Where do you ride? (road, side of road etc.)

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by Ant27, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Ant27

    Ant27 Member

    Where do you guys ride on the road when your on your bike? I've heard some people say they ride on the roads because of the little traffic there area has, and others ride on the sides of roads. Where do you prefer?

  2. s_beaudry

    s_beaudry Member

    I prefer the side of the road to ride...

    MB is a little too fast for sidewalks and the side of the road still offers room for safe motoring!
  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I ride near the white line on the right edge, mostly. And I "claim the lane" as they say.
    That's a must. They'll squeeze you, if you let them. Where there is a decent shoulder, I'll get on that if traffic is at all heavy. Means I need to slow down a bit, but I figure I should try to be helpful. Where things are crowded I get right out in the middle of the lane and go as fast as possible. I'm not all that slow compared to the autos when there are redlights stopping and starting us. when the road widens out a bit, then I allow myself to be just a little bit slow. As long as the cars have other lanes to work with.

    Considering that you are a youngster, I think you'd be wise to show a very co-operative attitude toward traffic. Otherwise the police will view you as a wild teen-ager and hassle you.
  4. Ant27

    Ant27 Member

    Yeah that's a good plan. It's very hard to not feel like I'm in the way considering all the cars pass me and go into the other lane a bit while I'm riding on the side of the road (as much as I possibly can). There isn't a shoulder lane on most of the roads I ride on. I need to find the best way to ensure the safety of myself, and the cars that are going into the other lane to pass me on the side. I don't want someone getting in a head-on collision because of a 15 year old on an MB. Any tips for a beginner like me? I searched safety and looked at the tips for the commuter sticky, but I want to get as many tips I can get and what I should look out for. I know I'll get more and more comfortable on the road the more I ride, but in the mean time I want some advice.
  5. alex

    alex Guest

    I like to ride to the left of the white line (mostly because all of the tire popping road debris is more in the bike lane).
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    hey ANT

    I try to stay in the bike lane
    I don't have enough speed to claim the lane

    never on sidewalks
    never on bicycle trails -- unless motor is off

    ride that thing ANT --------------------------------- MM
  7. Simonator

    Simonator Guest

    If there is a shoulder I ride on it. If not, I take a lane. I makes me nervous riding on the side of a lane and cars passing by me inches away. If I take a lane, at least they have to change lanes to pass me. If I am on a busy road with a high speed limit (50 mph and above) I resort to using the sidewalk, or bike path if there is one. If not, then I take a lane. What else can I do?
  8. flyer1

    flyer1 Guest


    Just a heads up , according to Conn. law you need to be 16yrs old to ride a m.b., hate to hear about you getting fouled up over a couple months or whenever you turn 16.You're rolling the dice.....Peace!
  9. jmccrury

    jmccrury Member

    If there is a shoulder I will always ride on it. Unfortunately, where I ride the most there is no shoulder. I just stay as far to the right as possible which is usually just a little left of the white line. If you get on the white line or to the right of it when there is no shoulder the cars don't like to move over as far to go around you and I don't like them that close. Also, as stated earlier there is a lot of debris on the side of the road which could cause a flat.
  10. Simonator

    Simonator Guest

    Tell me about it! What are people thinking now days?! They don't get over at all for me when i ride right on the line. It's like they think I am going to ride in a perfectly straight line forever. What if I swerve a few inches? ACCIDENT. People are A-holes now days. I tell you what. My middle finger has been in the air way way way more times on my bike than it ever is when I drive.
  11. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I've noticed something. Shorty after I motorized I started wearing a helmet and an orange, relflective safety vest. (like road workers wear) And the cars do treat me with noticably more respect. (I also get measurably to the left of the white line. You can't afford to let them try to squeeze you)

    About 9 out of 10 get totally or mostly in the other lane. Most of the rest don't try as hard as I'd like to get over, but they pass at a distance that is at least acceptable. The last few are jerks who don't make any effort and are mad at me for just being there.

    The ratios are definitely better than if I ride in just street clothes.

    I'm also hoping that the law will be harder on some creep who hits a cyclist if the cyclist is lit up like a neon sign.
  12. Simonator

    Simonator Guest

    I don't think It makes much of a difference in the day. It doesn't matter what you are wearing. If its in the middle of the day drivers should be able to see you. PERIOD. If not then they shouldn't be driving.

    One time A semi with a 50 foot or so trailer passed me without getting over at all! There was no one in the other lane!!! I was scared to death as this 50 foot 30 ton machine passed me inches away! Then after that I got mad as h*ll. I decided if I caught up with the guy I was going to raise h*ll. it wouldn't have been pretty....when you endanger my life like that you might get your @ss kicked buddy. I wasn't able to catch up....
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2008
  13. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I agree that they should see you, no excuses. What saddens me badly, though, is that every now and then someone will run over a cyclist (I remember one case when it was four cyclists) and at trial their defense will be something like "I was changing my CD".

    And then they get probation.

    Personally, I think that if someones takes a life through such CRIMINAL negligence, then the punishment should be very severe. But the courts don't seem to agree on that one.

    My hope is that high visibility will translate into more liability for the driver when these things happen.
  14. Simonator

    Simonator Guest


    If it was truly an accident, I think that a year in jail would make most people think twice about "changing a cd" or receiving road head, or whatever he or she might have been doing that distracted his/hers attention to what his/hers 3,000 lbs machine was steering into! Wake up people! Pay attention to the road. Get off your d*mn cell phones too.
  15. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    debris on the side of the road

    man oh man is that the TRUTH

    here in East County San Diego
    on the side of the roads I have been seeing
    many spark plugs ???
    we know that spark plugs don't just fall out onto the street
    thinking that someone has a bucket full of old plugs
    just driving around and throwing them at things

    we never did anything like that when we were young

    WHAT'S THE WORLD COMING TO ????????????????????

    oh come on now -- ride that thing Mountainman
  16. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't it be nice if some of our taxes could go to something like sweeping the paved shoulders? I have one long hill on my commute that has a nice, wide shoulder. It would be just great except it's full of gravel and other debris. So I have to slow down and ride pretty carefully.

    Oh, Simonator; I agree but I'd say that if someone dies because of something stupid, then one year is not enough. Maybe five.
  17. Simonator

    Simonator Guest

    That is kind of a tough call. I feel that most "normal" people will learn their lesson and might even let it destroy their lives if they kill a pedestrian accidently with their car. They will have to live the rest of their lives knowing they killed someone because they were fooling around. I know we all want justice when someone we love dies because someone was being a careless idiot. However, there is no sense in over punishing someone. That is why I feel a year is adequate. As far as murder goes. Lock em up for life. There is no excuse for murder unless it is self defense.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2008
  18. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    You're right. Most of these people who throw their cars at us will hate themselves for the rest of their life if they ever kill one of us. But I'd like them to give the matter some thought before they take a life. I'm thinking that if it's known that bike killers do fairly hard time, then they might take the matter seriously before they do something stupid.

    Isn't it crazy? They're doing something that, in the end, even they don't want. But they're doing it anyway because they can't be bothered to think behind the wheel.
  19. andrewdavis19

    andrewdavis19 Member

    I ride on the shoulder if it at least 2 feet wide and smooth/clear. If not I'm within 2 feet of the white line. Most of the time I just ride on the line. Both flats that I've had since motoring my bike were on the shoulder of the same highway. One going north, one south. Small cut through tread/tube. If I'm downtown (30 mph speed limit) I take the lane. People give dirty looks when they floor it around me even though I'm going the limit. If you are in the lane (even if you're just barely to the left of the line) cagers seem to notice that you're going a lot faster than a normal bike and not pull out in front of you! Man does it suck trying to stop from 30mph in a few feet because some ******* is on his cell while whipping into Walmart!! Then he wanted to give me a dirty look because I'm mean-mugging him! A few times when I see someone about to turn in front of me I hold up my hand and wag the my index finger at them like and old school teacher warning a kid not to try something. It usually gets me a dirty look too, but at least that's better than being a hood ornament! Happy motoring!
  20. Simonator

    Simonator Guest

    Try thorn resistant tubes. That is what I am using on the rear. They are ALOT thicker than normal tube. At $10 a tube it's well worth it.