I want to commute by bike, but- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    I hate that name.
    Reputation: blunderbuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,643

    I want to commute by bike, but

    The way is 90% high speed (60+ on the 6 lane, 50+ on the 4 and 45+ on the very narrow 2), very heavily traveled roads with no bike lanes. I will not be riding a bicycle on those roads anytime soon. But because of where the roads are and where they go, the sidewalks are not heavily used, especially at morning commute time (630am). When I am "in town" at the beginning and end, riding on the streets is no problem. My question is: is it ever ok to use sidewalks, or should I stick to driving?
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    439
    Sidewalks aren't much fun, but they beat driving. Check your local ordinances first, it is legal in some places.

  3. #3
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    Also look for alternative routes, bike paths that you might not know existed, cutting through neighborhoods, etc. Possibly a half commute where you drive to a place where you can park and ride the rest of the way.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  4. #4
    I hate that name.
    Reputation: blunderbuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,643
    The distance is only 12.5 miles to begin with, and drive and park would only leave a 2 mile ride. Not enough to be worth the hassle. I'm going between counties in a large suburban setting. Tampa area, FL- west Hillsborough to north Pinellas if anyone's familiar. There are no alternate routes that would completely avoid the dangerous areas and just avoiding some of it will add major miles. I've ridden all the sidewalks in question before, without incident, but that was just cruising, not riding with purpose and loaded with double panniers and a cooler bungeed on. I already know that legally, it is a no go, but this is County Sheriff territory and they don't usually care about such things unless you're being stupid.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  5. #5
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,642
    From the google "bicycle" layer in maps it looks like there are some east - west routes that vary between being routes, having a bike lane and having nothing. But theres some thing...

  6. #6
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    29,311
    Sometimes alt routes do add significant mileage, but also wind up offering a far better route that ends up being worth it.

    And many suburban areas flat out suck for bike commuting. One of the reasons I chose the location where I live now is because of its access to roads that are reasonably bike friendly, as well as access to roads with bike lanes as well as a greenway trail that's being developed.

    I don't currently commute more because of the distance to my current job, and the fact that there's a major construction project that's messing up traffic and multiple route options along the way, but I'm working on getting a better job with a much more reasonable commute.

  7. #7
    I hate that name.
    Reputation: blunderbuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,643
    I looked at the google bicycle overlay. Some of it is legit, some is laughable. I mean, sure, there is a long section that I travel (Hillsborough Ave/Tampa Rd) with a bike lane. The map doesn't mention that it's 6/8 lanes and most drivers run around 60 mph. Would you ride on the interstate if it had a bike lane? Regardless, it's a moot point. I'm not riding these roads, alone, in the semi-dark. That decision has already been made. I just wanted to know if I was totally crazy for considering using the sidewalks. As far as moving closer to work, I'm looking, but the town I work in has somewhat high housing prices, for what I'm looking at anyhow. And changing jobs is not going to happen, not at least until 2040 or so. Thanks all for the input.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    1,385
    Maybe by 2040 all the cars will be gone, a failed experiment, and the roads will be yours. Or the whole state will be underwater. Either way until then hit the sidewalks as it seems to be your only option.

    Stay safe.

  9. #9
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,642
    Why yes i have ridden on I-580..once. The speed difference wasn't as bad as the debris but i wouldn't suggest it too anyone. If it's legal on your city-county sidewalks are an option but they do introduce a new set of obstacles and barriers as well. Ive also found that if i alter my travel times i experience a noticeable difference in traffic conditions.

  10. #10
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
    Reputation: Cayenne_Pepa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6,735
    I have been hit by turning cars, even when my crosswalk says its OK to cross. Drivers simply do not care about pedestrians or bikes. I survived both instances and got out about $20 grand richer....lol
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  11. #11
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    Riding the sidewalk would not work for me, so I would try the road and see how it is first. Run multiple rear blinkers and be as visible as possible, and don't ride too far over to the right of the lane allowing people to think that they can squeeze by you in the lane. Take enough that you are safe and drivers will have to go around you in one of the several other lanes.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    103
    I live North of you in Ocala. I ride to work (about 14 miles each way) almost 100% sidewalks. I have never had an issue, but would caution you at EVERY intersection to really keep your head on a swivel. I have not had any real "close" calls, but several examples of people just not paying attention and would have turned into me had I not been alert to the fact. Also, people pay zero attention to cross walks and you'll have to swerve around cars. You'll get a few sheepish waves/nods and a few dirty looks--those are my favorite. They're in the path but for some reason it's your fault.

  13. #13
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
    Reputation: Cayenne_Pepa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6,735
    Quote Originally Posted by Jelako View Post
    I live North of you in Ocala. I ride to work (about 14 miles each way) almost 100% sidewalks. I have never had an issue, but would caution you at EVERY intersection to really keep your head on a swivel. I have not had any real "close" calls, but several examples of people just not paying attention and would have turned into me had I not been alert to the fact. Also, people pay zero attention to cross walks and you'll have to swerve around cars. You'll get a few sheepish waves/nods and a few dirty looks--those are my favorite. They're in the path but for some reason it's your fault.
    So true. Learn to crane your neck often.....it can save your life.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  14. #14
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    Bicycles belong on the road, not on the sidewalk. I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to ride on a sidewalk with pedestrians, dogs on or off leashes, kids, and intersections where cars really do not expect to see you.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  15. #15
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
    Reputation: Cayenne_Pepa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6,735
    In the beginning, I rode the sidewalk a lot. Many times, the wrong way. One day I was on the sidewalk against traffic, ready to cross a strip mall entrance. A huge, five-inch lifted Ford F-350 was barreling fast towards me on my left...the very moment I was starting to cross the mall entrance. I sensed the female driver was planning on making a fast right into the street, so she was only looking left for oncoming traffic and completely oblivious I was going to roll directly in front of her huge, lifted monster truck. The very second she was ready to slam the gas - I hear a kid scream, "MOM you're going to run over the guy(me)."

    The truck came within 2-inches of me....screeching to a halt, as I slowly passed in front of the truck. It was lifted so high - anybody directly in front of it would never be noticed. It was the woman's small daughter, in a forward-facing car seat was elevated high enough to see me. If it were not for that little girl - mom would have gunned the accelerator, flattening me like a pancake in seconds.

    Yes, I credit a little girl for saving my life....I'll ride inside the rain gutter, before going on the sidewalk now.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

Similar Threads

  1. New Bike Day! (and I will commute on it some).
    By sunvalleylaw in forum Commuting
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-16-2014, 08:04 PM
  2. Bike Commute vs Bike/Bus Combo Commute
    By Solomon76 in forum Commuting
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-10-2012, 05:25 PM
  3. Fat Bike Commute
    By SteveF in forum Fat bikes
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-30-2011, 06:05 AM
  4. Commute bike
    By jseko in forum Commuting
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 06-12-2011, 12:03 PM
  5. Parts or a new Bike to commute
    By Pangram in forum Commuting
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-13-2011, 06:55 AM

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.