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Riding on the service road...

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Riding on the service road...

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Old 02-05-12, 04:19 PM
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littlebrite
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Riding on the service road...

Do you do it?

I rode to work today to see if the roads were okay for commuting during the week. Well, I took the service road for a few miles in a heavy traffic area each way instead of going 2 miles out of the way to avoid it. I didn't feel particularly unsafe, though there is a major shopping center on the way which means there is ALWAYS traffic and cars are driving pretty fast. The only other option is taking that 2-mile detour completely out of the way, and it's a country road which is very narrow.

Do any of you deal with the same issue? Do you guys ride on service roads on your commute? Anyone completely opposed to it?

This is basically the only way I'd be able to commute to work. Otherwise, I'm stuck being a weekend rider.
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Old 02-05-12, 04:37 PM
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i've found that the major drawback to service roads is the excessive amount of traffic in and out of adjacent parking lots that result in drivers being fixated on autos and trucks when determining if they have to right-of-way to get back on the road. they just don't "see" bicyclists. major defensive riding techniques are in order here. in other words i don't assume any driver sees me, even if they are looking me right in the eye, etc..
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Old 02-05-12, 05:23 PM
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I would definitely take a 2 mile detour to avoid heavy, high speed traffic. I actually take a 4 mile detour on my commute to avoid traffic and a horrible bike path.
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Old 02-05-12, 05:33 PM
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You might be able to take the services roads earlier in the morning depending on what time you are commuting. But I would take the extra two miles. It would be lovely.
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Old 02-05-12, 05:33 PM
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It would depend on just how much nicer the detour is and how far the commute without a detour is.

With my current 22 mile one way commute, I would not be interested in adding another 2 miles. If I was riding only 12 miles, I might do the detour.

If you are a new rider, you may want to read Street Smarts:
http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm
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Old 02-05-12, 05:37 PM
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Most of us have roads that we choose not to ride on for different reasons.

You have to make that decision.

Take care.
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Old 02-05-12, 10:01 PM
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Erick L
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I ride part of a service road on my way home. I like it. There's one intersection at the beginning that's tricky but the rest is good. Sometimes I can draft a semi-truck. I don't ride on the other side when going to work because the pavement is in bad condition and I can't keep a straight line. A couple of intersections are more tricky too.
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Old 02-06-12, 12:05 PM
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Thanks for the input everyone! This would push my commute up to about 24 miles RT, which I know is nothing for yall, but it's quite a bit for me since I am totally new to commuting and riding in general. I'll try the route again next weekend taking the detour and see if I can handle it.

Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
If you are a new rider, you may want to read Street Smarts:
http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm
Yes! Thanks for this.
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Old 02-06-12, 12:17 PM
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Since the choice is between riding the bike on the service road, or driving the car, I vote for using the service road. I don't use one myself, but the benefits I get from bike commuting are great enogh that I would if that was the only way to keep riding. As you get more into commuting, you may find that you are ready to take the detour. If not, no worries. If it were me, I'd ride the service road, over driving the car.
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Old 02-06-12, 01:39 PM
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I use service roads judiciously, which is to say, where I think they enhance my safety (not all service roads link to parking lots and other high traffic areas, though many/most do). As others have said, you need to assess the safety factors of each option, and choose what makes the most sense for you. I take some less than ideal riding conditions in order to keep my distance manageable in some places, so I am sympathetic.
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Old 02-06-12, 04:07 PM
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2 miles is only about 8 minutes, so time is not a huge factor. I'd try it both ways. Maybe you'll find times that the service road is fine to use and other times the 8 minutes is worth the lower stress and aggravation.
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