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What local roads do you recommend avoiding?

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What local roads do you recommend avoiding?

Old 12-04-12, 04:49 PM
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What local roads do you recommend avoiding?

I thought it would be helpful to ask what roads you have ridden and would advise other cyclists to avoid. Here are my two in Southern California that I suggest you take right off your bucket list:

Hwy 74 from Lake Hemet descending into Palm Desert -- This is a pretty technical descent with no shoulders and few turn-offs. The road gets filled up with retirees and commuters pretty early. You can take the lane, but with the on-coming traffic and the line backed up behind you, you're likely to end up under a car or over a cliff if you flat at speed. https://goo.gl/maps/vttUS

Los Gatos west of Temecula -- Northbound, this is a super-steep off-camber climb that the locals avoid. If you ride down it southbound, don't let it run or you can quickly exceed the limits of your brakes. I believe there have been 2 fatalities involving overheated rims and blowouts at 70+mph. https://goo.gl/maps/cvoqG

Last edited by Daves_Not_Here; 12-04-12 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 12-04-12, 05:12 PM
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If you ever come up north avoid the route 112 between Sherbrooke and Montreal
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Old 12-04-12, 05:17 PM
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I see a lot of people riding on 39th/Cesar Chavez blvd which is a terribly dumb thing to do, likewise for MLK, and Burnside St.
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Old 12-04-12, 05:33 PM
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A popular road to ride here in the Bay Area is Niles Canyon Rd.

When it's busy, it can be a nightmare to ride on certain sections of it where there is absolutely no shoulder. In these sections, I will certainly take the lane. When I do, I'm sure to get some drivers raging mad, because they are unable to safely pass, due to all the blind turns. I've never been honked at nor yelled at nearly as much as I have on this particular road.

That said, I'll continue to use it to do one of my favorite rides.
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Old 12-04-12, 06:05 PM
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Anything in Western North Dakota right now. There is a huge oil boom on and what used to be a beautiful example of the Western Plains is now a madhouse. The traffic is insane with trucks and equipment, the population is growing exponentially overnight, the crime rate is up, you can't get a motel room to save your life. The whole attitude is one of "if you aren't involved in oil, get the he11 out of the way". Too bad, the badlands and Medora were one of my favorite areas and the Maa Daa Hey Trail is one of the great unpaved rides in the country, but it just isn't worth it to try to get there anymore. Something else to thank big oil for.
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Old 12-04-12, 06:19 PM
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Used to be riding through Philadelphia inner city gas station lots; every one had a poorly bred fear biting German Shepard dog. That was before the stations became caged fortresses for the cashier.

Walmart parking lots are pretty hairy for goofball low speed driving technique.
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Old 12-04-12, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith
Anything in Western North Dakota right now. There is a huge oil boom on and what used to be a beautiful example of the Western Plains is now a madhouse. The traffic is insane with trucks and equipment, the population is growing exponentially overnight, the crime rate is up, you can't get a motel room to save your life. The whole attitude is one of "if you aren't involved in oil, get the he11 out of the way". Too bad, the badlands and Medora were one of my favorite areas and the Maa Daa Hey Trail is one of the great unpaved rides in the country, but it just isn't worth it to try to get there anymore. Something else to thank big oil for.
Funny you say this -- I just the heard the same complaint about riding in West Texas now that oil is booming, and this from an oil guy.
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Old 12-04-12, 10:05 PM
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It doesn't seem that hairy on video (except for maybe the shimmy at 1:21). Of course it probably helps to know you have disk brakes.



Last edited by Daves_Not_Here; 12-05-12 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Had the wrong time
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Old 12-05-12, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Used to be riding through Philadelphia inner city gas station lots; every one had a poorly bred fear biting German Shepard dog. That was before the stations became caged fortresses for the cashier.

Walmart parking lots are pretty hairy for goofball low speed driving technique.
Any parking lot is bad news.

Around the next road over Homer Watson Boulevard is best avoid at nearly all times. Four lanes, speed limit of 70 km/h and everyone is a mad rush either to get to the Conestoga Expressway or Highway 401. Not fun not even on the sidewalk. One large roundabout and two more planned will add to the excitement.

Addendum:

Just about clobbered a cyclist on that stretch on Saturday in the early hours of the AM. He had a light but it the batteries were just about toast. Please guys check your rear lights on occasion to make sure they can be seen.

Last edited by nelson249; 12-10-12 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 12-05-12, 11:13 AM
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In Los Angeles so many street are time dependent.

I'd avoid any Street bordering a High School or College during at least large parts of the school day.

Mullohlland Highway is very nice on a weekend morning. Rush hour is lkke being a duck in a shooting gallery.

The only One I'd completely advise avoiding is Topanga Canyon coming up from the Beach. It has a ver steep climb with a narrow lane and the guardrail right there. Going to the beach is OK, but there at least used to be a 4 inch of so drop on the shoulder coming off a bridge.

Also riders have had things thrown at them by kids an just about any of the roads going to the beach North of Topanga.
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Old 12-05-12, 12:27 PM
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I live in the Detroit suburbs. I recommend avoiding all roads.
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Old 12-05-12, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine
I live in the Detroit suburbs. I recommend avoiding all roads.
What a crack-up! I've heard that about Detroit.
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Old 12-05-12, 04:19 PM
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Ouch. Just found this.

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Old 12-05-12, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisM2097
A popular road to ride here in the Bay Area is Niles Canyon Rd...
Holy cow. Popular with whom? If there's one road to avoid in the East Bay, that's it.
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Old 12-05-12, 08:06 PM
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Any rural two lane road in South Carolina. This state ranks the 2nd most dangerous for bicyclists in the country. This street view is of a BICYCLE FRIENDLY road. The unfriendly ones are horrible. Oh, and right after the street view pic was taken, SCDOT added rumble strips to the road eliminating what little there is of a shoulder.

https://goo.gl/maps/rTK62

RK
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Old 12-05-12, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rjkfsm
Any rural two lane road in South Carolina. This state ranks the 2nd most dangerous for bicyclists in the country. This street view is of a BICYCLE FRIENDLY road. The unfriendly ones are horrible. Oh, and right after the street view pic was taken, SCDOT added rumble strips to the road eliminating what little there is of a shoulder.

https://goo.gl/maps/rTK62

RK
I'm not sure what the problem with that road is from your perspective. I see a straight rural or suburban roadway with good sight lines. The lane, even including the now-rumbled shoulder, is too narrow to share so any competent cyclist would be taking the lane. Since the sight lines are good the only issue is how much motorized traffic uses the roadway. If it is lightly traveled, then it's better than most roads and there shouldn't be any issues. If it's a commuter connector, then it would be lousy even if they added more shoulder.

That said, I've only ridden in South Carolina once, and that was a quarter-century ago on my way down the Blue Ridge Parkway, so I don't really know how aggressive the local car-addicts are towards cyclists. Back then, folks didn't seem to mind our presence, but I was traveling with two young, fit beautiful women so maybe I would have seen something different if it was just my ugly self rolling along.
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Old 12-05-12, 09:57 PM
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The street that I live on. It's a 1 & 7/8 lane street with apartment parking. Speed limit 40, traffic moves at 45-50. I use the sidewalk. Discretion is the better part of valor.
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Old 12-06-12, 04:47 AM
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The streets, that I won't bike on, are the interstate, and any roads, with speed limits above 40mph. In general, apart from bike paths, the DC-Metro region is very hostile towards cyclists'. So unless the cyclist is experienced at biking in traffic, they should take a quieter route.
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Old 12-06-12, 08:24 AM
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I’ve lived in Tampa quite a while and could name many roads. Generally, I avoid the major high traffic roads (like Hillsborough or Dale Mabry). They are almost always busy and even the ones with bike lanes have such a high potential for left and right hooks it’s not worth the risk. So I stick to the smaller neighborhood lanes. Even then you can’t let your guard down. On the good side, however, Tampa has effectively reengineered some roads to calm traffic and add room for bikes (Boulevard). Maybe there’s hope.
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Old 12-06-12, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris516
The streets, that I won't bike on, are the interstate, and any roads, with speed limits above 40mph. In general, apart from bike paths, the DC-Metro region is very hostile towards cyclists'. So unless the cyclist is experienced at biking in traffic, they should take a quieter route.
Around here, there is no quieter route. I travel from neighborhood to neighborhood but there is no direct path from one to the next meaning I have to ride main streets. The closest main road is a narrow, two lane, twisty road with a 45 mph speed limit. I do not live in the country. There are driveways, side streets, and major intersections on this road.

We also just increased the speed limit on another road around here that is my only route to a quiet park with a bike path. Narrow, two lane, hilly road is now 50 mph.

Cars rule around here.
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Old 12-06-12, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
I'm not sure what the problem with that road is from your perspective. I see a straight rural or suburban roadway with good sight lines. The lane, even including the now-rumbled shoulder, is too narrow to share so any competent cyclist would be taking the lane. Since the sight lines are good the only issue is how much motorized traffic uses the roadway. If it is lightly traveled, then it's better than most roads and there shouldn't be any issues. If it's a commuter connector, then it would be lousy even if they added more shoulder.

That said, I've only ridden in South Carolina once, and that was a quarter-century ago on my way down the Blue Ridge Parkway, so I don't really know how aggressive the local car-addicts are towards cyclists. Back then, folks didn't seem to mind our presence, but I was traveling with two young, fit beautiful women so maybe I would have seen something different if it was just my ugly self rolling along.
The speed limit is 55, but you'd think it was 80 the way people fly down that road. Add the redneck "get off the road" mentality I should post a video....
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Old 12-06-12, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine
Around here, there is no quieter route. I travel from neighborhood to neighborhood but there is no direct path from one to the next meaning I have to ride main streets. The closest main road is a narrow, two lane, twisty road with a 45 mph speed limit. I do not live in the country. There are driveways, side streets, and major intersections on this road.

We also just increased the speed limit on another road around here that is my only route to a quiet park with a bike path. Narrow, two lane, hilly road is now 50 mph.

Cars rule around here.
That is what happens around here, too. But I am not phased.
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Old 12-06-12, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecrate
I’ve lived in Tampa quite a while and could name many roads. Generally, I avoid the major high traffic roads (like Hillsborough or Dale Mabry). They are almost always busy and even the ones with bike lanes have such a high potential for left and right hooks it’s not worth the risk. So I stick to the smaller neighborhood lanes. Even then you can’t let your guard down. On the good side, however, Tampa has effectively reengineered some roads to calm traffic and add room for bikes (Boulevard). Maybe there’s hope.
Hillsborough sucks majorly, and still sucks on the Pinellas side as Tampa Rd. Anything round here that's a state road is bad news for cyclists (or any other vehicle for that matter...).
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Old 12-06-12, 10:35 PM
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Definitely recommend staying away from Emory Road, Maryland Route 91. Last and only time I rode there, I nearly got run over by a logging ruck that passed me while i was in the lane and had my hand out to turn. I looked back to check for cars before executing, thank god and was able to bail before I got pancaked. Then i got yelled at by a redneck in a pickup truck for being stupid despite the fact that I was following the rules of the road. Every time I think back to that, I realize how lucky I am.

tl;dr: Emory Road, Maryland Route 91
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Old 12-09-12, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516
That is what happens around here, too. But I am not phased.
Then it doesn't happen there.
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