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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 11-30-17, 09:30 PM   #26
Daniel4
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Try a pool noodle protruding from the side of your bike.

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/10/18/cyclist-says-his-pool-noodle-makes-toronto-streets-safer-for-him.html

You'll have to get over the looking-foolish factor but in the article, the cyclist says it's very effective. That's because motorists are now concerned about damaging the paint on their cars than they ever were about your safety.
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Old 11-30-17, 10:04 PM   #27
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What is the speed limit on the A5 road?
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Old 12-06-17, 02:34 AM   #28
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Why the shoulder hate?
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Old 12-11-17, 09:25 AM   #29
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Is there no way you could get on the other side of the hedge and ride through the fields?
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Old 12-11-17, 10:22 AM   #30
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Why the shoulder hate?
I think the best point is, grass can hide dangerous holes.
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Old 12-31-17, 05:45 PM   #31
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The only option I believe you have is to ride on 2" tires (minimum), so when you bump the edge of the road at times (and you will), that you will stay stable. Get a fiberglass whip antenna about $10. Mount a Pool Noodle that sticks out horizontally from the side of the bike towards traffic ($1). Mount lights on each. (5 to $20) Get a GoPro camera to record all traffic coming up on you. (used older models are reasonable). Then take 1/3 of the paved surface to ride safely. When drivers act aggressive show the vids to the appropriate authorities. Is it only 1.7 miles? Come on man. Trust me when I say that you will need to learn these skills if you are going to ever get off "your" bike path. If you want some nightmares try the Astoria bridge at rush hour in a big ass storm.
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Old 12-31-17, 06:51 PM   #32
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Not knowing the actual situation, this depends heavily on driving culture and what you're willing to do.

Don't do it unless you feel ready -- fear is your spidey sense telling you you're out of your element. That there is Strava data for this section tells you that at least some people ride it (but you don't know why).

As someone who has ridden a lot on highways with little or no shoulder (albeit in the US), here are some thoughts:

1) Be considerate and try to help drivers get by you. The vast majority of people reciprocate if you try to work with them. Don't expect consideration if you don't intend to be considerate yourself. Think about how you'd feel if you were a driver and be the cyclist you'd want to encounter.

2) If you start riding this section, expect it to be rough at first. After you've been out there a couple months, motorists will expect to see you and the experience gets WAY better

3) Motorists treat you much better if you look like you know what you're doing. Wear bright clothing, be properly lit, use a mirror and know where everyone is, ride with a confident stroke, and make it clear via positioning and hand signals that you know what's going on at all times.

4) Motorists are most likely to do whatever the person in front of them did. This means you need to push the cars out. Ride left, but as they approach, drift right and wave -- you're basically herding the cars. Since the road is busy, it sounds like the effect you want to achieve is to pushing everyone over (including oncoming traffic). This is doable, but you need to pay attention because some drivers are much easier to work with than others.

5) I would not ride on the shoulder for many reasons. Also, do not ride too far right even though you'll often pull in to let them squeeze by. Otherwise, they'll drive like you're not there.

6) Rather than use cameras as BBassett advises (BTW, I've ridden the bridge he references a number of times), memorize all hostile drivers. People are creatures of habit meaning they tend to show up about the same places at the same times. In future when you see them, initiate a friendly 5 finger wave 2 seconds before they pass you from behind -- if you don't let these people under your skin and strip them of their anonymity, the treatment is completely different.

7) Be especially alert for wide loads hanging over the edges of trucks (common with construction) and towed trailers that dance around -- these can hit you even if the vehicles hauling them give what would normally be enough space if the drivers aren't mindful of their loads.

Last edited by banerjek; 12-31-17 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 01-05-18, 01:12 PM   #33
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I like the idea of riding on the grassy shoulder. I also wonder if getting a rear view mirror would help, so you aren't surprised by what's coming up behind you. You could even walk that stretch.
That's what I would do. Ride the grassy shoulder. It's totally doable for 1.5 miles. Just cruise through it, don't push too hard.
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Old 01-05-18, 05:14 PM   #34
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banerjek and acidfast said it all. Both great advice. Nothing to add. I'd give that commute a go.
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Old 01-06-18, 11:56 AM   #35
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It's not even 1.5 miles. Honestly with heavy traffic I would probably use the pavement and/or trails if available. Looks like there's a sidewalk/path/pavement that ends at Clampernow road, and then another trail/pavement picks back up in between Tagharine and Duncastle roads. It's 1.0 miles exactly between those points. If you don't have a bicycle conducive to riding in the grass on the edge, then hit the road and sprint the distance.

I personally can't stand 2-lane roads with heavy traffic. 2-lane roads with bike lanes, or 4-lane roads where motorists can easily pass are much less stressful. If there's a shoulder, path or sidewalk (pavement) available on a 2-lane road with heavy traffic, then I'll usually take it and be extra cautious at side roads and driveways.
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Old 01-06-18, 01:42 PM   #36
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+1 for riding on the shoulder. Get a bike that can take 2.5 inch tires, a mountain bike or monster cross, as well as visible clothing, lights, and a mirror.
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Old 01-07-18, 12:13 AM   #37
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You have a lot of good advice to try here. Like others said only you know how dodgy this is. Someone here I thought used a pool noodle attached to his rear rack - to force people to pass with at least 3 ft. And it worked for him pretty well from what I remember. In upstate New York - I mostly cycle in NYC but I run and drive upstate - I always slow down well behind the cyclist when in a car. I’ve had cyclists wave me around them when they’re prepared for it and when they can see it is safe to do so. And I’ve seen plenty of cars take the opposite lane while slowing down for both cyclists and runners who have to ride or run in the street. There’s a real lack of shoulders as well and it looks very similar. That said I’ve had a close call while running by totally clueless drivers. No bright clothing will help as they’re typically on their phones. If you could ride with one of those air horns I think that would be the only way bc you need to get their attention.

Mostly it’s thoughtless and careless drivers that you have to be concerned with. And there are so many of them. It’s awful how threatening they are. And of course in NYC (and elsewhere) you have the jerks who willingly put your life at risk bc they are awful human beings. It is what it is and you can only do what you can. Good luck whatever you do!

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Old 01-07-18, 01:53 PM   #38
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Re #31, I can assure you, No one commutes through the winter , riding on the Megler - Astoria bridge.. on a bicycle..

but the Ilwaco _Astoria bus does have a 2 bike rack on the front..


Summer there are a few hardy 'lets ride from Canada to Mexico on the west coast highway cycle tourists, then..






.....

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Old 01-10-18, 05:43 PM   #39
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4) Motorists are most likely to do whatever the person in front of them did. This means you need to push the cars out. Ride left, but as they approach, drift right and wave -- you're basically herding the cars. Since the road is busy, it sounds like the effect you want to achieve is to pushing everyone over (including oncoming traffic). This is doable, but you need to pay attention because some drivers are much easier to work with than others.

5) I would not ride on the shoulder for many reasons. Also, do not ride too far right even though you'll often pull in to let them squeeze by. Otherwise, they'll drive like you're not there.
I received a PM pointing out an error in these suggestions as I wrote them from a US perspective -- making them backwards for UK riders. In areas where people drive on the left side of the road, you should ride right when the vehicles are further behind and drift left shortly before they reach you.

The general idea is to ride in the traffic lane rather than along the edge of the road. By riding further out, you push the vehicles out and get them to slow down a little as they approach you. By moving towards the edge of the road as they get close, you make the drivers happier by looking attentive/considerate while creating space for yourself. The wave thanks them for the space (which in reality you simply took) and makes them and the vehicle behind feel better about your presence. You then just keep repeating the process.

This process may sound like weaving about, but done properly it is both natural and effective.

If you ride too close to the edge of the road, motorists will act like you aren't even there and run you off the road. Dealing with motorists is a lot like working with large hostile dogs. If you're calm, assertive, and communicate your expectations clearly, you'll find things work out well the vast majority of the time. Having said that, you should always be prepared to deal with exceptions...
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Old 01-16-18, 03:31 PM   #40
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There's 1.5 miles from where I live, to the nearest footpath / cycle path. IF it wasn't for that narrow, "A" road (main road, heavy traffic) there would be no big, scary challenges to cycling everyday. Every other challenge has a simple solution such as the right gear, preparation etc. But this.. is the biggest barrier I have to cycle commuting.

It's a stretch of road, and I know many of you will laugh because it's so little distance, and perhaps not as bad as what you face daily.. but to me, it's a terrifying risk that I'd surely have to de-value my life to take. At least according to family and friends who live here.

I want you guys to take a look at the road I'm talking about. It's the main road from Dublin in Ireland to my city, Derry so there's a lot of traffic from lorries to everything else at all times. But in order for me to truly leave my front door, to get shopping , to uni or work, at the very least I need to face this road.

I've done it before a few times which was scary, but the road itself not a physically difficult one. It's quite flat ish.

MY problems: it's not very wide, cars and lorries go very fast, though straight at parts there's hidden dips and turns that speeding cars may not pay attention to and not see me...

Once I pass this, it's dedicated cycle path from then on. I don't need to share with cars and would feel safe. Even in the dark.

Would you guys be able to give me advice or words of wisdom about facing this? I hate the fact I am out of pocket owning a car, getting lazy and unhealthy and paying a premium to be stuck in traffic.. when I am 21 years old and currently in the position to physically cycle. I've dreamt of being a cyclist only since 2015 to much criticism of people telling me it's dangerous, silly in the winter and how I need a car if I want a decent job ..
Hi! We're all curious what you decided to do! A5, Duncastle, or something else?
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