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Drain Gutters

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Drain Gutters

Old 08-10-11, 05:45 PM
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surfer777
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Drain Gutters

What do you guys do about the drain gutters that come out into the bike lane leaving you about 4 inches of road to ride on before you are in the next lane over? On a road where the speed limit is lower I don't have an issue just riding on that little section but on roads where the speed limit is 50+ (I'm thinking La Costa Avenue between the 5 and El Camino Real for you North County San Diegans) its a little disconcerting to ride the line with drivers who don't care how close they get to you. Do you guys avoid the drain gutter or just ride over it? I've seen people do both and I see the advantages of doing both. Heck, I've done both. But what is the best option?

Edit: I'm not talking about your standard gutter you never want to ride in, just to clarify
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Old 08-10-11, 06:02 PM
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Position yourself out in the lane early (so you are not just swerving into the lane around the drain) and be far enough into the lane to make it undeniably clear that you do not want to share the lane. If these drains occur frequently, I wouldn't even bother using the bike lane at all.

A mirror can help spot gaps in traffic that make it easier to merge into the lane. In the absence of a gap, you need to make one by signaling and getting the attention of passing motorists. Looking back over your shoulder while signaling is a good way to do this in my experience.
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Old 08-10-11, 07:10 PM
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RacerOne
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If the grate holes are perpendicluar to your direction of travel, just ride over it.
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Old 08-10-11, 07:12 PM
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learn to bunny hop
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Old 08-10-11, 07:20 PM
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i feel its all about attitude... joejack951 said it right
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Old 08-10-11, 09:04 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. The drain gutters aren't the ones with the grates, its just an extension of the gutter on the side of the road into the bike lane. I've gotten to know which gutters are smooth and which ones are bumpy so that helps, but on new roads I don't like to find out if a gutter is bumpy or not the hard way! So it seems signaling and getting out of the bike lane would be the most ideal option, though I'm a little hesitant to do this on a road with high traffic speeds.
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Old 08-11-11, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by surfer777 View Post
So it seems signaling and getting out of the bike lane would be the most ideal option, though I'm a little hesitant to do this on a road with high traffic speeds.
Then I'd suggest riding more on lower speed roads and practicing your signaling and lane changing there. I wouldn't want to risk a fall next to high speed traffic.
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