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  1. #1
    Big Wheeler
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    One way, wrong way?

    Sup guys,

    I just enjoyed my first day of commuting to work on a bike with my new Trek Soho S. The route I planned avoided some urban traffic but I'm not sure it's the best.

    My option was to maintain a direct route riding with busy traffic on a 4 lane city street w/o a bike lane or take a 2 lane side street and ride against traffic for a few blocks. The side street has less traffic in the morning since it is one way out of the city, but I know riding against traffic isn't that wise. Today I chose what I thought was the lesser of 2 evils and rode against traffic.

    I suppose there are other options. c) a different route, less direct, more time. or d) riding on the sidewalk.

    should i brave the morning traffic or maintain goin the wrong way on a one way? or option c or d?

    any insight would be great, thanks much

  2. #2
    nnn
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    I had a similar dilemma of choosing either wrong way sidestreets north from Hyde Park or going along the big Edgware road.
    I went with the former for a week or so but the street gets quite busy at times and I just felt unsafe both for myself and cars/pedestrians, also with all the bloody police swarming London these days as well I just opted for the main road.
    It's ok once you have a fair few miles under your belt and feel confident.
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  3. #3
    LCI #1853
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    Quote Originally Posted by Encierros
    Sup guys,

    I just enjoyed my first day of commuting to work on a bike with my new Trek Soho S. The route I planned avoided some urban traffic but I'm not sure it's the best.

    My option was to maintain a direct route riding with busy traffic on a 4 lane city street w/o a bike lane or take a 2 lane side street and ride against traffic for a few blocks. The side street has less traffic in the morning since it is one way out of the city, but I know riding against traffic isn't that wise. Today I chose what I thought was the lesser of 2 evils and rode against traffic.

    I suppose there are other options. c) a different route, less direct, more time. or d) riding on the sidewalk.

    should i brave the morning traffic or maintain goin the wrong way on a one way? or option c or d?

    any insight would be great, thanks much
    Don't ride against traffic (e.g., the wrong way on a one-way street, or on the left side of the road way) unless you want you and your new bike to wind up as some cager's hood ornament. That's one of the quickest and most efficient ways to get someone to organize a Ride of Silence on your behalf or in your memory.

    There's bound to be a better route on a parallel side street, or maybe going a little out of your way.

    Riding the sidewalk is illegal in most downtown or business areas. Be careful, and remember that if you're on the sidewalk you're supposed to behave like a pedestrian, and real pedestrians always have the right-of-way there, no questions allowed.

  4. #4
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    Yeah. Don't want to become a ghost bike. Adjust the route, head on is not good.

  5. #5
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    So, imagine this situation. My place of business sits on a 4 lane road. 2 lanes each way, turn lane in the middle, and 45 MPH Speed limit - though traffic is usually doning 55.

    The nearest side street is about a 1/2mile away. Going to work, I'd be going with traffic. Leaving work, I have a dilema.

    I could either go against traffic for the 1/2 mile and take the next left, or I could cross 5 lanes, ride the shoulder for the 1/2 mile and then cross 5 lanes again to get on the side street. Or, I could not commute on my bike. It's this 1/2 mile that has stopped me so far.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOnlyUserNameNotTaken
    So, imagine this situation. My place of business sits on a 4 lane road. 2 lanes each way, turn lane in the middle, and 45 MPH Speed limit - though traffic is usually doning 55.

    The nearest side street is about a 1/2mile away. Going to work, I'd be going with traffic. Leaving work, I have a dilema.

    I could either go against traffic for the 1/2 mile and take the next left, or I could cross 5 lanes, ride the shoulder for the 1/2 mile and then cross 5 lanes again to get on the side street. Or, I could not commute on my bike. It's this 1/2 mile that has stopped me so far.
    Is there a non-road based shortcut you could take? Just cut across the grass somewhere?

    I do not approve riding against traffic because not only is it not safe for you, it becomes less safe for other cyclists that do follow the rules. Riding the wrong way makes motorists think that that is where bicycles belong. So the less people that do it the better.

  7. #7
    ride like you stole it
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    I ride the side walk when I'm riding against traffic for about a mile, I know I'm not supposed to but its 6-7 feet wide the whole distance and almost always deserted except thursday - saturday night (the street with all the bars), so the sidewalk might be the best option for you.
    I lubed my disc brakes because they squeaked.
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  8. #8
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I'm anal retentive about cyclists and the law. I figure that motorists hate cyclists enough, so I ride within the confines of legal parameters, I avoid sidewalks (I think cagers don't watch for sidewalk traffic, so if you are rolling this way, prepare to get picked off) and then when things get bad I know it isn't my fault.

    Of course, feel free to discount me- I love in Oregon and even when traffic is tight I rarely have to deal with anything but inattentive drivers- the same thing I deal with on my motorcycle and car.

  9. #9
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    I'd deffinately opt for....

    option C if at all possible. A little extra time and distance is preferable to putting yourself at greater risk by riding against traffic flow. Option D is an option ONLY if it is legal! Check you local laws to be sure. If it is okay then keep in mind that it's your watch. Pedestrians will have the right of way. And if there are alley ways or parking lot entrances etc. that cross the side walk you'll need to use extreme caution. I've had more close calls on sidewalks due to some jerk in a hurry to make a turn into a parking lot than I ever have in a traffic lane.

    Good Dirt
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  10. #10
    Big Wheeler
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    since my op yesterday I have read the replies and adjusted my route.

    Today I braved the city traffic. 2 lanes each direction. Rode with traffic and hoped the motorists gave me enough room to avoid the curb. I know that is the proper way, but in some circumstances a quiet one-way seems the lesser of 2 evils. Not only did the drivers give me enough room but none of them were rude AND it shaved 5 mins off of the commute. (that might have just been me catching some green lights though )

    Thanks for the insight - guess I knew the answer all along, just needed some confirmation. I'm diggin biking to work. Bloods flowin a bit and I'm not fiending coffee.

  11. #11
    Bikeoholic
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    Another thing to consider is the hefty traffic ticket you could get.
    When you are on the road on a bike you are considered a vehicle and most laws apply to you just like they apply to a car.

    Would you drive the wrong way down a one way street to shave 5 minutes off of you commute if you were in your car?

    I say, if you HAVE to go down that street stay on the sidewalk (if this is legal in your area) and yield to pedestrians.

    Just my $0.02
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    Is there a non-road based shortcut you could take? Just cut across the grass somewhere?

    I do not approve riding against traffic because not only is it not safe for you, it becomes less safe for other cyclists that do follow the rules. Riding the wrong way makes motorists think that that is where bicycles belong. So the less people that do it the better.
    I wish there was another route. I work on an airport. There is only one way in or out - the rest of the area is fenced. The shoulder is about 2' wide and paved with another 5' or so of gravel beyond that. If I ride on the gravel, I should be a safe distance from traffic. At least it would be safer than crossing 5 lanes of traffic. I'm not sure I'd bet my life on it though.

    It's really too bad. The rest of the route is about 4.5 miles of 25MPH surface streets. It's just this last section that is keeping me from commuting to work.

  13. #13
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    Hah ride against the one way if it is safer.

    There are two particular roads that I ride against one way traffic...

    One the city installed a bike lane to legally allow this to occur after several years of back and forth. (That does no do squat to make it nay safer).

    The other hasn't been converted yet but it will.

    Several dangers you need to be aware of, car turning left in front of you, the driver will not be looking for you or see you.

    Some one parking on the left, the driver will not be looking for you or see you.

    Some one who goes the wrong way.

    All of these are easily managed, as compared to riding a restricted width four laner, with the traffic.

    All you legal Beagles STFU, I have waved at cops on both of these roads, they just wave back.

  14. #14
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    I'm sure I won't be the only one to notice the irony in the above post. Recommending riding the wrong way on a one-way road, then listing "some one who goes the wrong way" as one of the potential dangers, is classic.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottR1
    I'm sure I won't be the only one to notice the irony in the above post. Recommending riding the wrong way on a one-way road, then listing "some one who goes the wrong way" as one of the potential dangers, is classic.
    That is not ironic that is just good sense..

    Ironic is riding a tight 4 laner with the traffic, and getting clipped, cause riding the wrong way on a one way is safer...

    Legal and dead is still dead

    Careful is alive, and is way more fun.

    BTW lets put some reality into it, what about snow on the side of the four laner, what about a heavy downpour on the side of a four laner, way rather ride a quiet one way two laner and have the room.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOnlyUserNameNotTaken
    I wish there was another route. I work on an airport. There is only one way in or out - the rest of the area is fenced. The shoulder is about 2' wide and paved with another 5' or so of gravel beyond that. If I ride on the gravel, I should be a safe distance from traffic. At least it would be safer than crossing 5 lanes of traffic. I'm not sure I'd bet my life on it though.

    It's really too bad. The rest of the route is about 4.5 miles of 25MPH surface streets. It's just this last section that is keeping me from commuting to work.
    Oh yeah, ride on the gravel. If it's too bumpy, just walk. You'll have a trail made there in no time.

  17. #17
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    Absolutley...

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