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#3051905 - 07/01/13 08:05 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
LazyPrizm Offline


Registered: 02/28/12
Posts: 334
Loc: Maryland
I've biked on the shoulder of the highway on I-25 in the more rural parts of New Mexico. There weren't any signs prohibiting it, like in the more developed parts of the state. Maybe because there's no way except the highway to get between some of these towns?

That said, it really wasn't bad at all. Semi drivers were very nice and would often switch to the left lane (still a little scary). In some ways it felt safer than the back / frontage roads... rednecks honking / playing chicken with you, dogs rushing out, people tearing around turns...
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#3051960 - 07/01/13 09:29 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 2967
Loc: Covington, Wa.
Both choices seem rather poor in my opinion. I value my life enough to stay off of roads shared with cars. I used to be an avid bicyclist (up to 40-60 miles a day). I had far too many close calls and rude motorists to contend with. I only ride on designated bike paths anymore....no cars allowed.
Just my opinion.
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#3052613 - 07/02/13 02:29 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: andrewg]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 7165
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.
Originally Posted By: andrewg
Both choices seem rather poor in my opinion. I value my life enough to stay off of roads shared with cars. I used to be an avid bicyclist (up to 40-60 miles a day). I had far too many close calls and rude motorists to contend with. I only ride on designated bike paths anymore....no cars allowed.
Just my opinion.


Yes, this is the safest option for a recreational rider, but a serious, competitive cyclist in full training mode MUST use public roads in order to be challenged by the varying terrain/wind conditions, and to be able to crank up the speed WELL ABOVE what would be acceptable (or safe) on a shared, designated path, during sprint and interval training (let alone organized/purposeful motor pace training).

You might know this yourself if you were a former racing cyclist (were you?). wink
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#3052955 - 07/02/13 07:32 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: dailydriver]
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 2967
Loc: Covington, Wa.
Of course I know that a competitive cyclist has little choice IF they want to be in the proper condition. Where did I say that I was a former racing cyclist? I think in my whole life I raced maybe....twice? I cycled for fun. Regardless what purpose one has in mind....riding on a roadway shared with motor vehicles is dangerous as heck and not worth it for me. My life is more important than a race or any competition. Once you are dead....it's all over. For me, I don't want my eulogy to be something like..."At least he died doing what he loved". If it's all the same, I'd rather forget cycling on the road and opt for a safer outlet for my competitive spirit. Why the attitude in your post anyway? I was just expressing my opinion.


Edited by andrewg (07/02/13 07:43 PM)
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#3053378 - 07/03/13 08:37 AM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1775
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
If it matters, if I do this it will be on July 4th at around 1PMish, so I assume that traffic will most likely be light.

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#3053479 - 07/03/13 10:43 AM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 2967
Loc: Covington, Wa.
Originally Posted By: zzyzzx
If it matters, if I do this it will be on July 4th at around 1PMish, so I assume that traffic will most likely be light.

In all sincerity the best of luck to you. I hope it goes well and you never encounter any safety issues. Make sure you wear something with high visibility of course.
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#3053487 - 07/03/13 10:54 AM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: andrewg]
JOD Offline


Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 3145
Loc: PNW/WA
Originally Posted By: andrewg
For me, I don't want my eulogy to be something like..."At least he died doing what he loved".


Yeah, I never really got that one. "Doing what he loved"? He loved getting hit by cars? Really?

Bike racing is pretty dangerous. I've broken enough bones to know. Most of that has actually been in competition, and not by vehicles (though I did get taken out once by a race vehicle, which happens). That said, there are things you can do to minimize the risks in training. One of them is staying off of multi-use paths except at very odd hours. Honestly, I'd rather take my chances with traffic than mom and a baby stroller and an iphone... But you have to be judicious in your choice of routes. I tend to ride the same ones over and over because they're the safest routes. Speed differential is a big one. If I'm riding at roughly the same speed that traffic can go, I feel a lot safer. Riding on the interstate? That's a pretty big speed differential..

You CAN ride on the interstate in most western states, and I've actually done it a couple of times on one route where riding 2 miles on the interstate cuts about 12 miles off of the ride. But I'm not a huge fan, and I rarely do that ride. There are almost always other, better options.

My wife commutes by bike every day, so one can safely ride on roads. But we also choose to live in a location that is pretty rideable, and not every place is like that. I used to work in the Kent valley and there's actually some decent riding down there (though with the construction down there I'm not sure that's still the case). But there are also a lot of places down there where I wouldn't be comfortable riding.

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#3053627 - 07/03/13 01:28 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: JOD]
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 2967
Loc: Covington, Wa.
Originally Posted By: JOD
Originally Posted By: andrewg
For me, I don't want my eulogy to be something like..."At least he died doing what he loved".


Yeah, I never really got that one. "Doing what he loved"? He loved getting hit by cars? Really?

Bike racing is pretty dangerous. I've broken enough bones to know. Most of that has actually been in competition, and not by vehicles (though I did get taken out once by a race vehicle, which happens). That said, there are things you can do to minimize the risks in training. One of them is staying off of multi-use paths except at very odd hours. Honestly, I'd rather take my chances with traffic than mom and a baby stroller and an iphone... But you have to be judicious in your choice of routes. I tend to ride the same ones over and over because they're the safest routes. Speed differential is a big one. If I'm riding at roughly the same speed that traffic can go, I feel a lot safer. Riding on the interstate? That's a pretty big speed differential..

You CAN ride on the interstate in most western states, and I've actually done it a couple of times on one route where riding 2 miles on the interstate cuts about 12 miles off of the ride. But I'm not a huge fan, and I rarely do that ride. There are almost always other, better options.

My wife commutes by bike every day, so one can safely ride on roads. But we also choose to live in a location that is pretty rideable, and not every place is like that. I used to work in the Kent valley and there's actually some decent riding down there (though with the construction down there I'm not sure that's still the case). But there are also a lot of places down there where I wouldn't be comfortable riding.

Good post. I know what you mean about the bike paths and mixing cyclists, strollers, inattentive walkers/joggers, and dog walkers with ten foot leashes. It has gotten to be almost as dangerous as a street (but perhaps not as deadly). I live above the Kent/Auburn valley. The riding around here has always been a bit dangerous (the past 25-30 years that I have ridden), but now it's FAR more hazardous with all the idiots on cell phones/texting etc. And even when I went the speed of the local traffic, you get these moronic fools that beep at you to get off the road or yell some obscenity out the window. Not fun. Even driving in my vehicle I have several WEEKLY close calls with these types. The bike trails in the valley are great though. Much more open than the Burke-Gilman and other trails close to Seattle. You can go a good clip very safely (except at road crossings). I've enjoyed them quite a bit for fitness rides but realize any serious racing cyclist would need to ride on the road to get the required training in. For me (now 50 years old), my common sense and judgement leads me to conclude that roads are too much a risk for cycling anymore and that I can find equal enjoyment doing other things like hiking in the mountains and long walks in the city.
I wish your wife well and hope that she stays safe out there.


Edited by andrewg (07/03/13 01:29 PM)
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#3053800 - 07/03/13 04:36 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: andrewg]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 7165
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.
Originally Posted By: andrewg
Of course I know that a competitive cyclist has little choice IF they want to be in the proper condition. Where did I say that I was a former racing cyclist? I think in my whole life I raced maybe....twice? I cycled for fun. Regardless what purpose one has in mind....riding on a roadway shared with motor vehicles is dangerous as heck and not worth it for me. My life is more important than a race or any competition. Once you are dead....it's all over. For me, I don't want my eulogy to be something like..."At least he died doing what he loved". If it's all the same, I'd rather forget cycling on the road and opt for a safer outlet for my competitive spirit. Why the attitude in your post anyway? I was just expressing my opinion.


Sorry if you sensed any attitude as NONE was inferred AT ALL! wink

The racing question was just that, a question, as I thought you may have implied (in past posts, but I was NOT sure) that you had raced at one time, and therefore would have known what I had stated in that post.

I respect and even admire your opinion on this (as well as your lack of a death wish LOL thumbsup ).

At first, I just was not sure whether or not you were stating that is is not OK for ANYONE (no matter how skilled, or careful) to be riding a bicycle on a public road (like that lunatic nutjob P.J. O'Rourke does incessantly).

But, if you were just talking about yourself, and the individual responsibility you love/hold so dear, and espouse so well, then OK, NO PROBLEM with/from me. wink
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#3053808 - 07/03/13 04:46 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: JOD]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 7165
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.
Originally Posted By: JOD
Riding on the interstate? That's a pretty big speed differential..


Yeah, but just think of the draft you could get from the big rig 'wash'.
You could spin out a 53x11, like motorpace training without the roller backed motorbike in front of you. LOL (J/K!)
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#3054150 - 07/03/13 08:48 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: dailydriver]
andrewg Offline


Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 2967
Loc: Covington, Wa.

Originally Posted By: dailydriver
Originally Posted By: andrewg
Of course I know that a competitive cyclist has little choice IF they want to be in the proper condition. Where did I say that I was a former racing cyclist? I think in my whole life I raced maybe....twice? I cycled for fun. Regardless what purpose one has in mind....riding on a roadway shared with motor vehicles is dangerous as heck and not worth it for me. My life is more important than a race or any competition. Once you are dead....it's all over. For me, I don't want my eulogy to be something like..."At least he died doing what he loved". If it's all the same, I'd rather forget cycling on the road and opt for a safer outlet for my competitive spirit. Why the attitude in your post anyway? I was just expressing my opinion.


Sorry if you sensed any attitude as NONE was inferred AT ALL! wink

The racing question was just that, a question, as I thought you may have implied (in past posts, but I was NOT sure) that you had raced at one time, and therefore would have known what I had stated in that post.

I respect and even admire your opinion on this (as well as your lack of a death wish LOL thumbsup ).

At first, I just was not sure whether or not you were stating that is is not OK for ANYONE (no matter how skilled, or careful) to be riding a bicycle on a public road (like that lunatic nutjob P.J. O'Rourke does incessantly).

But, if you were just talking about yourself, and the individual responsibility you love/hold so dear, and espouse so well, then OK, NO PROBLEM with/from me. wink

I should apologize actually. When I read your post and quickly responded I was at work and not in the best of moods. I have a tendency to take things wrong sometimes and I need to correct that. I did race twice...lol. Once, in a criterium....and another very short road circuit. I had planned to become more involved but settled on just riding for the fun/fitness aspects and challenging myself with personal time trials. Soon though I realized it was just too much of a risk for me to share the road with cars that often behaved threatening, for no apparent reason other than the stress and anger that seems to be common these days. Lot's of news stories lately of cyclists getting hit and/or killed. But certainly NO, I did not mean it wasn't ok for folks to ride on the side of the lane...I am PRO cyclist and get HIGHLY upset at the dangers imposed by idiot drivers. In a perfect (safer) world I, myself, would happily ride on the roads with motor vehicles. But for me, it just scares the poop out of me. The last time I rode on a street, a female school bus driver followed me around a sharp corner and nearly hit me in the head with her huge mirror. Shortly before that ride I had three teens throw empty bottles at me as I was out of the saddle climbing a steep hill (used to love that).
Maybe it's just the area I live? I don't know....but it's fine as I'm older now and enjoy other things.
Have a good one...thanks and sorry about the communication mixup!
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#3055490 - 07/05/13 10:44 AM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
zzyzzx Offline


Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1775
Loc: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
I ended up taking the side roads. That's mostly because I was running early and has the time for the longer route. That and the sun came out and the side roads (which were almost completely empty, unlike the highway) were shaded, where as the shorter highway shoulder route would have been in full sunshine.

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#3082615 - 08/01/13 07:50 AM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
vintagegz Offline


Registered: 03/01/05
Posts: 95
Loc: oshawa, ON
It is interesting because I remember cycling in a large group training ride in Belgium about 15 years ago, about 60 people riding 2 abreast on a major highway, it even had the bicycle lane markings, as cars whizzed past at around 100 kph on my left, and then the guys up front put their left hand out to be making a left turn across 2 lanes of highway traffic, the car beside me is almost locking up its brakes to avoid hitting anyone ( you must be very careful in Belgium as a driver not to hit a cyclist ) and watching the whole mini peleton swing left across the road to make the turn, but no honking of horns, no other drama, just normal life in Belgium!

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#3082982 - 08/01/13 02:42 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: vintagegz]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 7165
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.

Yes, well it DOES help that they are a cycling CRAZY nation, and their champion cyclists are considered national HEROES maybe even more so than our stick and ball sports supastars are here!
It may still even be a more popular sport there than football (soccer), at least from a spectators' point of view, what with all of the little town/neighborhood 'kermesses' there (what we call criteriums here) and such. wink

I could only WISH that cycling was that popular/respected here, with track world championships shown on TV, and riders out training shown THAT kind of respect/courtesy. (I guess it's just not violent enough for the U.S. sports public though.) frown

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#3289677 - 02/21/14 03:12 PM Re: Biking on an interstate highway (on the shoulder) [Re: zzyzzx]
Cubey Offline


Registered: 03/23/13
Posts: 224
Loc: All over the place (in RV)
It's illegal. Most (if not all) states have signs posted at on-ramps saying no pedestrians, bicycles, motor driven cycles, etc. Sometimes even state or US highways that are limited access (like interstates) have the same type of signs.
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