'entitled cycling'.

What's the solution o.p.? Dynamite all those shoulders and start over with a more enlightened road plan? That truck could get by a cyclist FRAPing the asphalt portion of that roadway by putting one set of wheels over the centerline. And I'll bet that's exactly what they do. Doesn't sound like you'll be doing much cycling in SC and maybe that's for the best. You simply don't have the right head for being a vulnerable road user. And that's ok. But I'm hanged if I understand your hysteria. It's as if you think city engineers are going to revisit those roads and make them wide enough. I wouldn't hold my breath.
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Old 05-20-23, 06:58 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
...I'm hanged if I understand your hysteria. It's as if you think city engineers are going to revisit those roads and make them wide enough. I wouldn't hold my breath.
I don't blame you for not reading every post in this thread. To be concise, I was scouting roads virtually using Google Earth Street View. I've covered probably 100 miles in Greenville area this way. I really don't care how the city engineers in a backwards state design their roads, I just won't be riding the ones that suck the most. The images I posted were just a couple of the most eyebrow raising ones of thousands of images I came across these past weeks riding my office chair instead of a real bike. My main goal in this excruciating endeavor was to determine if it would be possible to go back to being car-free living in Greenville. The answer is a resounding NO. I have nothing to prove. I am not cycling stoopid car-centrist roads. I'll be relatively safe and dry in my air conditioned/heated box adding to the warming of the earth in general and the relentless congestion on Greenville roads and highways specifically. Not sure how this qualifies as hysteria but it is impossible to offend me so draw any conclusions that make you feel good.
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Old 05-20-23, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
That might be in with the legislation that specified the 3' or 4' clearance when passing cyclist. So if it hasn't been fully merged into the rules for cycling in that states codes and regulations, then it might be in the amendments that sometimes you have to hunt for.

My state too allows for vehicles to pass cyclists on a solid yellow when it can be assertained that nothing is coming the other way. Big difference in how much room is needed to pass something moving at less than 25 mph than another vehicle moving at 50 mph or better. I'm sure you are well aware of that, but I included that for the masses.

Not sure why this same thing doesn't apply for when passing other slow moving vehicles. Maybe it does and I've just not noticed.
I just read this morning that Oregon is working on clearing this up somewhat. Oregon Senate bill seeks to strengthen bicycle passing law BikePortland
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Old 05-21-23, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Even if there were no statute. As a driver, would any of you simply run down a cyclist ahead of you because they weren't keeping up with the posted limit and couldn't, or wouldn't get out of the way?? I know things are bad, but, really? CDL's are not that easy to come by. A fair amount of what is attributed to 'bad driving' should more accurately be categorized as 'entitled cycling'.

What's the solution o.p.? Dynamite all those shoulders and start over with a more enlightened road plan? That truck could get by a cyclist FRAPing the asphalt portion of that roadway by putting one set of wheels over the centerline. And I'll bet that's exactly what they do. Doesn't sound like you'll be doing much cycling in SC and maybe that's for the best. You simply don't have the right head for being a vulnerable road user. And that's ok. But I'm hanged if I understand your hysteria. It's as if you think city engineers are going to revisit those roads and make them wide enough. I wouldn't hold my breath.

To be honest, my reaction to the OP's photos is a resounding "that's no big deal".
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Old 05-21-23, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
That might be in with the legislation that specified the 3' or 4' clearance when passing cyclist. So if it hasn't been fully merged into the rules for cycling in that states codes and regulations, then it might be in the amendments that sometimes you have to hunt for.

My state too allows for vehicles to pass cyclists on a solid yellow when it can be assertained that nothing is coming the other way. Big difference in how much room is needed to pass something moving at less than 25 mph than another vehicle moving at 50 mph or better. I'm sure you are well aware of that, but I included that for the masses.

Not sure why this same thing doesn't apply for when passing other slow moving vehicles. Maybe it does and I've just not noticed.

The reference I saw said SC made this clear in 2016, but it wasn't any more specific than that. SC law is that a driver can cross a solid center line if the oncoming lane is clear IF the right lane is obstructed and passing a bike requires 3 foot clearance, so I think that the regulation may be that a bike in the lane is considered an obstruction for that purpose.
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Old 05-21-23, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MaxKatt
I could see your decision to avoid a road like that if you knew it existed.

We have a short stretch of road that's actually worse than OP depiction. An experienced guy in our club refuses to ride it. I take it because it's the most efficient link to the next roads I need. With neon clothes/helmet, blinking tail light, and being in the center of the lane I feel pretty safe. It's actually an uphill, curved, rock cut with no shoulder (Short Clove Road off 9W, Haverstraw, NY anyone?) , but it's only 50-70 yards long. Drivers wait, and I don't even get horns. They see me standing and hammering through best I can.

My advice stands thought for the many times riders just find themselves in a situation in which a perfectly fine shoulder degenerates to too narrow or nothing in seconds. Hugging the side and inviting cars to squeeze past can be a recipe for disaster.

It's not about "having something to prove" or ego though. Cyclists have a right to the road, and have to do what they have to do to be safe.
I know Short Clove Road and have to ride it once or twice per year. The choice is being pulverized into the rock side or being run over from the rear. My choice is easy, I would not live in a place with such crappy roads nor would I ride them but when I do ride it, I take the lane. Having known quite a few riders killed from the rear, I am comfortable with my road choices and my first choice is not playing in traffic.

What is not comfortable is the name calling and aggressive language of the take the lane at all cost advocates ganging up on Joey. If his road was a feeder to really good cycling roads, I'd take if there were no alternatives but it is not a road I would ride for fun.
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Old 05-21-23, 12:17 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
...my first choice is not playing in traffic.
Mine as well.

Originally Posted by GhostRider62
What is not comfortable is the name calling and aggressive language of the take the lane at all cost advocates ganging up on Joey. If his road was a feeder to really good cycling roads, I'd take if there were no alternatives but it is not a road I would ride for fun.
The irony of it all is that if I were driving a vehicle behind a cyclist on the very same road in the pic, and that cyclist was taking the lane, I would be DELIGHTED to slow down an entire caravan of cars and trucks behind me for however long it took for the guy/gal to break into the clear, or they waved me to pass them. I'm a dick like that. So yeah, I just called myself a name! No biggie. It's A&S!
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Old 05-21-23, 07:20 PM
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If you want fun in traffic, try the westbank. The only way around is via the 4th st bridge over the Harvey Canal, and I don't know any time when there isn't truck traffic. If you get to downtown Gretna, that is OK for a leisurely cycle, but how to get there? And heading towards Westwego / Bridge City is worse for trucks, plus the road isn't in great shape. Or you say try your luck on Lapalco? Not me. I guess there is the bike path under the Westbank Expy, but the way that meanders around and hits every cross street at mid-block is kind of a non-starter.

scott s.
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Old 05-21-23, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by scott967
If you want fun in traffic, try the westbank. .
I have biked the West Bank on/along the Mississippi River from the Canal St. Ferry, some on the levee top, some on the river road, all the way to I-310 which I have biked over once. Also have biked from the Canal Street Ferry down to Jean Lafitte National Park. From the Belle Chase Ferry to the Canal St. Ferry isn't too frightening. But anything outside of that I'll likely pass.
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