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being safe vs. proper road rules.(15 posts)

being safe vs. proper road rules.got2ryd
Jun 16, 2001 11:08 AM
i commute to work by bike a very short distance, 0.4 miles. almost not worth it, but quicker than walking. i live on a busy road which runs N/S. i travel south to get to work. instead of trying to cross over the busy road and travel south on the southbound shoulder, i travel south on the northbound shoulder. i always feel a little strange traveling against traffic, but i just feel its safer than trying to cross the busy road twice for this short distance. am i totally wrong in doing this? just curious what you guys think. thanks.
re: being safe vs. proper road rules.Rich Clark
Jun 16, 2001 11:22 AM
Yes, you're totally wrong, and if you happened to encounter me riding in that same shoulder in the correct direction I would try to make damn sure it was you, not me, that was forced into the oncoming traffic when we passed.

I know that sounds harsh, but dammit, as a daily commuter (13 miles each way) wrong-way cyclists are the bane of my existence. And it doesn't matter to *me* whether they're traveling .4 miles or 40 miles -- they're still coming at me head-on in the wrong direction.

And one of these days a car is going to swerve into you and you'll be a hood ornament.

Go with traffic until you get to a safe place to cross the road. Cross the road. Go with traffic until you get to your workplace and then make a safe and legal left turn.

Besides, you need to spend more time on your bike anyway!

RichC
re: being safe vs. proper road rules.got2ryd
Jun 16, 2001 11:34 AM
i would yield to any oncoming cyclists if encountered. as far as becoming a hood ornament, that is one thing i cant figure out. am i more apt to get hit by a swerving car by traveling against traffic rather than with it? i understand this being the "bane of your existence", but i only do this one way and this is the only time i do this. i spend plenty of time on my bikes during my free time and while road riding follow ALL road rules. this is the ONLY exception and i just cant seem to justify crossing the road and making my little ride more dangerous.
re: being safe vs. proper road rules.Rich Clark
Jun 16, 2001 12:40 PM
<>

If you're going 15mph and the oncoming car is going 45, your closing speed is 60mph. If you're both traveling in the same direction at those speeds, your closing speed is 30mph.

So by riding against traffic, you've cut the driver's (and your own) reaction time in half. Do you really trust drivers that much?

Oh, and the same thing applies to you versus other bikes.

RichC
A litle role reversal....biknben
Jun 16, 2001 1:19 PM
Rich,
On YOUR way to work do you exceed the speed limit in your car? Chances are you do, who doesn't. Should you be ticketed every day? Should you be reprimanded on an internet forum?

Rather than give Got3ryd a hard time about what he does, why not provide him with some solutions. It's obvious he knows that traveling against traffic is wrong.

I would suggest using a sidewalk (if available) or a different route all together. A little extra time in the saddle is good isn't it?
Sidewalk?look271
Jun 16, 2001 1:21 PM
That's worse than travelling the wrong way! Both are illegal.
sometimes its okishmael
Jun 17, 2001 9:36 AM
outside philly there is an area where it is excepted (it seems) to travel on the wrong side of the road because the other side doesnt have a shoulder and has a dangerous turn..but, the sidewalk is likely to piss off alot of people unless it is big and you are going slowly, if you were to hit anyone it would deffinately be your fault..
A litle role reversal....Rich Clark
Jun 16, 2001 1:57 PM
I believe my original response included exactly what you suggest: the idea that he find safe places to cross the road, even if it meant riding a little farther.

I don't understand your first question. It's not just that I rarely drive to work. It's that there's a substantial difference in risk between speeding (if you're staying in sync with traffic) and wrong-way riding. Wrong-way riding is far more dangerous, not just to the cyclist but to the drivers who will probably be frightened and confused by suddenly passing a bike coming at them rapidly from an unexpected direction.

The only thing I can think of that's as dangerous as wrong-way riding is riding on sidewalks.

RichC
A little role reversal....Wil
Jun 16, 2001 3:26 PM
I agree with what Rich C had to say. However, I ride about 1 block on the sidewalk until I get to a street with a bike line. The street directly in fron of my house has no bike line, is very busy, and all the idiots drive on it (I live in Pheonix, AZ). So I think unser special circumstances, riding on the sidewalk can be acceptable, as long as you go slow and watch for people pulling out of their driveways.
Can't you try something else?look271
Jun 16, 2001 1:12 PM
Like go the proper direction, even a little further if need be, turn into another street, and make a legal turn with a stop light? Travelling the wrong direction is BAD, and illegal. In most states, you are a vehicle, and this is no less of a traffic violation than if you would do so in a car.
Living to ride another day...coonass
Jun 16, 2001 3:57 PM
I assume you also drive a car? The next time you stop your car (i.e, at a STOP sign) and check traffic...pay attention to what you actually do. As you look to your RIGHT, you observe the traffic in the FAR lane. As you look to your left, you observe the traffic in the NEAR-curb lane. THEN if THOSE lanes of traffic allow, you proceed. If someone (a biker) were riding against traffic, they would be coming from your immediate right, in the NEAR-CURB lane which is not (normally) checked for traffic....if you pullout to proceed to your destination, the cyclist will surely be ALL OVER your right fender....btw..0.4 miles may be quicker but you're asking for an accident and you WILL be responsible! (I'm assuming we're discussing USA???)
re: being safe vs. proper road rules.got2ryd
Jun 16, 2001 4:45 PM
thanks for all the input. its obvious i should not do this. since i consider myself a cyclist i will change my evil ways. i will either walk to work or figure a different route.
Morning RidesRich Clark
Jun 16, 2001 6:10 PM
Personally, my commute in the morning is by far my favorite ride of the day. The air is cool, I'm much fresher, and the whole world looks much more inviting in the dawn of a new day. And I arrive at work invigorated, energized, and much less grumpy than when I'm forced to drive in.

If you're going to get up and get out on your bike anyway, why not look for a nice pleasant (legal, safe) route that lets you put in some significant quality saddle time before you get to work? It can even replace some of your other training rides.

RichC
around the block?Dog
Jun 17, 2001 2:34 PM
Can you go around the block the other way? You get more cycling in, anyway.

Have you ever met a cyclist on the shoulder going the wrong way? If not, that's not much of an issue. Likewise, are there any driveways, cross streets, anything like that along your .4 miles? If not, removes some issues.

I, too, when coming home from a certain route must decide between 2 very unsafe and time consuming crossings, or plod along the sidewalk on the left side for a couple of short blocks. I'll often do that, knowing I'm technically wrong, but being extremely careful.

Doug
re: being safe vs. proper road rules.Dutchy
Jun 18, 2001 1:25 AM
There are some good points here by everyone. Riding on the wrong side of the road is asking for trouble. .4mile/700m is it worth even riding this far? Just walk. it's still exercise. If you have time in the morning try to make the ride longer. Like someone else pointed out, cars coming upto intersections assume the traffic is coming from the left first, they don't expect traffic coming on their right. CHEERS.