Author Topic: Biking route: how busy is too busy?  (Read 5333 times)

giggles

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Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« on: June 05, 2013, 10:00:05 AM »
How do you decide if a road is too busy to bike on?  I'd like to bike to my gym, but I'd have to cross a busy local road and my spouse thinks it is too busy to safely navigate on a bike.

jpo

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 10:55:17 AM »
I cross a busy road on my way to work. It's no big deal as long as you cross at a stop light.

Biking on the very busy road would be a different beast altogether.

giggles

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 11:08:16 AM »
There is a stoplight.  However, if I crossed there, there are no sidewalks or crosswalks, and I would have to walk the bike along the side of the road/in the grass for abot 200 yards until the next bike-able area.  Realistic?

binkley

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 05:19:49 PM »
There is a stoplight.  However, if I crossed there, there are no sidewalks or crosswalks, and I would have to walk the bike along the side of the road/in the grass for abot 200 yards until the next bike-able area.  Realistic?

What is preventing you from riding in the street?  Local laws do vary, but many jurisdictions allow full use of the right lane by bikes.  And while it's sometimes more intimidating to ride in the street, it's actually safer than sidewalks or bike paths, since you're more visible to cars.

Joet

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 05:26:21 PM »
I think your own personal judgement is always the best rule of thumb. Unless you're an idiot. Just kidding man :)

grantmeaname

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 07:36:38 PM »
A busy road is less of a problem than a fast one. Doubly so for a busy road with enough lanes that people can pass you in another lane than the one you're trying to ride in.

gooki

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2013, 01:03:08 AM »
Fast multilane roads with trucks and little manovering room are the ones I avoid.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2013, 06:18:06 AM »
I bike on very busy multilane city streets with no issue.  During rush hour, I'm usually going at or above the average speed of traffic.  Have to second what Grantmeaname said . . . it's the fast roads that I avoid, busy city streets with lots of lights aren't bad at all once you get used to cycling around traffic.  When the average car speed is 80 kph (50 mph) an hour that I feel much less comfortable, and will try to find other routes.

jfer_rose

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 07:42:27 AM »
Do you live somewhere that has a bicycle advocacy group? You  might want to find out if they offer classes on bicycling in traffic. These classes are really helpful for teaching you how to bike safely as well as to gain confidence about biking on busy streets.

http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/courses.php

You can search to see if there are any resources in your area. I know that in my area these sorts of classes are offered for free or for low cost.
http://findit.bikeleague.org/search/

cbr shadow

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2013, 08:09:06 AM »
My work commute is simliar to what you describe.  Just use common sense and you'll be fine.  Once you do it 1 time you'll be much more comfortable. 
Also, are there other routes?  If you're not sure, google map it and post a link to your route and we'll help you.

deciduous

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2013, 10:51:27 AM »
I completely agree that volume of traffic is a concern, but not as high on my list as how fast the traffic runs, how much shoulder exists, and how much chaos is injected from side streets. I feel quite comfortable in most high-traffic situations; high traffic in an urban environment generally means some degree of gridlock which is bad for inhaling exhaust but good for not getting run over.

There's almost always some sort of sensible alternate route.

tuyop

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2013, 12:07:42 PM »
The road is 4 lanes (2 each direction) with no shoulder, no sidewalks, and no bike lane.  Speed limit is 45, and most card go at that clip or faster. 

Here is the link to the map if you guys want to check it out.  The light is at the intersection of Denow and Rt 31.  If walking/riding, I would cross at that light, and walk my bike from there to Diverty Rd.
https://www.google.com/maps?saddr=denow+road,+pennington,+nj&daddr=Transform+Crossfit,+1589+Reed+Rd+%232,+Pennington,+NJ&hl=en&ll=40.303258,-74.782133&spn=0.024874,0.038409&sll=40.297759,-74.781919&sspn=0.024876,0.038409&geocode=FSXkZgId5yKL-ym717SL6OLDiTE5hDKA2cCEsw%3BFSbnZgIdza2K-yGwsWddKtNpuyml1c5lyPzDiTGwsWddKtNpuw&oq=trans&t=h&mra=ltm&z=15

This the kind of road that I commute on, 25 miles per day. What's your concern, exactly?

Stay visible, behave predictably, be vigilant. Nobody in a car wants to kill you, don't be afraid.



I have a funny story about that commute actually:

The other day I was making my way up the big hill on my route, which is about a 3% grade. I downshifted, and since my bike is a POS Canadian Tire "road" bike that I got used and the FD is broken, I threw my chain and IMMEDIATELY came to a stop. I ride clipless, so I was attached to the bike and just tipped right over, sprawling into the lane.

Fortunately, there were no cars coming for awhile so I could untangle myself and pull my bike off the road to fix the chain. It could have been something though!

jpo

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Re: Biking route: how busy is too busy?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 03:30:35 PM »
Too easy. Cut behind Hopewell Crossing shopping center and go straight onto Diverty.