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omicron34 12-03-07 08:16 PM

As a person who has never been to NYC, how are the hill gradients there..or if there are any :P

IronMan247 12-04-07 02:19 PM

I usually ride on a bike path. That way I can avoid any freak accidents with cars.

gramseca 12-07-07 08:58 PM

the hills arent usually bad at all, esp. in brooklyn and manhattan( below 145th st)
but the bronx has some substatially hills and most of the bridges are basically a really long hill, but you fly down the other side so it makes up for it, but overall, its pretty flat, i run a 52 to 16 ratio and never have any problems with hills so if that gives you an idea...

mimib123 12-23-07 02:34 PM

I live in Maryville, Tennessee. The speed limit is anywhere from 15 MPH in neighborhoods to 40 MPH in bigger streets. There are sidewalks where MOST people on bikes ride, but I refuse to ride there. Those are for people who are walking their dogs and such. It slows me down and it puts everyone in danger. I have motorists who get aggressive with me. They don't know what to do when they see me, although I see myself as very clear as to what I'm doing. I wish they would treat me just like they treat cars, because I follow the same rules only I go slower.

There is a trail called the greenbelt that goes for 18 miles. It is full of little kids on mountain bikes and people walking their little dogs on 40 foot leashes. It is nearly impossible to ride there, at least with speed. I usually go find trails in other locations. Hmph. Or I deal with motorists.

Consularrider 01-14-08 02:36 PM

Where I live: dense suburban area of N Virginia across from DC. The county has both bike lanes and MUPs near where I live. In fact, a major element of our house purchase was based on access to these facilities. Most of the streets can also be used for through streets to avoid cycling on major arteries.

Where I work: a more urban part of the same area located just two blocks from a junction of three MUPs, but with heavily traveled streets.

How I ride: I've been back on my bike now for two and a half years after irregular riding for the previous 15 years. I now ride for both commuting and pleasure. I have an old rigid MTB and old 12 speed road bike. I commute almost exclusively on MUPs using my MTB in my current job. However, there are some days when I have to also ride on suburban streets when I go to our training center. Currently for my pleasure riding I am riding the MUPs mostly with my road bike. These rides so far have all been solo. I intend to hook up with club rides as the year progresses. I have ridden regularly in several other large cities (Atanta, Mexico City, London, Cd Juarez (Mexico), and Madrid. In some I commuted irregularly and in others the rides were for pleasure on weekends an holidays. When I first started riding for pleasure, I was in a college town and enjoyed getting out on the hilly rural roads of the area.

mike-on-da-bike 01-16-08 08:35 AM

if there is special bike only lane i will use that if not i go shortcuts allover bush,paddocks carparks,sidewalks and i ride with my pants on haaaaa just couldnt resist saying that haaaa cause some women i see riding in front of me sometimes dont wear alot and things tend to poke over the handle bars

k_tech 01-22-08 05:37 PM

I've been a regular commuter in Knoxville, TN for about a year now. My usual route is 6 miles RT on an '86 Raleigh Technium. This time of year both directions of my commute are in the dark. I use a Cateye LED on steady for being seen and a halogen for actually seeing. Two LED blinkies on the rear, both typically in flashing mode, although I'm considering the merits of one flashing and one on steady. I'm not a fast cyclist. Average speed is about 12 mph. Half of my commute in either direction is uphill (over Sharp's ridge on Bruhin for the locals) at a pretty decent climb. Couldn't tell you the grade percentage though. I ride vehicularly and predictably with practically no problems. This is not a place people are used to seeing bicyclists (I might have seen one or two this entire time I've been riding) but I feel that I present myself as someone cautious yet courteous and safe. I also wear a reflective lime green vest, with reflective bands on my ankles and reflectors and reflective tape in multiple locations on my bike. And a helmet. Always. I work in emergency services so I've seen what sometimes happens when people aren't safe. I've worked (and know of) many car vs. bike wrecks where a cyclist was riding on the sidewalk and cut off, or riding against traffic. So I take every precaution. Despite being a safety freak, or maybe because of, I really enjoy my rides (even in 11 degrees like this past week.) I choose my routes carefully and avoid the roads where I know drivers tend to be especially aggressive, impatient and reckless. I figure it's worth going a little of my way to have a less stressful ride.

Schwinnhund 02-08-08 01:29 AM

I use my bikes foir transportation anytime I don't have to carry more than 40 pounds of weight, and if I have the time to reach my destination by bike.

I live in the Cohutta Wilderness area of N. Ga. at the foot of Grassy Mountain, in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. The pavement ends 1/4 mile past my house and is a Forest Service dirt road for the rest of the way through the mountains, until you come out on the other side at Blue Ridge, Ga......45 miles away. There are trout streams within walking distance of my house, but they are walk-in or bike-in only. It's all hiking and horse trails beyond my house. There is a convienience store a few miles away on US 411, and a small Post Office. The nearest towns with any real stores are Chatsworth, Ga. (8 miles away and few bigger stores), Dalton, Ga. (18 miles away, with a Wal-Mart), and Cleveland, Tn. (28 miles away, where my office is).

I ride my mountain bikes up the mountians to ride trails, hunt, fish and forage, using an INSTEP trailer to pull equipment, fish and harvested game in and out of the forest, as well as haul; firewood home, and garbage to the dump (4 miles away).

I use my Specialized Crossroads (fitness-type bike) for going to the grocery store, library, errands and short (< 20 miles) rides. I have it modified into a long-distance tour/utility bike.

I use Giant RS Road Bike to go to the office, club rides, centuries and touring (if there are no major mountains, otherwise I use the Crossroads).

I ride U.S. and State highways most of the time, as well as county roads. And I do some off-road riding, by necesity.

Semper Fi!

Thisisit 02-08-08 05:50 PM

I live in a medium sized city for the region I suppose, 130,000 people. I don't know the total km of bike lanes, but there aren't a lot of them. Residential, business and small highways/expressway kind of dealies. Notoriously a bad area for dealing with drivers while in the city, while the surrounding country side (Thorold, Niagara Falls, Pelham) are mostly farm/winery roads and drivers are pretty courteous.

I don't have a job, but I will consider school instead. My route includes residential(30km/h), I think it's considered a highway(75km/h), and "other"(45km/h). The commute also includes climbing and descending a nice section of the Niagara Escarpment, which is a pretty considerable hill compared the the rest of flat southern Ontario.

I commute everyday to university via fixed gear(16.6 km roundtrip), and when it's not winter I log a lot of kilometers on my road bike. I enjoy not depending on cars, the exercise factor of road biking, and the straight up fun I get from riding my fixed gear along a nice bike path that runs along a canal. I really enjoy all aspects of riding, and in the next year or two, hopefully add a nice mountain bike and a more touring capable road bike to my collection. If I get out this weekend and can put in one or two decent rides I will be close to 500km for 2008.
EDIT: I'd also like to say I follow the rules of the road, am all about helmets and use lights whenever necessary. The best way to convince others to join in the cause is to remain courteous and follow the rules!

mike-on-da-bike 02-20-08 07:24 AM

you cant help but bend the road rules around the city as if you stayed riding on the roads it only a matter of time before you get wiped out by those silly drivers,man they wont even stop for pedestrians around here at crossings.

mike-on-da-bike 02-21-08 03:58 AM

my bike is my main form of transport as sydney buses are immposible to catch most days and waiting time is too long,trains not too bad but still third world train system,i dont see gas cars lasting much longer and gas will price itself out of the market,i do see various forms of hybrid cars comming real soon,maybe i will buy one of those when i win the lottery and ride off into the sunset,but i do enjoy the bike as trips to the shop for milk are very fast on bike and alot less stressfull i find ,i take my bike just about everywhere i go now its like part of my bike has replaced all buses and taxis i used to have to catch ,next project is to try and get a long range bike so i dont even need to catch these third world sydney trains

Bikecop921 02-27-08 10:24 PM

I live and work in a very small town in rural Georgia. The main highway that cuts through the middle of town is the busiest of the roads in town. The average speed limit ranges from 25-35 MPH.

While it is warm I enjoy going back and forth from home to work on my aging, department issued Trek. I dont typically have any problems on the road way, except for some good natured goading when people see me headed to work with all my gear.

While at work (during the decently warm months) I do many different activities while on my bike. During the day I spend a lot of time just cruising the roads in high visibility mode and gabbing with people (great for PR). Now, at night everything changes. I do a lot of blackout riding just watching and listening, I have worked a lot of entering autos and burglary's this way. Sometime I will just prop up against a building in some of our high drug areas and watch, you would be amazed at how people choose not to see a chunky police wearing bright yellow shirt with a reflective "POLICE" written on the back. I have done stake outs with my bike, I can go tons of places that our motorized units cant go and people dont mind when they see me riding through their back yard.

And, yes, I do traffic enforcement also. Don't make too many speeding cases, but it is actually pretty easy to get car stopped when the bike cop either has his/her partner nearby to block off the offender, or you get in a area that has a lot of speed bumps. I normally do this in our high drug areas and once I get them stopped I try to find a reason to look a littler harder. :)

fitrider 03-06-08 04:30 AM

I ride pretty much everywhere - I have 2 cars but tend to do more mile on my bikes!

Burnt Sienna 03-11-08 11:09 PM

I live in St. Louis, MO, a reasonably sized city sitting next to lots of urban cities in St. Louis County, where you can get to just about anywhere on a bike. We even have lots of "Bike St. Louis" signs and arrows on the road that show cars that "yes, bikes are supposed to be here." Car speeds (because I don't think anyone actually pays attention to signs) range from 3 mph to 50 mph, depending on the road and time of day. St. Louis also has a lot of hills and it seems like every one of them goes up even when you turn around and try to go back down. Plus side - gets you in shape fast.
I live on the south side of town, which seems to have a majority of people who rely on bikes or walking to get where they're going. I've never run into a problem with cars here, not even in the dead of winter at 3 a.m., because people just seem used to all the bikes.

As my actual vehicle is a van that gets 11 mpg, I don't drive much. I try to spend under $50 a month on gas, if that. Plus, St. Louis has terrible public transportation, unfortunately. I'm a reporter who works from home, but I do have to go out around town pretty often. And usually that means I need to "get there now", so I've managed to get pretty fast on my bike as of late. I'm not timid on the roads, maybe sometimes I'm a little too brave, but I do pay attention to traffic lights and obey them. This bike is my car after all.

I'm pretty recognizable on the road - I have my helmet and always wear the same maroon jacket when I ride (I guess spring is coming so that will be coming off soon), plus I have my headlight and flashing taillight. Oh yes, and my blue backpack that doubles as my purse. All winter I went with my right pant leg tucked into an ugly brown wool sock, which should be catching as the latest fashion trend by now. I ride six days a week on average, sometimes all seven and none of my friends will ride with me anymore because I either ride too fast or want to ride too far.

girljen 03-31-08 04:18 PM

I ride a hybrid bike and have a three-mile commute. How I ride depends on the time of day. I am never without my helmet, reflective gear, cell phone (in the trunk bag), or bell.

Commute in the dark
(usually the ride home from work at 0500)

I have to ride on the streets, because the greenbelt (MUP) is closed. The streets in question are 52nd Avenue, a two-lane road with a bike path and light traffic; a few residential streets; and the I-70 south service road, which has NO shoulder and is pretty scary. I cross a six-lane state highway.

I act like a vehicle. I take the lane, obey all traffic signals, use hand signals for turns, and try to be as predictable as possible.

I am a shining beacon of reflectivity with my construction-style reflective vest, reflective arm band, reflective leg band, reflective stickers on my helmet and my bike, LED headlight and taillight...I'm still stocking up on lights; when I am 'fully equipped', I'll have lights on all my bags, and possibly a few extras on my person.

Commute in the sun
(this is usually my ride to work at 1600 for a 1700 on-air time)

I get to take the greenbelt, yay! Riding on an MUP is kind of like driving emergent in an ambulance. Signal to pass; some people will pull to the right, others will just stop in the middle of the path. Use due caution.

ft_critical 05-06-08 03:07 AM

I live in the inner city. Most of my rides take me towards the outskirts of the city. I do many group rides.

My greatest fear on a group ride is:
  • on the way back after an early morning ride, we strike the Sat/Sun morning shopping run - read weekend rush-hour,
  • as the group transitions through three lanes so that it can make a turn,
  • we are all in the middle lane with traffic at 70kph on either side - the roads are twisty, very narrow (making up for poor planning by cramming more lanes onto the road) and absolutely frightening,
  • we are traveling slowly looking for an opportunity to merge,
  • everyone is tending to look back towards the rear guide, looking for his raised hand to signal that it is safe to merge,
  • so to my fear; that something happens ahead and I lose balance and fall outward into the passing traffic - still clipped in. This is easy to do in a distracting, slow moving environment.

You might say, why not unclip a foot? Because you need to react quickly to merge across to the next lane - so it is not really an option.

dave.henri 05-06-08 09:19 AM

I ride mostly for sport and recreation. Long rides on the weekend, say 80 to 100 miles if I can get it in. During the week, I ride with a local bike club or hit this quiet road for a few laps. I try and avoid traffic as much as possible. My problem is I have a 31 mile one way commute to work and am trying different scenarios as how to incorporate some of that on a bike. I also do loaded touring once a year. This year I want to do a loop around Lake Michigan on my old Trek 720 touring rig. I have five bikes, a newer Trek 5500 carbon frame, an older 3Rensho steel campy rig, my Trek 720 (completely rebuilt) touring bike, an Atlantis fat tire bike for the dirt roads, and a newly build singlespeed from a Gitane frame I saved from the dumpster. Looking to do Brevets maybe next year.

dolcegirl 05-07-08 09:57 AM

I would prefer to ride on the main (busy) roads, and did last year, but had a couple of close calls. My experience on main (2 lane each way) road has been that half or more of the cars that go around me, do so at the last minute. Rarely do cars go around in the other lane. I stick 95% side roads now. Driver in general really have little or now respect for cyclists and their safety, at least in my town. Thank goodness my town provides many areas that have a bicycle lane on those busy roads.

tissuedigester 05-22-08 03:07 PM

I live in Denver, and I'm fortunate to live close to many MUPs and roads with bike lanes. I used to ride to commute, but I've moved within walking distance of my office so now most of my riding is recreational. Sometimes I'll still run errands on my bike, depending on time. I have a little road bike and a mountain bike, and which one I take depends on the weather. (snow, rain, scary neighborhood where I don't want to park my precious road bike = my cheap mountain bike) Oh, and if I'm lazy, I'll ride my motorcycle. :)

One problem I've noticed is that most of the bike lanes here will just end arbitrarily, forcing you to merge with traffic, which to me is scarier than just staying in traffic the whole time. If there's an MUP going where I want to go, I'll usually take it. Otherwise I'll ride in the roads with traffic, as far right as possible. If they provide a bike lane, I'll ride in it, although I'm always bitter when I have to merge back. When I first started cycling I tended to stay on sidewalks because I was terrified of the road. Now I'm terrified of riding on sidewalks.

I stop at all lights and stop signs, use hand signals, and wear a bright orange jersey.

nemo 05-31-08 11:13 AM

I live in Elizabethton tennessee, most of my riding is commuting I refuse to use a sidewalk or give cars an undeserved right of way. My ride consists of either up or downhill, almost no flat LOL. drivers yell at me but most of it is in the string of ride on the sidewalk. yeah right! I just grin and wave. gas being what it is the joke is on the driver not me.

johndeere 06-10-08 12:28 AM

I ride 7.5 miles of 25,30 mph, busy city streets. I obey the traffic laws as if I was a car except for one curve where I will speed a little. I signal all lane changes and turns. I stop for pedestrians. I find that cars seems to notice you more if you are going the same speed as them and/or you respond like a car. Perversely, bicycles notice seem to notice me less.

I have flashers front and back.

SkinnyBikeDude 06-23-08 11:48 AM

Well just gettin back into biking. We have good country roads/dirtroads in my area not much traffic :),so I`m riding locally for now,want to try some Rail trails and longer rides in future.

Bookman 06-26-08 06:28 PM

I just restarted biking a couple of months ago. I ride every day. I ride strictly for fun, 10-15 miles a day usually. I ride on busy four-lane streets, quiet residential streets, and the American River Bike Trail. Like johndeere I obey the law at all times—stopping at stop signs, hand-signaling, using the left-turn lane, etc.—with one exception: I do not hesitate to leave the street in favor of brief interlude on an empty sidewalk when I believe my life depends on it.

crhilton 06-26-08 08:11 PM

I ride in the midwest. Lincoln, NE to be exact. I like in suburbia, in an apartment. That means that:
* Through roads are four lanes
* Other roads never ever go through, you often have to double your trip to go by side streets.
* Occasionally, if I go North, through roads are 3 lanes and not so busy (more through roads, slower speed limits).

Lincoln really wants to be a cycling town. But there just aren't quite enough cyclists, drivers are too nice, and there are far too many MUP's and not nearly enough bike lanes.

Drivers are generally nice. Most drivers pass kindly. A few are so over careful you want to strangle them. And even fewer are complete jerks: Mostly old men who are probably still angry about Nixon.

How I ride:
I spend probably half my time on MUP's. It just so happens that I can ride MUP's from home most of the way to work. Sometimes I ride the road instead, but the MUP is just so peaceful in the morning. Mostly worth the road crossings.

The rest of my riding is split between regular city roads and highways. If I'm riding highways it's leisure riding, often with groups. We ride busy 4 lane split highways with shoulders. We also ride 2 lane highways with no shoulders: The shoulder-less highways are much nicer. Light traffic, right next to you, is preferable to the constant sound of semi's buzzing by.

On the roads I ride to the right, even in the four ways. I typically take the lane through intersections. I got sick of getting passed by cars who drive through the left turn lane on the other side of the road. If they're going to do that, when they have a collision it's going to be full head one and not a glancing blow because I'm not giving them the intersection.

On the two lane highways I generally wander. You can hear cars coming a mile away, so it's pretty relaxed most of the time. Usually I'm over to the right, but you get lazy when there's nothing reminding you to stay right.

On the MUP's I'm overly cautious. I take it slow through intersections and trust no one to see me or go the direction they look like they're going. I've grown to "on your left" more often than I used to, but I still get a few people who jump in front of me when I say it. The worst are people with dogs, and teenagers.

micahmiller 07-25-08 12:58 PM

What is the best/safest way to cross a Cloverleaf?:twitchy:

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