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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! I May Have Saved My OWN Life Tonight

    (map below)
    On my usual way home from work - there's a section that the 'bike lane' really opens up to accommodate for parking to access a popular MUP along the Sacramento River. In the daytime It's normally pretty filled w/ cars, but still with sufficient room not to get doored - at night, (my time) the cars are usually sparse. Barely seen in the map, is remnants of a 2-to-1 lane merge around a corner (SPD limit is 40?).
    Anyways, I have a Serfas TL-200 (set to oscillate-strobe - it's pretty dazzling) - up front I have a MS 1400.
    Since the lane really opens up, I try to go as far right as possible (actually smart - see green line) without ducking in and out of parked cars - I usually align myself to the left-tail light of the car in front of me so I'm not really 'Popping out' - at the same time I give myself enough space to not get doored (had it happen - painful).

    SO - At the blue dash in the map below, I noticed the lights behind me seemed a tad different than the usual passing car lights - the shadow angle off of my wheel? I don't really know...
    Something in my brain said "steer right NOW" - and I did (see red path).
    I even second-guessed myself in that split second..."yer trippin' homie!"
    still veered over...
    But when that SUV (marked w/ black 'X' - and roughly same spot [photoshopped in ]) passed me its left wheels were nearly on the fog-line.
    As much as I had moved over, I think there was a foot and a half to spare - hard to say - happened so fast... I just know the dood /shick was speedin and not in his lane - felt the wind gush.

    My super-duper map:


    Keep your head on a swivel and trust your instincts!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  2. #2
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    This is the one part of my commute that actually gives me jitters every-time...
    It's a 1/2 mile after the spot above...I dunno -
    ANYWAYS, the 'Bike Lane' disappears and there is maybe18" and It's awkward/dangerous to claim your lane at that point. The auto lane is narrowed too.
    To the right is a 10" high 'sidewalk' ( pedal strike?) that's completely pinched on either end by the safety rail which only raises up - umm ~18" - that's IT!... This Bridge is over I-5...
    nerve-wracking to sat the least - I think I could prolly do North shore ladders NP after this daily



    No "Street View" from Hilltop - but here it is from the 5
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  3. #3
    weirdo
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    Wow, glad something gave you the heebie jeebies. I know what you mean about noticing "something" wrong with lights comming up behind you. There`s definitely something to be said for riding at night- much better clues to what`s going on behind you, as well as reduced traffic.
    Recalculating....

  4. #4
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    Close call, sounds like you were almost roadkill. Glad you went with that funny feeling and high-delled it outta there.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like the typical drunk/meth/stoned/over-tired driver. They will follow your lights.

    Yeah some sections of road are far from ideal and not reasonably avoidable.

    Thanks for sharing. Misery loves company!

  6. #6
    Truly Doneski
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    That second pic of your commute is interesting. Your Commute looks dangerous! I don't envy you having to ride on the side of what looks like a fast traveling highway sort of road to me.

    "Yer trippin homie!" hahahahaha.
    Originally Posted by Bmateo1:
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  7. #7
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    I heavily rely on the use of a Third Eye mirror:

    http://www.3rd-eye.com/

    Cheap, like $12, has surely helped save my life a few dozen times. But of course I learned to keep eyes in two places at once (ahead and on the mirrors) back in the early 1990s when I was doing a lot of driving on the track with other cars at high rates of speed (which is more useful on the roads since so many assclowns who donít deserve the right to drive have a driverís license anyway).
    QUOTE from MTBR.COM: You have given Brewtality too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFAthens
    That second pic of your commute is interesting. Your Commute looks dangerous! I don't envy you having to ride on the side of what looks like a fast traveling highway sort of road to me.

    "Yer trippin homie!" hahahahaha.
    Well, it's usually just that bridge section that's actually dangerous - most is actually quite nice...I have this one section of road for a few miles that has no shoulder and is potholed/capped etc, but the traffic is so light and the cars/trucks move completely into the oncoming lane for me (generally) - bumpy, but safe

    My sisters have asked me why I don't walk that bridge... my reply was that I'd be on that sucker even longer then...an errant driver would strike a ped just as easily, but at nearly twice the speed - PLUS, there's the good chance you'd be sent over the edge to fall 25' onto one of the Nations busiest FWYs

    That section is TRULY dangerous (like I said 18" 'lane[not exaggerating] w/ a 10" curb to the right) and I hope the City address it.
    But, I understand, there's things on the list ahead of widenen a bridge that will take 5 years to do like;
    Sodding center dividers and installing "jumping" steel salmon in them with a fountain...(I call them "Lawn Salmon" - one of the most elusive of all salmon)


    Or on another stretch of Hilltop, planting palm trees and installing sidewalks that light up and flashes (actually looks pretty cool) and speaks to you...It's one of the least ped-crossed sections of road in the City - save for the residents of the Hotels that line the strip - Gotta make your city look cool and Hi-Tech to the tourist right?


    (BTW, no those two pics are not part of my commute...)
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  9. #9
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    Glad your ok. For the top pic, why dont you ride on the sidewalk? I know bikes arent supposed to be on them, but my life is more important. I live in the middle of Orlando and the people here drive nuts. Everyone, including cops, treats the bike lane as a turn lane or they just drive down it. I refuse to use them. I'll ride in the grass before the bike lane.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkbikes4life
    Glad your ok. For the top pic, why dont you ride on the sidewalk? I know bikes arent supposed to be on them, but my life is more important. I live in the middle of Orlando and the people here drive nuts. Everyone, including cops, treats the bike lane as a turn lane or they just drive down it. I refuse to use them. I'll ride in the grass before the bike lane.
    Thanks! and,
    OK, sorry, but that's just plain dumb - using the side walk is fine for tooling around the 'hood with the fam, or beach-cruisin' it a couple blocks for a beer run...

    For a commute, the sidewalk is waaay out of the question (barring quick opposite-flow situations to connect routes) - I'd have T-boned so many cars or got hit myself a loooong time ago if I rode sidewalks...Cars DO NOT stop before sidewalks.
    Plus, on that particular stretch, (as noted above) it's a popular access to a MUP along the river...Joggers, walkers, baby-mamas w/ stroller are not a good mix for a 20mph SSer just gettin of werk!
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    OK, sorry, but that's just plain dumb - using the side walk is fine for tooling around the 'hood with the fam, or beach-cruisin' it a couple blocks for a beer run...

    For a commute, the sidewalk is waaay out of the question (barring quick opposite-flow situations to connect routes) - I'd have T-boned so many cars or got hit myself a loooong time ago if I rode sidewalks...Cars DO NOT stop before sidewalks.
    Plus, on that particular stretch, (as noted above) it's a popular access to a MUP along the river...Joggers, walkers, baby-mamas w/ stroller are not a good mix for a 20mph SSer just gettin of werk!
    Ok, I've only been riding sidewalks for 15+ years but whatever. I know cars dont stop at the sidewalk. Thats why I always ride with my hands on the brakes, just incase. I'm also not doing 20 mph though. If I were averaging that fast, I may consider the road. However, I would also ride against traffic so I could see cars comming at me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkbikes4life
    ...However, I would also ride against traffic so I could see cars comming at me.

    You can NOT be serious...

    Trolling arrgh ye?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll

    You can NOT be serious...

    Trolling arrgh ye?
    No I'm not trolling. We actually had a string of kids being hit and killed by cars while they were walking to school here a few years back and even the school district recommended that kids walk on the other side of the road. You cant see whats comming up behind you. Bottom line is that if a car doing 50 slams into you from behind or from the front, it doesnt matter. Your dead. But if your on the other side of the road you can see if they swerve.

    I'm done here. I came in to give an honest possible alternative way to ride, but I've noticed from several other threads that only Highdell is right. Lets just chalk this one up to the fact that we live in very different places. The only guys riding 20 mph around here are guys on road bikes, we have no hills, and basically noone uses the sidewalk much anyways.

    I'm no sure why its so difficult for you to grasp that someone would ride a bike on a sidewalk. Really, what is the big deal? The only guys here that ride in the road are guys on road bikes, and those on fixed gears (who really annoy me because they ride in the lane instead of the bike lane).

  14. #14
    weirdo
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    DKB, I don`t agree with your philosophy either, but you`re welcome to it. You`re right that opposing view points often get slamed, but it`s good to have all angles represented, and I hope you keep hanging out here.

    I just ride backwards

  15. #15
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    Good spider-sense, Highdell.

    Yeah, DKB. Riding against traffic isn't smart. Riding at a 15mph into a car going 50 will result in a head-on collision of more than 65mph, I'd rather get hit from behind where there is only 35mph difference (rear collisions aren't very common). Plus, riding against traffic leads to all sorts of awkward situations (street lights, stop signs, turning vehicles, etc.) that increase the chance of an accident.

    Walking against traffic is a completely different ballgame. It makes sense to walk against traffic.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkbikes4life
    No I'm not trolling. We actually had a string of kids being hit and killed by cars while they were walking to school here a few years back and even the school district recommended that kids walk on the other side of the road. You cant see whats comming up behind you. Bottom line is that if a car doing 50 slams into you from behind or from the front, it doesnt matter. Your dead. But if your on the other side of the road you can see if they swerve.

    I'm done here. I came in to give an honest possible alternative way to ride, but I've noticed from several other threads that only Highdell is right. Lets just chalk this one up to the fact that we live in very different places. The only guys riding 20 mph around here are guys on road bikes, we have no hills, and basically noone uses the sidewalk much anyways.

    I'm no sure why its so difficult for you to grasp that someone would ride a bike on a sidewalk. Really, what is the big deal? The only guys here that ride in the road are guys on road bikes, and those on fixed gears (who really annoy me because they ride in the lane instead of the bike lane).
    Well, I thought you were or you were joking, because you are recommending some of the most sketchiest/dangerous things to do!
    It wouldn't matter where I lived - I'd never ride against traffic....for a few reasons:
    Lights - you're more easily blinded by headlights - simple.
    Drivers turning right - they aren't looking your direction - no reason to. They are only looking left for an open space in traffic so they can pull out.
    Speed - as mentioned above, the closing rates are greatly different. - Take, for instance, the road I was riding on... Opposing 40mph traffic at 20mph=60mph head on collision vs. going along w/ 40mph at 20mph= 20mph collision.

    Face it, it DOES matter. - and sorry for being right - my bad...

    **EDIT - Also, riding in the grass here is dangerous too! - Note the Lawn Salmon in the pic I posted above - they will eat you and are more viscous than gators!!!
    Last edited by highdelll; 02-03-2011 at 07:03 AM.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  17. #17
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    Ok, since that comment is getting more attention than I thought it would, let me clarify a few a things. I understand ya'll probabbly wont agree with me still, but I would like to be clear. First, if there is a sidewalk, thats where I ride. Note that I live in Florida, its flat so I'm not blind to people comming up on the other side of a hill or anything. If I am passing a walker on the sidewalk, I move into the grass. I'm a runner as well so I fully respect people walking on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, but there is a bike lane, thats where I ride. If its a quite road I will ride on the right side. However if it is a busy road, I prefer to see people comming at me so I can react if someone is swirving. I actually have moved out of the way just in time before and if I was riding on the right side of the road then, could have been hit. If there is no sidewalk or bike lane, I ride in the grass. I refuse to share an actual lane with cars. I will not ride against traffic in a car lane. I agree that is completely stupid. I will however ride in the grass on the left side of the road. This method has severd me well for the last 15+ years. Every cyclist killed I have heard of were riding in the road. Maybe people drive differently where you guys live, but here they do not respect cyclist at all. As I said before, the bike lane (on the roads that actually have it) are used a turn lane. In fact, while driving people will beep at you and flick you off, and yell at you if you make a turn in your car and dont get over in the bike lane to make that turn.

  18. #18
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    DKB, please also note that you are posting/reading a thread in the "Commuting" section.
    Commuting can mean riding a few blocks to school or something, but for most of us, it involves riding more than a couple miles as a means of transportation (for many of us - daily) along routes that often don't even have sidewalks, actual "bike lanes", or grass?
    We act and ride like traffic, because we are traffic.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  19. #19
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    I understand that. I dont ride to work everyday, although I am considering it for a few days a week. I do ride around town though sometimes. For instance, last weekend I did a 60 mile road ride on my MTB. I did the ride exactly as I described above. I'm not saying your way is wrong or my way is right. I was just trying to possibly offer another way. If anyone doesnt like it, thats fine. Not saying that everyone should ride like me. Back when I rode BMX heavily, we would sometimes probably put in over 20 miles a day, every day during summer. We always rode on the sidewalk even then.

  20. #20
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    Riding against traffic isn't smart...

    ...It makes sense to walk against traffic.
    Just for fun, why do you see one as "not smart" while the other "makes sense"?

  21. #21
    weirdo
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    For perspective...

    A lot of people see things in a completely different light. There`s a recent thread on another forum where one member states that riding a bicycle in the rain is dangerous and people who do it "are candidates for the Darwin Award". Obviously, not everybody thinks that way, but by that person`s thinking, most of us are outrageously reckless. Does one side have to be right and the other side wrong?

    The "rain riding is dangerous" episode starts with post 30, if anybody wants to see how that went.
    http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...r-15887-3.html

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkbikes4life
    No I'm not trolling. We actually had a string of kids being hit and killed by cars while they were walking to school here a few years back and even the school district recommended that kids walk on the other side of the road. You cant see whats comming up behind you. Bottom line is that if a car doing 50 slams into you from behind or from the front, it doesnt matter. Your dead. But if your on the other side of the road you can see if they swerve.

    I'm done here. I came in to give an honest possible alternative way to ride, but I've noticed from several other threads that only Highdell is right. Lets just chalk this one up to the fact that we live in very different places. The only guys riding 20 mph around here are guys on road bikes, we have no hills, and basically noone uses the sidewalk much anyways.

    I'm no sure why its so difficult for you to grasp that someone would ride a bike on a sidewalk. Really, what is the big deal? The only guys here that ride in the road are guys on road bikes, and those on fixed gears (who really annoy me because they ride in the lane instead of the bike lane).
    Riding on the other side of the road against traffic is not legal in most places, and it screws with the other cyclists riding on the correct side of the road. I HATE salmon riders, they somehow want to push me out towards traffic instead of taking the inside line. And riding in the car lane is perfectly legal, as bikes are afforded the same rights as cars in most situations. Riding on the sidewalk is illegal in most places, unless there is no alternative safe place to ride. When you mix bike traffic going 20mph with pedestrians going 4mph, that is asking for an accident.

    The real solution is to get a rear view mirror for your handlebars or helmet. That way you're both going the direction of traffic AND you can see what is coming up behind you.
    "Got everything you need?"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Just for fun, why do you see one as "not smart" while the other "makes sense"?
    Walking into traffic allows the slow moving pedestrian to react to an oncoming car. Drivers aren't necessarily paying attention to pedestrians, and pedestrians cannot always hear a car coming from behind in time to react. All the studies I have seen have indicated that a pedestrian is more likely to get hit from behind, rather than the front.

    I hinted at some of the reasons for cycling with traffic above. Riding against traffic creates awkward and potentially dangerous situations. Many of the issues cyclist face on the roads are exacerbated by riding against traffic. On a narrow road, a car cannot follow a cyclist until it's safe to pass. Visibility problems are even more of a concern because cars are not looking for wrong way traffic. Right turners are most likely not going to see a bike going 15-20mph going the wrong way.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Well, I thought you were or you were joking, because you are recommending some of the most sketchiest/dangerous things to do!
    It wouldn't matter where I lived - I'd never ride against traffic....for a few reasons:
    Lights - you're more easily blinded by headlights - simple.
    Drivers turning right - they aren't looking your direction - no reason to. They are only looking left for an open space in traffic so they can pull out.
    Speed - as mentioned above, the closing rates are greatly different. - Take, for instance, the road I was riding on... Opposing 40mph traffic at 20mph=60mph head on collision vs. going along w/ 40mph at 20mph= 20mph collision.

    Face it, it DOES matter. - and sorry for being right - my bad...

    **EDIT - Also, riding in the grass here is dangerous too! - Note the Lawn Salmon in the pic I posted above - they will eat you and are more viscous than gators!!!

    Everything depends there are places around here where riding into the traffic is absolutely the thing to do.

    Regardless you are still here....

    So what will you change to help mitigate the close call????

    Get a mirror, ride the mut...just wondering.

  25. #25
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    Lawn salmon, ...but we have outdone you ...here in VT, far from the ocean we have interstate whales on the side of I-89.

    I would not generally advise using the sidewalk or riding against traffic, but there have been limited instances where I think it is safer to do so. My steep hill can get really narrow from snowbanks and from the relatively new sidewalk they squeezed in, so sometimes it is nice to relax on the sidewalk for the 2/3 mi that it lasts, but I definitely don't trust any cars to stop or look when I cross the streets. A few times in the snow I have used the opposite lane, especially if it is clearer of snow, because at 7pm most people are going the same direction as me and they often fishtail up the hill, so this gets me out of their path. So few cars are going downhill toward town at that hour, especially in the snow, so I just pull over if I see someone coming.

    But if I get run over on the sidewalk or going the wrong way it would probably be determined to be my fault, so my next of kin would not be getting any nice insurance payout.
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