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Old 06-18-2011, 10:19 AM
 
269 posts, read 347,735 times
Reputation: 286

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I just came home from another harrowing drive here in Wake County. I often drive down New Light Road, Ghoston Road and Six Forks road and on many nice weekends it is downright dangerous. I realize there is nothing illegal about bicyclists traveling these roads but I can not for the life of me figure out why they are considered bike routes and why anyone would want to bicycle on them!
New Light has a small shoulder now but not big enough for a bike and Ghoston road doesn't have a paved shoulder at all. These rural roads have many curves and many hills...so many blindspots. Even when driving slowly and defensively it is very unsettling to come around a curve or up over a hill to suddenly find a slow bicycle in the road. And besides looking out for the bicyclists yourself you always have to be prepared at every curve and hill for a car to be coming at you head on because they encountered the same thing on their side and swerved into your lane. It's a mess!
Why is this not only allowed but encouraged with many sponsored rides? I don't understand. I try to be open-minded and can see how it would be a pretty, scenic and also challenging ride but for me personally, there would be too much risk involved to enjoy it. I know for sure that I don't enjoy driving it and 'sharing the road' and assume that it would be even worse if I was more vulnerable on a bike.
I'm frustrated!
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:23 PM
 
632 posts, read 1,738,625 times
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Ohhh....I could've written that exact same post and about the SAME stretch of road!!! A few weekends ago, there was a biking event on that road, and we came upon a small group riding together--in some cases they were 2 and 3 abreast even though we saw a sign advising them to remain single file. This was UP a hill and around a curve. There was NO way you could get around them as they took the whole lane. They were struggling ("swerving" and leaning that bike back and forth with every pedal they took), and we were caught behind them FOREVER along with many other cars. You talk about mad.....

We had plenty of time to discuss it while braking UPHILL in the car: Why would anyone want to endanger themselves AND others like this? If it's "for fun" or exercise, then bike some place safer or on a trail....OR at least--if you're holding up a long line of traffic, be nice and pull over! If it's biking to work or for transportation, I have a bit more tolerance because these people are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and I do applaud that.

I know there are MANY biking enthusiasts, and I don't want to p*ss off anyone, but they can't possibly be as mad at me for writing this as I get at them when I have my heart in the throat after coming around a curve finding a bike in my lane and a car coming at me in the other one. Luckily, I have good brakes, and so far it's a biker as close to the shoulder as he/she can get. What happens when I'm the first one to round the corner to find 2 or 3 abreast bikers and a big truck in the next lane?

Yeah, I'm frustrated too.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:28 PM
 
1,751 posts, read 3,518,120 times
Reputation: 1953
I agree, I came around a corner in Cary this week and saw a sign announcing that Cary is a bike-friendly community. There was no where for a bike to get around the sign, no paved shoulder, poor visibility. It would have been a terrible place to ride. I thought it was strange.

Just because you put up a sign saying you are bike friendly.....
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:31 PM
 
Location: My House
34,845 posts, read 33,643,203 times
Reputation: 26262
Quote:
Originally Posted by librarySue View Post
I agree, I came around a corner in Cary this week and saw a sign announcing that Cary is a bike-friendly community. There was no where for a bike to get around the sign, no paved shoulder, poor visibility. It would have been a terrible place to ride. I thought it was strange.

Just because you put up a sign saying you are bike friendly.....
We have a ton of bikers around here. If more of them stuck to the roads with bike lanes, I'm sure that everyone would be happier.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:44 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
21,577 posts, read 32,799,870 times
Reputation: 17919
It is scary. They ride all over High House Road and the surrounding area in packs - not single file. Yes, we must share the road, but EVERYONE needs to obey the law. It makes me crazy when they go through red lights too.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Central North Carolina
1,335 posts, read 2,996,993 times
Reputation: 2132
As a cyclist, I can say that I also get frustrated sometimes, BUT I feel compelled to reply to a few comments:
  1. I agree that ALL users of the road should reasonably follow the laws. If bikers are blasting red lights, then they should not judge other drivers (I never blast a red light, but will occasional run one after stopping and checking if there is no traffic, because a bike will not trigger the green light.)
  2. To the first two posters, I would have to say that you should drive ANY road as if any hazard (not just a bike) were around a blind corner. I never EVER drive in a way that I can't stop in less distance than I could see. Forget the bike, what if a big tree had fallen, if a person was crossing the street to check their mail, a dog had run out, or whatever. IMO, coming up on a biker (or anything else) in a blind corner is the drivers fault. It also is the opinion of the law.
  3. Agree with the comments about shoulders, but not really. A bike can't ride on the shoulder. Too much debris and other cr*p to cause a puncture. That said, I prefer to either ride on very quiet roads with little traffic, or if it's a busy road, I like a shoulder just so I have some buffer area to my right if I need it.
For what it's worth, I mostly mountainbike. I just prefer to be in the woods, away from the cars, but on occasion I will road ride too, for the excercise. When I do, I choose to do it early in the AM, on very rural roads. I can ride 60 plus miles and never see a single traffic light, only a handful of stopsigns, and not too terribly many cars. I've found for the most part that drivers and cyclists alike are pretty much representative of society. Both are filled with "mostly" good people, who try their best to balance what they need to do, and the needs of the others. I've found that if I ride just 18" inside the white line, but make an effort to get over when cars approach from behind, they appreciate it. I avoid busy roads when I can, but if I have to use one to connect, I'll be quick, and will even waive cars on when they have a clear path to pass. I typically won't pull over (it reaps havoc on your heartrate and endurance!!!), but if I'm on a stretch, and it's busy, and cars are stacking up, I'll let them by once or twice.

I appreciate your frustration, and sometimes I even share it. But please recognize that the cyclist DO have a right to be in the road, that most are cool, and the few a-holes that give a bad name don't represent us all. Recognize that most would be on at non-busy times if they could (believe me on this one!!!), but sometimes you have to go when life allows it. For me, it's my one way that I unwind (one man's cycling is another's round of golf), and it is also doctor's orders that I do a cardio excercise that is gentle on the knees and good for the heart.

As bad as it sucks to get behind someone, it's kinda like getting stuck on I-40 at rush hour. It seems painstakingly slow, but there are no hills over a mile long in our area, so in reality, you never loose more than a minute or two. Please be patient and pass safely, and cyclists, also please be cool, because the motorist that you **** off, might come up behind me next.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:53 PM
 
Location: RTP area, NC
1,277 posts, read 3,378,515 times
Reputation: 960
If Raleigh/Cary/Wake County *committed* to REAL bike lines, then it'd be an even more fantastic place to live.

I agree - there are no shoulders to ride on and fewer sidewalks. All a bicyclist can do is find a mostly low traveled roadway and bike there. Which we do have.

But after visiting Hilton Head, with dedicated 2 lane bike paths, I realized how lovely it was to bicycle along with the worry of being creamed by a drivers. <smile> Wouldn't something like that be great here?
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:46 PM
 
Location: My House
34,845 posts, read 33,643,203 times
Reputation: 26262
Quote:
Originally Posted by twingles View Post
It is scary. They ride all over High House Road and the surrounding area in packs - not single file. Yes, we must share the road, but EVERYONE needs to obey the law. It makes me crazy when they go through red lights too.
Oh. The red light thing ticks us off.

Obey the rules of the road if you want to share it. Oy.
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Old 06-18-2011, 04:48 PM
 
Location: My House
34,845 posts, read 33,643,203 times
Reputation: 26262
Excellent post.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmateo View Post
As a cyclist, I can say that I also get frustrated sometimes, BUT I feel compelled to reply to a few comments:
  1. I agree that ALL users of the road should reasonably follow the laws. If bikers are blasting red lights, then they should not judge other drivers (I never blast a red light, but will occasional run one after stopping and checking if there is no traffic, because a bike will not trigger the green light.)
  2. To the first two posters, I would have to say that you should drive ANY road as if any hazard (not just a bike) were around a blind corner. I never EVER drive in a way that I can't stop in less distance than I could see. Forget the bike, what if a big tree had fallen, if a person was crossing the street to check their mail, a dog had run out, or whatever. IMO, coming up on a biker (or anything else) in a blind corner is the drivers fault. It also is the opinion of the law.
  3. Agree with the comments about shoulders, but not really. A bike can't ride on the shoulder. Too much debris and other cr*p to cause a puncture. That said, I prefer to either ride on very quiet roads with little traffic, or if it's a busy road, I like a shoulder just so I have some buffer area to my right if I need it.
For what it's worth, I mostly mountainbike. I just prefer to be in the woods, away from the cars, but on occasion I will road ride too, for the excercise. When I do, I choose to do it early in the AM, on very rural roads. I can ride 60 plus miles and never see a single traffic light, only a handful of stopsigns, and not too terribly many cars. I've found for the most part that drivers and cyclists alike are pretty much representative of society. Both are filled with "mostly" good people, who try their best to balance what they need to do, and the needs of the others. I've found that if I ride just 18" inside the white line, but make an effort to get over when cars approach from behind, they appreciate it. I avoid busy roads when I can, but if I have to use one to connect, I'll be quick, and will even waive cars on when they have a clear path to pass. I typically won't pull over (it reaps havoc on your heartrate and endurance!!!), but if I'm on a stretch, and it's busy, and cars are stacking up, I'll let them by once or twice.

I appreciate your frustration, and sometimes I even share it. But please recognize that the cyclist DO have a right to be in the road, that most are cool, and the few a-holes that give a bad name don't represent us all. Recognize that most would be on at non-busy times if they could (believe me on this one!!!), but sometimes you have to go when life allows it. For me, it's my one way that I unwind (one man's cycling is another's round of golf), and it is also doctor's orders that I do a cardio excercise that is gentle on the knees and good for the heart.

As bad as it sucks to get behind someone, it's kinda like getting stuck on I-40 at rush hour. It seems painstakingly slow, but there are no hills over a mile long in our area, so in reality, you never loose more than a minute or two. Please be patient and pass safely, and cyclists, also please be cool, because the motorist that you **** off, might come up behind me next.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:47 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
21,577 posts, read 32,799,870 times
Reputation: 17919
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmateo View Post
As bad as it sucks to get behind someone, it's kinda like getting stuck on I-40 at rush hour. It seems painstakingly slow, but there are no hills over a mile long in our area, so in reality, you never loose more than a minute or two. Please be patient and pass safely, and cyclists, also please be cool, because the motorist that you **** off, might come up behind me next.
I agree with this....whenever I get frustrated I ask myself how much time am I losing? Not much really. And it's good to see people getting some exercise....and you're right about being prepared for anything on the road. Last year, right before we moved, our neighbor hit our car - I had parked it in an unusual spot as I was changing registration stickers (which are on the windshied in NY) - anyway - she hit my car at low speed and did no damage, but tried to make it out like it was MY fault .... "well, I didn't expect to see a car there....you never park there, so I wasn't looking"....and I said to her "well my kids play here all the time, riding bikes and scooters....what if someone was walking here?" I'm sure she was happy to see the moving van pull up a week later, LOL.
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