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Old 06-07-2016, 05:50 PM   #21
mulveyr
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Originally Posted by bluequill View Post
Yes, bikes can legally ride on the road but are required to adhere to the same traffic regulations that vehicles do. Stop signs, traffic lights AND keeping up a minimum safe speed. If you are biking on a road that has a posted 55 mph speed limit and are only going 18 mph, GET OUT of the middle of the road and let vehicle traffic safely pass!

BTW, I road bike also.
I bike around 4000 miles a year, everywhere from NYC to the Adirondacks, so I have a wee bit of experience with this...

You're ignoring one of the primary reasons why cyclists will control the lane when necessary; because drivers will often attempt unsafe passes when cyclists are too far off to the right. They'll try and squeeze by in the same lane, passing in some cases, mere inches from you when you're riding. If you're in the left tire track, then drivers will make safer passes in the opposite lane. It's a tried and proven technique that reduces the danger to the people who are actually vulnerable on the road.

Obviously the golden rule still applies; if there's sufficient room on the shoulder to safely ride *and* allow cars to pass safely, then that's where you should be. But--and this is something that a lot of drivers choose to ignore--cyclists are NOT obligated to go careening off the shoulder just because the driver can't maintain their patience for the very short period of time it takes to wait for a safe passing opportunity.

There's no such thing as a second-class user of the roads; we're all just trying to get somewhere, we all have people who who care for us. Sometimes that means that it takes a little extra time for everyone to make it home safely.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:14 PM   #22
nettijoe96
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Dangers of Biking

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Originally Posted by EagleCrag View Post
I'm not a cyclist but do have a few comments. In anything we do, there is an element of risk. If you let that risk (within reason) limit your activities, you are going to have a boring life, so enjoy. It also strikes me that anyone that got hit by a care while cycling in the Adirondacks might not be here to comment. :-) I have a nephew that cycled from Albany to Tupper Lake once. He was concerned about the southern end of his journey where there was much more traffic. His trip went well until someone hit him in the parking lot of Save-A-Lot in Tupper Lake. He was not injured but his bike was damaged. I mention this only to show that accidents can happen anywhere. As a parent I would not want to prevent my child from experiencing an adventure such as the one you propose, but all parents are different. In regards to those who think they need to "own" their share of the road, there are two sides to that story. I have no beef with cyclists that are riding single file on the right. It is not unusual in the Dacks to run across riders that are two or even 3 abreast at times and that, IMO, is a different story. Last summer I was traveling north on route 30 when there was a cycling event with hundreds of cyclists traveling from the Rt 8 intersection north, at least as far as Indian Lake. Where they went from there I don't know. As it was a big event, I did slow down and was cautious--the number of riders was amazing. I counted over 300 after I had passed a whole lot of them. Some of these folks were riding not two or 3 but even 4 abreast all the way across the northbound lane. Most would resume single file when they heard my approach, but some did not even after I sounded my horn to warn of my approach. It isn't always safe on Adirondack highways to enter the left lane across a double yellow line to pass cyclists, depending upon how far ahead the car can see, yet I felt that was what the cyclists expected me to do. I'd be interested to hear what cyclists expect of vehicle traffic and what they think thier rights or ownership of the highway means.
Interesting, thanks for the feedback. I'm surprised that you saw 3 or 4 cyclists riding next to each other, I have never seen that before.

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Old 06-08-2016, 08:47 AM   #23
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I am a cyclist that was hit, although it was not in the Adirondacks.
It's been 30 years this past April Fool's Day (Ha ha ha) since I was hit from behind by an inattentive driver, right next to the Albany airport. Skies and roads were clear, road was straight with little traffic, I was riding far right, almost on the lane marking paint. I was commuting home from work, same as I had for 3 years prior, I was in prime physical condition. It's amazing how quickly the mind can react...I knew I was being hit, even before I hit the ground. I had my lower left leg snapped in half, with severe tissue damage. Right leg was also fractured, as well as my pelvis, several ribs, and left elbow.
I can still remember the feeling of my bike being twisted out from under me. A month in the hospital, several surgeries, a couple skin grafts, 3 months later I could walk, sort of. 6 months later and I was back to work, having lost 30 lbs of muscle and some bone.

I still ride a bicycle on the road, and I used to commute as well. The 1st few years were difficult, not from a physical point, but the mental aspect was particularly traumatizing.
In years subsequent to the accident, I pedaled many lone and organized rides, including a dozen or so century rides. All of the group rides were filled with respectful riders, singling out as cars approached. You could hear the calls coming from the bike pack "car back, car back" as the warning was relayed forward.
Riding even two abreast when being overtaken is just foolish, three or four is asking to start trouble, or inviting injury (maybe a lifelong injury).

Adirondack rides can be great, the roads are generally lightly traveled, and major roads have wide shoulders. Keep an ear on alert for vehicles from behind, and err on the side of caution. Be especially cautious in the tourist trap towns, as drivers will likely being more attentive to their whining children or the next spot for gas.
And most importantly, enjoy life! Every minute is precious.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:53 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post

You're ignoring one of the primary reasons why cyclists will control the lane when necessary; because drivers will often attempt unsafe passes when cyclists are too far off to the right. They'll try and squeeze by in the same lane, passing in some cases, mere inches from you when you're riding. If you're in the left tire track, then drivers will make safer passes in the opposite lane. It's a tried and proven technique that reduces the danger to the people who are actually vulnerable on the road.

Obviously the golden rule still applies; if there's sufficient room on the shoulder to safely ride *and* allow cars to pass safely, then that's where you should be. But--and this is something that a lot of drivers choose to ignore--cyclists are NOT obligated to go careening off the shoulder just because the driver can't maintain their patience for the very short period of time it takes to wait for a safe passing opportunity.

There's no such thing as a second-class user of the roads; we're all just trying to get somewhere, we all have people who who care for us. Sometimes that means that it takes a little extra time for everyone to make it home safely.

While cars may attempt unsafe passes if cyclists are in single file on the right, I'd venture to say they would likely attempt unsafe passes no matter where, or how far across the lane they were riding. These same drivers are probably the ones that weave in and out of traffic during rush hour. I think the key here is to show courtesy, whether you are a cyclist or a motorist. While cyclists may have the right to occupy space in the driving lane, to expect a vehicle to travel a half mile or more to wait for an opportunity to pass is probably wishful thinking. The greater the differential between the posted speed limit and the speed of the cyclist, the more likely a driver may attempt an unsafe pass--IMO. So in short, I think courtesy on both parts is what is called for. I must say I'm impressed with the discussion in this thread--I was afraid I'd be trashed after my initial post.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:00 AM   #25
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Courtesy

I agree, the key to shareing is courtesy. Motorists are accustomed to traveling fast. It s not their right to do so. Failure to exercise patience can result in bad judgement.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:51 AM   #26
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This is an interesting post and I have learned a lot. I understand a cyclists' right to the road, just as I do my right to be on the water in a kayak. That said, just because I have a right to paddle in the middle of Lake George on a Sunday afternoon in July doesn't mean I'm going to. I often ask myself (or my wife) the same question about cyclists I see on roads like Rt. 149 and others on a Friday rush hour or Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon when traffic is crazy. They certainly have a right to be there, but I wonder why they'd want to with all the traffic. While I may be on the lookout, what about others who might not be?

I often tow a small RV through the Adirondacks and I'll never forget the day, like Crag, that I came around a corner to find four cyclists riding side-by-side spread out across the road and they wouldn't budge, as if they were making some kind of statement. All I can say is that it's a good thing I was only going 40mph. On the other hand, I've towed right through the Iditaride and for the most part cyclists and motorists alike seemed to be aware of the congestion. I thought the organizers did a good job of awareness. Like someone else said in this post, be careful and think of others, including your families.

Last edited by Buckladd; 06-09-2016 at 10:30 PM..
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:20 PM   #27
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Dangers of Biking

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
I am a cyclist that was hit, although it was not in the Adirondacks.
It's been 30 years this past April Fool's Day (Ha ha ha) since I was hit from behind by an inattentive driver, right next to the Albany airport. Skies and roads were clear, road was straight with little traffic, I was riding far right, almost on the lane marking paint. I was commuting home from work, same as I had for 3 years prior, I was in prime physical condition. It's amazing how quickly the mind can react...I knew I was being hit, even before I hit the ground. I had my lower left leg snapped in half, with severe tissue damage. Right leg was also fractured, as well as my pelvis, several ribs, and left elbow.
I can still remember the feeling of my bike being twisted out from under me. A month in the hospital, several surgeries, a couple skin grafts, 3 months later I could walk, sort of. 6 months later and I was back to work, having lost 30 lbs of muscle and some bone.

I still ride a bicycle on the road, and I used to commute as well. The 1st few years were difficult, not from a physical point, but the mental aspect was particularly traumatizing.
In years subsequent to the accident, I pedaled many lone and organized rides, including a dozen or so century rides. All of the group rides were filled with respectful riders, singling out as cars approached. You could hear the calls coming from the bike pack "car back, car back" as the warning was relayed forward.
Riding even two abreast when being overtaken is just foolish, three or four is asking to start trouble, or inviting injury (maybe a lifelong injury).

Adirondack rides can be great, the roads are generally lightly traveled, and major roads have wide shoulders. Keep an ear on alert for vehicles from behind, and err on the side of caution. Be especially cautious in the tourist trap towns, as drivers will likely being more attentive to their whining children or the next spot for gas.
And most importantly, enjoy life! Every minute is precious.
Wow, what a crazy experience. Thank you for sharing and for the advice

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Old 06-19-2016, 11:42 AM   #28
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Not sure of where NYS law stands. But in Maine motorists are required to give 3 meters margin to cyclists.

It won't stop all t he idiots but might help if there were such a law.

http://sethkoenig.bangordailynews.co...haring-debate/
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:55 PM   #29
mulveyr
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Not sure of where NYS law stands. But in Maine motorists are required to give 3 meters margin to cyclists.

It won't stop all t he idiots but might help if there were such a law.

http://sethkoenig.bangordailynews.co...haring-debate/
Three feet, not three meters. ;-)

It would be fantastic if NY adopted the same sort of law; for example, a couple of months ago, I had a car effectively push me out of the lane as we were going through an intersection by being inches from my rear tire ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVhHXncPV30 ) Because of the lack of a safe passing law, it wasn't possible to have him cited.
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:26 AM   #30
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NYS laws applying to cyclists allows them to take the lane to secure a safe line of travel. There is some interpretation that requires a decision about condition of the road.
From my years of experience commuting and cycling I have learned that the safest lane is not the shoulder. I ride the line. Drivers (most) give me more consideration when I am in the lane. My perception is that riding the lane forces drivers to pay more attention to my presence on the road. That said, there are drivers that are annoyed by the presence of a cyclist on "their" roads. These folks will flip you off, throw beer or soda, honk the horn and try to come as close to you as possible to "send a message". I have had a tractor trailer pull in on me as a "message" with the trailer closing in on me as it forced me into the guard rail. It's terrifying when it happens.
My advice is to wear bright clothing (not black!), ride the lane like it belongs to you, be prepared for cars coming up on you and pushing you off the road etc.
If you are riding in a group you are not entitled to ride side by side or to commandeer the lane. If there is traffic, pull in and give the car room to pass. It infuriates me to to see cyclists that take over the road and fill the lane. These idiots give cyclists a bad reputation and fuel bad driver behavior. In areas where cyclists travel regularly this can trigger some real and dangerous driver behavior. If I see cyclists blocking a road when I am driving I will pull up next to them when there is room and tell them to pull in. Sometimes they do. Club rides seem to draw morons together.....

Finally, when I encounter cyclists when I am driving, if they are in my lane, I slow and wait to pass safely. If they are in the oncoming lane, I move over in my lane so that cars coming from behind them have room to get around safely.

Follow the rules of the road...ride the lane...expect trouble...make eye contact at intersections...show drivers some respect and expect nothing in return....hope for the best and wear a lid.
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:16 PM   #31
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Long time bike commuter in a very busy city, and have more than a few miles on open roads up here...

My advice to OP is to stay as far to the side as you can when cars are coming up on you. Wear bright colors and setup your bike with lights or flags to make yourself as visible as reasonably possible. Ride single file if you are with others. Realize the car is going to win every confrontation, so ride defensively and yield when in doubt.

In other words, do what you can to protect yourself and minimize the chances of an accident, but don't worry about the things that are out of your control. Life is too short.

Oh, and have fun!
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:41 PM   #32
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This conversation makes me think of a poem my mother taught me when I was a kid. As best I can recall it went:

Here lies the grave of Mike O'Day
who died defending his right of way.
His right was clear and his will was strong,
but he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong.

I find that pulling my canoe on its trailer with a flag makes drivers pay more attention and take fewer risks when passing me. Perhaps because its different than what they expect to see so it jogs their minds a bit, or maybe it's something else.
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:55 AM   #33
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So , did you make the ride nettijoe96 ???
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:52 PM   #34
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If you are riding in a group you are not entitled to ride side by side or to commandeer the lane. If there is traffic, pull in and give the car room to pass. It infuriates me to to see cyclists that take over the road and fill the lane. These idiots give cyclists a bad reputation and fuel bad driver behavior. In areas where cyclists travel regularly this can trigger some real and dangerous driver behavior. If I see cyclists blocking a road when I am driving I will pull up next to them when there is room and tell them to pull in. Sometimes they do. Club rides seem to draw morons together.....
Although, it would seem to make some sense that they did that (riding several side by side) - if they do that and you pass them it would be similar to passing one slow moving car (pull out, pass and then return to your lane).

Where if they were single file, you'd have to pull out into the other lane for a longer time, especially if they were fairly close together - would be more like trying to pass three or four slower moving cars without space to pull back in between if someone should happen to come from the other direction.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:42 AM   #35
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You're no more or less likely to be hit by a car on a 100+ mile outing as you are on a ride around your block.
Absolutely not true. More exposure equals more risk over time.
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Old 10-20-2017, 03:05 PM   #36
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I ride about 2500 miles a season. A good portion of that is commuting. My ride is very rural so there's not much traffic. Paradoxically, that can be a problem. I notice that many drivers are less attentive when traffic is light and are much more likely to be texting.

I noticed a big difference when I put a flashing red light on the back of my bike. It's just enough to make drivers aware and they generally give me a very wide berth.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:47 PM   #37
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What are the chances? What I most often say no matter whether I am riding a bike or driving a car.
I can almost guarantee that even on a remote country road, when I haven't seen any other traffic for miles, if there is a narrow bridge and a bike (be it me or another rider) that there will also be an oncoming truck (often a big one), with truck , bike, and car all meeting exactly at the bridge location at the same time.
What are the chances?
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:26 AM   #38
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Maybe it's older age but I feel real uncomfortable riding with traffic even with a wide shoulder. And the NYC "incident" didn't have a calming effect. To think I used to ride to Vermont, what the hell was I thinking? These days I stick to bike paths or back roads but in today's environment I no longer trust motorists to have my back.
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