I Lovingly Call it "Threading the Needle."


Local time
12:29 AM
Mar 20, 2008
For all the riders here, are there places you ride at that are just about too treacherous to ride on? Are there any dangerous places that you have no option but to travel through?

I live in Columbia Tennessee and the biggest gripe I have about this town is that there are practically NO sidewalks in the E N T I R E town. So if you are having to walk or ride a bicycle through the town, you have to do so literally at the edge of the roadway right up against the traffic. Nearly all the roads have hills or slopes on either side of the lanes. You have the hazard of having to maintain a very thin disntance between you, the traffic and falling off on the side of the hill beside you. Some hills are more pronounced more than others. Some hills are so big that no one would find you if you were struck and flung down the embankment.

Here's a pic leading to my apartment here in Columbia. I lovingly call this area "Threading the Needle" when I'm on my bike.


The slope on either side of the road is no so pronouced here. But right behind me in drops off considerably. As you can see, the space you have to ride on is literally about 18 inches wide. There is a thin gravel path you can ride on but it is treacherous to ride on that portion of the roadway. Most of the time the gravel area is on the decline on the side of the slope of the road that begins to dip down. And if the gravel throws you, you are taking a very quick flying ride into the middle of a field either on your face or on your back. Of course in the pic the land is realitively flat. And it's the only area I travel in that is this flat.

This is a pic further behind the first pic. You can see this slope much better:


One little slip up and you're unwillingly in the for the shortest ride of your life. Straight onto your face!

This road gets really heavy traffic as well. Just about a hundred feet further down the road is the DMV. The distance between you and the traffic whizzing past you is so finite that the draft of the car whizzing past you can drag you down the road or blow you off the roadway. And THE very first time a truck barrelling past you with something sticking off the side of it - you're dead. You're instantly maimed and in the hospital missing something you were carried in with.

This area is not a terribly long stretch. Rather than riding my bike on this stretch, I just walk it until the road begins to widen more. Then I hop on and pedal away.

Anyone else have an area they hate but must ride through?
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You're fortunate to have that much space. The way the roads in New England are all windy and narrow you're literally on the white line between traffic and trees, dirt hills, a ditch or a hundred year old granite stone wall.

But I think the roads here make for excellent riding. I wish I had some good pictures to show you. Most roads have just about enough room for 2 cars. Some don't even have any lines ;)
I'd love to see some pics of the areas you have to travel through, SirJakesus.
Here's my needle

they are widening my street & re-doing the intersection.

Here's the needle, I have to thread.....in front of my house.
for the next 3-4 months! It's gonna be an ever-changing needle! hehehe
I really hope they build you a sidewalk, srdavo!!

If they're widening the road anyhow, they might as well build a sidewalk on at least one side of the road, right?
I hope Colorado never kicks me off the bike trails. I really feel fortunate here. Without the trails no way can I ever make a trip as far as 30 miles away.
I really hope they build you a sidewalk, srdavo!!

If they're widening the road anyhow, they might as well build a sidewalk on at least one side of the road, right?
well. they almost have the intersection project finished.

yes...we got sidewalks.....and a new concrete driveway!!!
they are done with the sod....now all thats left, in my yard...they're gonna disk the remaining lawn, & re-seed. (to smooth it from their loader ruts)

as for the safety of the new wider road & intersection.....I'm not sure yet!?!?
the cagers move faster....much better flow, but it's kinda scary on my 2-wheelers.

I finally got all the mud off my new driveway....but the bobcat's tire marks are going to take a while.

show us your treacherous roads...etc.
Got no sidewalks, got no bike path, what I do have is busy 4 lanes that during the middle of the day are dangerous. This has forced me into becoming nocturnal. A good lighting system and an alarm clock gives me the roads when traffic is lite. Not the situation I would hope for but I does give me a chance to ride. I don't mind the dark but the cold takes a toll on this old man.
I have a wide shoulder for the first 8 miles of my commute, and again for the last 4 miles. The other 21 miles varies between 8 - 16", bordering bogs, rock walls, and mostly a drop into a freezing river. Since the trike is 30" wide, drivers just have to get used to going around me. Fortunately, there isn't too much traffic.
Decompiler, I live in Lewisburg (20 miles away) and have rode in Columbia TN on my MB. Claim a lane, dog! Eff those cagers!! I rode mine down James Campbell (the road the mall is on) and I'll be ****ed if I'm risking crashing because of riding on a non-existing shoulder. From what I've heard and read online, it's illegal to ride anything with wheels on a sideWALK and bicycles have up to half of the lane by law. From my experiences, cagers are more likely to notice that you are traveling at a much higher rate of speed than a non-motored bike if you are actually in the lane instead of the shoulder. Are you the guy a I flagged down over on trotwood by the church down from Food Lion? I was in the white Caddy.