Even Avid Cyclists Concerned about Bikecommuting- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7,716

    Even Avid Cyclists Concerned about Bikecommuting


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    89
    Been arguing with someone on YouTube about this topic. As long as someone uses common sense and doesn't mind giving up their "right of way" sometimes in the name of your own personal safety, it is far safer to commute on bike than in a car. The only obvious difference in an accident is that a car wins every time, even when they are wrong.
    '11 Redline MonoCog Flight 29er
    '10 Windsor Cliff 29er SS
    '09 Trek 4300

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    198
    Quote Originally Posted by mrbucket View Post
    .... it is far safer to commute on bike than in a car...
    How so?
    I feel vulnerable as hell when I ride on the road (which is why I've been riding more MTB). When I'm wrapped in 3300 pounds of steel and glass, I don't feel vulnerable at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrbucket View Post
    ...The only obvious difference in an accident is that a car wins every time, even when they are wrong.
    Not to be a dick, but that's a pretty goddamned big difference.

  4. #4
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    I feel for the writer. My commute is like that, well it can be. Disappearing bike lanes for no reason, people parked in the bike lane, and then a road that has enough room for a bike lane, but doesn't, but allows parallel parking in some spots but is not marked. It can be really frustrating sometimes. Riding solo, I hate to take the lane as I feel like people here just don't pay attention to cyclists much as there aren't many of us out it appears.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    I'd heard that the statistics were in favor of commuting by bike. And I remember when I was living and working or going to school in Seattle, when I rode my bike, which was most of the time, I felt like I occupied kind of an odd position parallel to traffic. A lot of people's car accidents are either single-car or stupid stuff like getting plowed into by someone who fails to brake. Then there's freeways and getting on and off of freeways. And on longer commutes, I think a lot of us have chunks of time we spend on pieces of infrastructure without cars.

    Skimming the article, I'd agree that route selection is huge. When I was living in Seattle, I always had a little trouble going place by car because I was so accustomed to riding my bike, and a lot of my route selections became pretty inefficient when I drove my car.

    The observation about chewed up streets is a good one too. Certainly riding in town has a different feel than heading out onto country roads.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,415
    I am in sympathy with the cyclist. No bike lanes and few sidewalks here. Route selection is key. Backstreets are no sure bet, though as some use them as a high speed bypass to the main routes. More bicycles and higher gas prices seem to have added some tolerance or I have become less sensitive or both.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sunvalleylaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    544
    My daily ride is pretty safe with a pretty vacant MUP and just a few streets on either end. But I would feel a bit exposed in Seattle or large cities, until I knew an planned my route and had it all down. And even then, I would feel exposed on certain parts of the ride if a driver was inattentive or something. Cycling the last few days up in the San Juan islands with no shoulders in areas, and fast moving vacationers in cars made me feel more exposed than normal, and that is in a rural environment. I was surprised the infrastructure was not better given the islands' reputation for cycling. So I sympathize with the writer. So much more could be done with better infrastructure.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    465
    I'm rural, and in about 22 months will enjoy a dedicated bike path I can use to make most of the 7 mile trip to basic shopping. Mostly, I mountain bike, or ride an ancient steel roadie on crappy county and township roads. I guess I was gravel when gravel wasnt cool...LOL!

    It seems to me that we have become kind of narcissistic in the U.S....demanding our "rights" and "right of way". Some seem to enjoy it when our R.O.W. imposes a little frustration on someone else's habits or desires. I wish I had an answer. On those rare occasions I bike in larger towns, I refer to an interchange I had once, arguing with a town cop about biking on the sidewalk.

    I knew that bikes were a no-no on the sidewalk in a couple of places, and in these places traffic was also too high to safely use the streets. The cop had pulled me aside on the edge (heading to a bike shop, go figure) of one of the high-traffic zones to warn me to walk my bike down the sidewalk. It was only about 1-1/2 blocks.

    I was seething...how dare cagers and pedestrians take precedence over my shiny, wonderful velo? His response: would it really kill you to walk? Sad to say, it didnt dawn on me right away that my needs were probably no more important than everyone else's that day. Even today, I sometimes grind my teeth at frustrations like this.

    But it didnt kill me to walk. The bike shop found a new location within a block of a greenway, on a quieter street, near a little greasy spoon that served homemade pie.
    I had to go a few more blocks to get there, but that was OK: I needed more cycling to burn off the pie I was eating.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    89
    Quote Originally Posted by RRRoubaix View Post
    How so?
    I feel vulnerable as hell when I ride on the road (which is why I've been riding more MTB). When I'm wrapped in 3300 pounds of steel and glass, I don't feel vulnerable at all.
    Article is a little older but some good points.....
    6 Myths About Commuting By Bicycle - US News

    Not to be a dick, but that's a pretty goddamned big difference.
    Article is a little older but some good points.....
    6 Myths About Commuting By Bicycle - US News

    Im just pointing out that bikes with right of way still lose. I didnt take it as a dick comment, lol.
    '11 Redline MonoCog Flight 29er
    '10 Windsor Cliff 29er SS
    '09 Trek 4300

  10. #10
    755872
    Guest
    I think the problem of cars parking in the bike lane could be solved by a few street trials riders and a few cans of yellow spray paint (respray the lane across the vehicle and ride over the top). The Midwest is decidedly less congested than other areas but we still have our share of problems. We have a downtown bike lane that runs right down the middle of the street. I'm no traffic engineer, but that's not someplace I'd ride. We're currently debating stop and go through the light laws (for bikes, cars usually just run through if they're too busy to be inconvenienced. I remain convinced that the best time to cross a street is when there are no cars coming (regardless of the light color) and the worst time to cross is with other cars (traveling any direction). I think the off street trail system works best, but is not always practical. There are at least 4 crosses on my commute (where folks have lost the car v. bike debate) but I've been lucky. I've been riding to the same workplace for more than 29 years, across several routes, from two houses and 4 apartments with no serious accidents. As I get older I find myself getting more aggressive toward drivers. I think that's the parent in me worrying about the kids who ride the trails. Constantly surprised that I haven't been ticketed yet or gotten my ass kicked by some guy. Guess I'll keep doing what I'm doing until something changes my behavior. (Newton's first law).

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    225
    I think the last lines were the most telling. The biggest barrier is going out for that first ride. I remember when I got my first bike as an adult and was planning to ride or not, and couldn't figure out if I should be in the street or sidewalk. I rode on the street the first time, realized it was rough, but not that bad and have been riding ever since.

  12. #12
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    28,962
    Reading that article makes a lot of sense to me. There are plenty of places around here where I have NO problem riding my bike. Traffic is just not a problem.

    But then there are other places I won't go anywhere near with a bike. You are essentially thrown to the wolves in those areas.

    Cities are still trying to figure out how to handle bikes. Big cities ignored us completely for so many years that they have massive road networks that have been rendered horribly unsafe to us. They catered to cars at the expense of all other transit options for so long that to fix it "right" will take enormous expenditures. So they're using relatively inexpensive paint as a stopgap. It can create its own set of problems, some of which are illustrated in the linked article.

    I can only hope that the buildout of cycling facilities continues. More paint, even though it doesn't provide physical protection, does start to put bikes on drivers' minds. I only hope that an increase in painted bike lanes also corresponds with an increase in more protected facilities like protected bike lanes, cycletracks, dedicated cycle paths and MUP's, and the like. My city seems to be considering bike lanes as just one component of cycling infrastructure, and there is a plan locally to build out a connected network of MUP's that provide the entire county access to at least one within a fairly short distance of their homes, and those paths connect to many large parks, schools, businesses, the painted bike lane network, as well as the city's bus/transit network. We are also getting new cycletracks and protected bike lanes within the city, either by upgrading painted bike lanes, or by providing entirely new bike facilities.

    It's a fairly long term plan that is frankly quite ambitious and probably won't happen as is currently proposed. However if it winds up being pretty close to what's proposed, in 15yrs or so, I think it will be a pretty outstanding resource and while not everyone will feel really comfortable using all of the facilities, the mixture of options should allow folks the ability to get where they need without a car in relative safety.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: blockphi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,614
    Yes, route planning is one of the most important aspects of the successful bike commute. Spending a bit of time on the front end, planning where you're going to go makes the entire ride so much less stressful. Also knowing when to bend and when to break the laws is important as well. Just like drivers, there are times when it is safer to flaunt the laws - riding on a sidewalk or riding outside of a designated bike lane when the situation warrants.

    I do find the opening of the article a bit interesting. Though not surprising. Think about the situation when commuting - generally it is during rush hour when everyone is either POed because they are on their way to work or completely stressed because they just got off work. Now compare that to the times when more recreational cyclists ride - evenings and weekend. Different types of traffic to deal with. Of course the rec cyclist is going to be nervous because they don't necessarily have the familiarity with the unique traffic challenges that occur during rush hour. Bike commuters are, I think it safe to say, a different breed than the typical rec cyclist.

    Just my two cents.

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    I think it was easier for me to pick up bike commuting. I started by riding to school, in high school. I lived next to a park, so I could ride a little sidewalk and then MUP to link to another MUP and then a little quiet road and I was at school.

    I eventually changed to a much shorter route up and over a hill and 100% on the road. But I did it a chunk at a time, as I got comfortable with being on a bike and being on the road, and figured out that MUPs aren't so great for a cyclist.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
    Yeah!
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,457
    MUPs are horrible for anything but toodling about when they are in use by non-cyclists. They put us up against the walkers and runners they don't want us near on the sidewalks, but with barely more room than sidewalks, or no more room. They are building miles of them here, a bit more than twice as wide as a typical sidewalk, but they are directionally divided, serving both directions on one side of the street! So, we've essentially got a lanes that are big enough for runners to pass walkers, but not cyclist, so you must move into the opposing lane to pass ANYTHING. What a hoot! Plus, you get to slow down at every intersection to ensure you don't get hit by a driver, because drivers taking right-hand turns rarely see people about to enter the crosswalk, pedaling, running, walking, or otherwise.

    Cities will NEVER get it until they realize cyclists need dedicated paths that have long, uninterrupted stretches, permitting constant forward movement towards their destination. And I'd like to add that a few high-flow water dispensers some of the (few) intersections would go a long way towards encouraging more people to cycle.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4,415
    ^^ My experience with Columbus Indiana MUP in the middle of the day with light pedestrian use. Rush hour with morning joggers must be horrendous. Twice I came to blind curves with the MUP full width pedestrians and trees close to either side. Poor design made unworkable. Several places the path was the sidewalk and difficult for FS and fat tires. Or with evergreens either side of entrances and exits to shops so that drivers could not see until their front bumpers were nearly to the curb. I suspect a bureaucrat with a streak of sadism or a hate of cyclists was responsible for that moronic setup. Twice I came across "No Bikes" with no idea where the bikes were to leave and rejoin. One of these I rode back and still could not find any sign. So I suppose they expect the cyclist to dismount and walk. Morons.

    In Cleveland, at the North Chagrin Management Center, just a bend or below here:



    I was spinning up the grade in 26-23 approaching a blind hill and two dogs on leash and a man hove into view and said "Bike coming!" Having seen few cyclists or pedestrians, I thought, "the dogs can see that", then caught the sight of the downhill cyclist who split us like Moses and the Red Sea. He was descending somewhere well above 20 mph (I did about that dragging brakes the whole way, though the Campy hubs do coast exceedingly well and I have a bit of extra potential energy about the middle, so that I do excel at downhills). I did not hear an "On your left!", but the pedestrian knew he was coming, so maybe it was lost with the poor line of sight or he just hear the coasting freewheel buzz. A passing lane for downhills and corners would help. But it showed that the mixed use with cyclists at speed can be very dangerous.

    The cyclist still has the option of the road, but SOM Center with dense 45 mph traffic would make riding the MUP a bit slower, the safer option.

Similar Threads

  1. Dateline: Albany NY 5 Reporters Try Bikecommuting
    By mtbxplorer in forum Commuting
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-17-2014, 05:47 AM
  2. Bikecommuting in Bangkok
    By mtbxplorer in forum Commuting
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-14-2013, 05:28 PM
  3. Bikecommuting is tough, but...
    By mtbxplorer in forum Commuting
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-04-2012, 06:54 AM
  4. Graphic of U.S. BikeCommuting
    By mtbxplorer in forum Commuting
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 10-25-2012, 03:56 AM
  5. He's been bikecommuting since 1975
    By mtbxplorer in forum Commuting
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-11-2012, 06:46 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.