How Do You Feel....

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by 5-7HEAVEN, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    How do you feel while riding on a busy street/highway, mixing it up with cars?

    I ride in the middle of the lane with "The Dragon Lady", my dual-engine girlie cruiser. I have to take that center lane of a 5-lane road because the side lanes peel off to the freeway and another ramp.

    I feel fine riding a short distance in heavy traffic on the curb lane.

    HOWEVER, I feel tense when I'm commuting to work and claiming that center lane. Speed limit is 35mph, I'm going 35-37mph. Cars aren't zipping close to me, so that's good.

    It's a two-mile stretch, but it seems like forever. I sense danger.

    If I take the bikepath, there's a good chance I'll get a flat tire along that stretch of road.
     

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I think I sense danger, too. It sounds uncomfortable.

    Sounds as though you don't have an alternative road? If that's the case, then I'd suggest riding the outside lane. The shoulder would be even better, if it's smooth and free of debris. Then when I came to the off-ramp, I'd follow it until I could stop and check for traffic. Then I'd cross back on to the roadway that goes straight. (I don't know if I described that just right, but I'll bet you can see what I mean.)

    I know that sounds like a bit of a pain. But it seems better than either being unsafe or being a hindrance to the autos. (which is unsafe. either way, you lose)

    Of course, if the cars only do 35 on that stretch, then you're in halfway decent shape.
    But cars sticking to the speed limit is very rare.

    We shouldn't mix with them.
     
  3. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    how do you feel -- well at times -- just not that good either !!! safe ???

    that spot you are talking about where the cars are behind you doing 35 mph
    my MB doesn't go that fast
    have been in situations like that but at slower speeds

    I think often about a motorist not paying attention and running into my back
    not a good thought -- and for sure would not feel good !!!
    when I rode motor cycles I never thought about this much
    they do have better brake lights in most cases

    for safty do you use clothing or back pack in safty color ?? yellow or orange ??
    may save one's life ??

    a serious chance we take when we ride those things
     
  4. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    next to windshield blind spot...

    many times that is also what I do bluegoatwoods

    sure I don't have to do that
    it's my legal right to stay right where I am in said lane -- straight through
    I would rather not get hurt than push my legal right

    but man oh man those cars can be scary
    as those in cars are looking ahead many times we are in their blind spot
    that's the spot of car frame between windshield and door
    I pulled right out in front of a motor cycle years ago
    he was hidden in that next to windshield blind spot...

    as we ride those things
     
  5. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    You really gotta watch out for those cell phone talkers
    It wont help if you got a strobe on your bike.
    There just soo busy and soo Important that they must be telling people how great they are 24/7......
    I used to not care, but it's gotton so bad that I think we need to do somthing......
    Cell Phone Tickets Talk about stimulis !!!!!
     
  6. Nuttsy

    Nuttsy Member

    Call me PIONEER! LOL
    I say if you can keep pace with the traffic, then keep on. Some of the roads I ride on, the bike lane splits to through traffic while the right lane becomes the turn lane. They zip on both sides of me. Ya gotta keep your wits about you and always be on the lookout. But, even when no bike lane and the above split in traffic patterns occur, you have to go on in the proper lane. Same with a left turn. SOOOOO many times I felt like a complete idiot taking up the left turn lane on my bike, BUT, that's where I belong and "sucks to your auntie"! Just stay abreast of the law, and have the ba**s to stay your ground. You have the right to be there. That being said, the graveyards are probably full of people who were in the 'right'.
    I am curious tho, (may be a Hawaii thing) what kind of 'freeway' has 35 mph speed limit? Freeway in my neck of the woods won't even allow a bike! Misnomer, perhaps???
    Keep a 'finger' ready at all times...a good loud horn helps too to wake 'em up.
    WC
     
  7. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Nuttsy, it's a 5-lane highway with max speed 35mph. Far left and right lanes feed turning lanes at intersections. At the end of the highway I go up the ramp that feeds the city boulevard. When ramp is bumper-to-bumper, I decrease speed and grab the shoulder.

    Two miles before and two miles after this stretch are comfortable riding, even amidst cars. Speed limits there are 25mph.

    Maybe it's because this highway is under the freeway, so it's always dimly lit.

    On my commute to work I wear a yellow raincoat, gloves, steel-toe boots and motorcycle 3/4 helmet. Over the raincoat I wear the bright reflective vest.

    I should use reflectors and flashers.

    bluegoatwoods, maybe I'll ride in the far left lane, which is not considered the fast lane. That might be the safest option. Then I can safely stop and check for traffic near the ramp. Then I just need to change to the next lane.

    I don'r ride shoulders of the roads. Too much debris and cracks. Besides, then the cars get to pass inches from you.

    When I claim the lane, responsible drivers will be far away from me on all four sides.

    Mountainman, thanks for the 1,000 posts props!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2009
  8. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    I ride my motorized bicycle like any bicycle. The only time I will ride in traffic, and then only occasionally, is to make a left turn in the downtown area where traffic crawls along at 10 mph. Otherwise, I'll go around seeking alternate routes.
     
  9. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I'm beginning to ride "The Dragon Lady" like a motorcycle. Because of its available power, I claim the lane and try to stay off the bikepaths and sidewalks.

    I think the two flat tires and lots of glass on the path helped me change my mind.

    Today I rode in the extreme left lane. Curb to my left, so one less lane of traffic to worry about. Then one lane change near the highway upramp to the city boulevard.

    Much less stress and tension, and I could ride slower if needed.

    Once I reach the ramp, it's smooth sailing for the rest of the commute.
     
  10. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    Once you get your new BOB trailer going, you could peak at 40-45, so when you are on a 35mph road, holding your speed would be easy. I have to agree with you that you are safer when you take a lane. In FL I just take the right lane so cars can pass, and I'll go about 35.
     
  11. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Yeah Znsane, that "BOB" will be geared to 40-45mph with governor.

    And "The Dragon Lady" should hit 40mph with two 1.5" rollers, less cargo, 91 octane gas, front basket relocation and more tire pressure.

    Then I'll be happy.:devilish:
     
  12. pooja84

    pooja84 Member

    You shouldn't take a risk. It can be dangerous. There is nothing precious than your life.
     
  13. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Viet Nam was dangerous for me in 1967...1968...and 1969. Darn, I shouldn't have gone back voluntarily for the second and third tour.:whistling:

    You should seriously consider giving up riding a motorized bike at any speed.

    Wherever I go, Death rides alongside me. He smiles maliciously at me and I smile back.

    Motorized bikes are inherently VERY dangerous, especially if ridden in traffic, even on the shoulder of the road.

    I have co-workers who think riding an ordinary bicycle on the road is dangerous.

    A co-worker's young daughter fell off her bicycle while riding very slowly. She hit her head on the curb...and died.

    There is nothing more precious than LIVING!!! your life.

    I am 62 years old and I approve this message.:devilish:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2009
  14. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Well it's been over six weeks since I've been riding the highway to work.

    Commuting time is 17 minutes. If I used the bikepath it's 21-25 minutes.

    Today I rode from work to a community college over 10 miles away. Then I turned around and rode five miles home. If I could safely bike this route then I could commute to work even when I attend night school.

    The results were AMAZING!!!

    I attended that same college last year. At best it took 54 minutes to drive my car, via freeway and highway.

    Riding the highway, bikepath and sidewalk took 37 MINUTES!!!!!!!

    Then riding the highway and boulevard took 17 minutes to reach home from school!!!!!

    I'm stoked! It IS practical to commute to work and school. I get off from work at 430pm and school begins at 530pm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2009
  15. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    That's good; sounds like you live in a place that's just made for bicycle commuting.

    Where I'm at the auto still wins the travel-time race hands down. But that's okay for me. That's not what I'm after.

    Somewhere recently I saw a bicyclist's answer to that old question, "Why do you do it?"
    "Because the more I ride, the more I hate driving".

    One day, maybe, everyone will see it that way.
     
  16. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Unfortunately this is not the case, bluegoatwoods. Hawaii I swear is anti-bicycle. There are very few bikepaths. I'm just lucky that this section of the path is EXACTLY where much of the traffic gridlock is. Even though I ride slowly on the path I still beat the time.

    Traffic congestion during rush hour is ridiculous. While commuting to night school last year, my best and worst travel times were 54 minutes and one hour 35 minutes!!!!! I was always stressed that I'd be tied up in traffic and be late for classes.

    Now I know I'll never be late for school, flat tire and mechanical problems notwithstanding.

    I know why I do it; it's the challenge of saving travel time, not being stuck in gridlock. It's about not paying $973.44 a year for parking and worrying about raising parking fees or bumping you off the waiting list. And I get to park in the same secured covered parking lot...FOR FREE!!!

    I save $13.20/month or $148.48/year on gas, for a combined savings or $1131.84 for the year, $94.32/month for commuting via motorized bike.

    The beauty of it all is that it takes the same time to commute as with my car. If there's a traffic jam then my bike reaches home first.

    Sadly, bluegoat I don't think there will ever be the day that everyone sees it that way. I can tell by the look on the frustrated car drivers' faces. They feel that they are doomed to endure traffic gridlock. ANNND they know that traffic on this island will get WORSE as more cars and housing development make it worse.

    The motorized bicycle is part of the solution. Sadly it'll never happen because people are addicted to their "stampeding metal ponies".

    People look at me on my bicycle like I'm CRAZY! However, I have never been honked at, yelled at or cut off.

    I LIKE that.:devilish:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2009
  17. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Well, it's been six months since I began commuting to work on a regular basis. It was my New Year's resolution to do so,and one of my best ideas I've ever had.

    I found a different route to and from work. Not only is it safer, but I shaved 4 minutes off my best time using the original route. I encounter one good-sized hill going to work and two hills going home. The traffic lights are atop the hills going home, so maybe ten seconds of pedalling "The Dragon Lady" on those hills.

    Instead of 2.5 miles of highway, I just use a half-mile of that same highway. It has two traffic lights there, so no sustained high speed involved.

    I feel safer commuting to work.:detective:
     
  18. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I just bought 15 of those orange vests, they take 2 AA batteries to activate rows of blinking red LED lights, visible from 2-300 yards (a yellow one I also have claims 1 mile).

    But as to regular daily commuting, and increase comfort level over time, I'd think over 90% of the automobiles going your way each morning are also regular commuters, familiarity breeds success.

    When you begin using an MBike on a daily basis, be as visible as possible. Safety vests and unique helmets are an excellent way to commence. A daily rider in N. B'ham took a gold football helmet, drilled a hole in top and inserted a painted gold broom, and is now known as the "Wild Spartan Dude". That guy in Florida with the Viking Horns got motorist's attention quick.

    Maybe EVERY car won't look out for you, but you are just trying to impress enough drivers to veer to the left, give you room, so the cars behind see it happen and go on alert.

    A MB on the shoulder is the same as a dropped item off the bed of a pickup truck, a potential hazard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  19. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    Thanks for tips, bama. I'll look for those flashing safety vests.

    I could never ride on the shoulder of the road with comfort. The other day my son and I pedalled to the mall. Even though we were on the sidewalk, the curb lane seemed awfully close.

    Now I realize how wide of a berth all cars give me when I claim an entire lane for myself.

    The only close calls I'm having now is this one road where two lanes merge into one. I'm in the dominant lane but the merging vehicles STILL try to cut me off at 37mph(35mph speed limit).

    I let them merge MOST of the time.
     
  20. Hawaii_Ed

    Hawaii_Ed Member

    years of pedal biking in Seoul and Tokyo taught me to be pretty comfortable in serious traffic. I did get ran off the road once by a truck, he came around and then pulled back in, pushing me over.

    Speed and power are your friends. I also have been motorcycling for almost 25 years. The power of a bike can get you out of a lot of tough spots, you can normally plan an escape route. There are so many scooter accidents in Hawaii, besides the fact that most are young and inexperienced, they just do not have the power to maneuver.

    I am currently enjoying my time off after retiring from the military, but need to find another job in the future. I plan on being a serious commuter with a MB.