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Riding a bike on the highway?

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Riding a bike on the highway?

Old 06-30-12, 03:18 PM
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robbyrocks12345
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Riding a bike on the highway?

Today I was driving on the highway and I saw a cyclist riding in the shoulder and it was someone who looked like they were actually really into it, looked they were riding a Madone. Is this even legal, there's no way I would ever do that, I passed them doing 80mph, and it wasn't just for them just to jump on to another road, these were river flats and the next exit was at least 5 miles away. I live in Michigan and there's this sign whenever you merge onto a highway.
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Old 06-30-12, 03:20 PM
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Old 06-30-12, 03:46 PM
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Depends on the area. In western states it's quite common for portions of interstate highways and other limited access roads to allow bicycles on the shoulder in areas where there aren't good alternate routes - and in some cases even where there are other good options. Some eastern states also allow some bicycle access. When I lived in NJ the transportation department issued permits on request for bicyclists wishing to ride on a number of limited access highways in that state. In California (where I live now) the default is that bicycle access is permitted unless the sign on the entrance ramp indicates otherwise, which it frequently does.
Here's an example of a freeway entrance where bikes are permitted.




That blank space on the sign in the second photo under 'Pedestrians' is where it usually mentions 'Bicycles' but this section allows cyclists. And one can legally cycle on the I-5 shoulder from the SF Bay area almost all the way to the LA area (Tracy to Santa Clarita) although there are alternate roads for most of that stretch.

Here's a similar sign on an entrance to a section of the Hwy. 101 freeway in southern California:

Last edited by prathmann; 06-30-12 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 06-30-12, 04:00 PM
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It is noisy, but the draft from the trucks is awesome.

The flats are not much fun.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVT2H...lurksmarvelous
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Old 06-30-12, 04:03 PM
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I ride the shoulder on Highway #1 up here in Canada all the time. It's smooth, about 8' wide and the best way to pick up some good miles without worry about cars hitting you. Hardly an intersection and no lights. Did my metric century on the highway today and hope to get one in each of the next two days.
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Old 06-30-12, 04:06 PM
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By highway I assume you mean interstate or freeway...and that's friggin nuts.
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Old 06-30-12, 04:08 PM
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There's a diffrence between this






And
This

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Old 06-30-12, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Yotsko View Post
By highway I assume you mean interstate or freeway...and that's friggin nuts.
Interstate
, 3 lanes there on each side, 4 lanes a few miles up, each side traffic traveling over 80, lots of cars, lots of 4th of July traffic traveling north...
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Old 06-30-12, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyrocks12345 View Post
There's a diffrence between this






And
This

It's more like the first one...
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Old 06-30-12, 04:17 PM
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I see a few here in Wisconsin every now and then even though, if I recall correctly, it's illegal. Police don't seem to mind as I've seen them pass them and they don't stop. I figure it's boring and an easy way to donate your organs. No thanks, I'll pass.....
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Old 06-30-12, 04:17 PM
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road cycling in michigan in general is a bad idea....even back country state routes usually have narrow shoulders and 55 mph speed limits. that doesnt mean @#$%. those yahoos still drive 70 on a two lane road.
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Old 06-30-12, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pdxtex View Post
road cycling in michigan in general is a bad idea....even back country state routes usually have narrow shoulders and 55 mph speed limits. that doesnt mean @#$%. those yahoos still drive 70 on a two lane road.
No biggie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPlc...eature=related
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Old 06-30-12, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyrocks12345 View Post
And
This


That's what I'm talking about. I wouldn't touch the first one.
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Old 06-30-12, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TnDiamondback View Post
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Are those good?
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Old 06-30-12, 04:26 PM
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I ride Interstate 5 all the time. Legal in OR, WA except in/near big cities, where you don't wanna ride anyways as the exits are too frequent.

I prefer being 8 feet away from 70mph traffic to being 2 feet away from 55mph traffic (which is pretty much your only other option in many areas).

There are signs to let you know when you gotta bail:


Interstate 5 . by RaymondYu, on Flickr

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Old 06-30-12, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pdxtex View Post
road cycling in michigan in general is a bad idea....even back country state routes usually have narrow shoulders and 55 mph speed limits. that doesnt mean @#$%. those yahoos still drive 70 on a two lane road.
I ride back country routes here in Owosso, MI all the time. There's usually not much of a shoulder, and people drive 60-65 sure, but most people slow down and get all the way over when passing. I'd much rather ride on the highway here than a freeway! lol that's just crazy
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Old 06-30-12, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by blargman View Post
I ride back country routes here in Owosso, MI all the time. There's usually not much of a shoulder, and people drive 60-65 sure, but most people slow down and get all the way over when passing. I'd much rather ride on the highway here than a freeway! lol that's just crazy

For real! When i'm home in MI I do TONS of back road riding. All much like the video above, very narrow shoulder, 55+mph. Most people seem to slow down when passing.

What interstate did you see the cyclists on? As I have friends in Fruitport and go to Central Michigan University for school, i'm in that area once or twice a month.

Chris
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Old 06-30-12, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
Are those good?
With a honey glaze? Dee Lish!
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Old 06-30-12, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ImChris View Post
For real! When i'm home in MI I do TONS of back road riding. All much like the video above, very narrow shoulder, 55+mph. Most people seem to slow down when passing.

What interstate did you see the cyclists on? As I have friends in Fruitport and go to Central Michigan University for school, i'm in that area once or twice a month.

Chris
U.S. 31 going towards North Muskegon, traffic today was crazy, must be from the fourth of July.
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Old 06-30-12, 07:36 PM
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im mostly ribbing michigan. i grew up there too (chelsea, dexter, ann arbor) and went to state. did lots of road riding around ann arbor which was pretty fun but no way would i ride out by chelsea where my folks live. its like the redneck autobahn on some roads. there are tons of back country dirt roads though which i bet a cross bike would be fun on.
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Old 06-30-12, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I prefer being 8 feet away from 70mph traffic to being 2 feet away from 55mph traffic
So may tractor trailers here that I don't know about that.
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Old 06-30-12, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
I prefer being 8 feet away from 70mph traffic to being 2 feet away from 55mph traffic (which is pretty much your only other option in many areas).
+1
I've ridden I-70 in the mtns, and a cyclist effectively has his own lane with that huge paved berm. It is just no big deal.
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Old 06-30-12, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by robbyrocks12345 View Post
There's a diffrence between this






And
This

The bottom picture isn't an interstate (which is what I thought you were discussing) and looks like it might be quite a dangerous road given that there's only a narrow shoulder, high-speed two-way traffic, and visibility is limited by some of those rock formations near the road. Easy for someone to swerve onto the shoulder, especially if there's oncoming traffic that gets close to, or over, the center line.

OTOH, bicycling on interstate shoulders is generally quite safe since the shoulder is wide, sightlines are long, and, in your original post, you mentioned that the next exit was at least 5 miles away. Exit/entrance ramps tend to be the safety hazard for cyclists riding on freeways and cycling there is generally only allowed (if at all) in areas where they are rather widely spaced. With a 5-mile spacing the cyclist may even be getting off and re-entering at each exit therefore avoiding the problem of crossing the ramp in conflict with exiting/entering traffic.

But, while I've felt quite safe riding on freeway shoulders, they do have other issues. As '10 Wheels' mentioned, the draft from passing trucks is nice but flats are not fun. Frequently there's lots of tire debris on the shoulder and as this disintegrates it leaves behind little wires from the steel reinforcing belts and cords which can puncture bike tires. We found this to be a significant problem on I-5 in California. He also mentioned the noise which is indeed distracting and renders the riding less pleasant. In addition, the freeway right-of-way is so wide that you're removed from the visual cues that give you the sense of making progress - passing trees, streams, etc. I found that psychologically I felt that we were going much slower than indicated by our cyclometers.
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Old 07-01-12, 12:24 AM
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There's always people trying to get their names into the latest edition of the Darwin Awards.
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Old 07-01-12, 12:26 AM
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It's nice that the OP was so concerned about the cyclist's safety that he slowed down to 80.
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