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Old 05-18-2016, 01:32 PM   #1
nettijoe96
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Dangers of Biking

Hi ADK!

I'm planning on biking in the adirondacks (Rome, NY to Keene Valley) but my parents fear that it is too dangerous. They have said that cars might hit me because of the winding roads and small shoulders, the weather might be bad (on this multi-day adventure), and that I may not have enough food, water and shelter. Their biggest concern is the general uncertainty of the unknown and cars hitting me.

They are not concerned with my ability because they know that I can bike that far.

If you have ever biked in the adirondacks, would you consider it dangerous?

I don't want to be in harms way nor do I not want follow my parents wishes. However, if it isn't dangerous, then I'm avoiding a fantastic adventure for no reason.

I really appreciate all feedback!

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Old 05-18-2016, 01:44 PM   #2
rdl
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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.

I bike on a lot of rural roads where I live in WNY and I'm often more concerned about a deer jumping in front of me than cars.
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Old 05-18-2016, 02:14 PM   #3
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I have made an annual 5-8 day trip to the Adirondacks by bicycle every August since 2009. I have survived thus far, but who knows what may happen next. On the main roads I have traveled there are nice big wide paved shoulders and the cars are zipping along at 55 or 60. On the back roads without shoulders where you can't see far the cars tend to drive much more slowly. My trips have generally been in the 200-350 mile range round trip. I use the bike as a way to get to the trailheads rather than just riding for its own sake. About 110 of each year's miles have been outside the Blue Line but I have done a fair bit inside on various roads. I don't carry rain gear since I go in August and I plan on getting wet at least a few times. I do keep my sleeping bag dry, and some other things, but I find that as long as it is fairly warm I don't mind the rain. I was reading the Writer's Almanac a month or tow ago and one of the entries was about an author who died of complications from falling out of bed, so I figure I might as well not worry too much about what might be dangerous(though I do take some precautions like not riding at night in the Adirondacks).
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:43 PM   #4
montcalm
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I used to do all my mountain biking as combined road rides. I'd ride from home to the trail, no car. I didn't have one.

I did this in the Adirondacks and other parts of New York. I never once feared for my life riding on the roads.

A few times I have feared for my life riding on city streets.

This is purely anecdotal, as is most information on the internet, but I always felt very safe riding in the Adirondacks, even on the narrower backroads that had no shoulder at all. I'm not a timid rider either. If the road is narrow, I take the space I need and expect cars to go around me. So far they have. I obey the rules of the road and ride with traffic. I see a lot of cyclists (especially in suburbia or the city) that don't do this. I kind of think those are the people that get into the majority of the accidents, and those people give motorists the idea that they don't belong on the road.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:02 PM   #5
nettijoe96
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Dangers of Biking

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
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.

I bike on a lot of rural roads where I live in WNY and I'm often more concerned about a deer jumping in front of me than cars.
Yeah that's what I was thinking too. Thanks for feedback!

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Old 05-18-2016, 06:11 PM   #6
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Dangers of Biking

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Originally Posted by Zach View Post
I have made an annual 5-8 day trip to the Adirondacks by bicycle every August since 2009. I have survived thus far, but who knows what may happen next. On the main roads I have traveled there are nice big wide paved shoulders and the cars are zipping along at 55 or 60. On the back roads without shoulders where you can't see far the cars tend to drive much more slowly. My trips have generally been in the 200-350 mile range round trip. I use the bike as a way to get to the trailheads rather than just riding for its own sake. About 110 of each year's miles have been outside the Blue Line but I have done a fair bit inside on various roads. I don't carry rain gear since I go in August and I plan on getting wet at least a few times. I do keep my sleeping bag dry, and some other things, but I find that as long as it is fairly warm I don't mind the rain. I was reading the Writer's Almanac a month or tow ago and one of the entries was about an author who died of complications from falling out of bed, so I figure I might as well not worry too much about what might be dangerous(though I do take some precautions like not riding at night in the Adirondacks).
Zach
Wow that sounds like an awesome trip!

What are the main roads that you ride on? Route 8 and 9?

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Old 05-18-2016, 06:14 PM   #7
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Dangers of Biking

Quote:
Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
I used to do all my mountain biking as combined road rides. I'd ride from home to the trail, no car. I didn't have one.

I did this in the Adirondacks and other parts of New York. I never once feared for my life riding on the roads.

A few times I have feared for my life riding on city streets.

This is purely anecdotal, as is most information on the internet, but I always felt very safe riding in the Adirondacks, even on the narrower backroads that had no shoulder at all. I'm not a timid rider either. If the road is narrow, I take the space I need and expect cars to go around me. So far they have. I obey the rules of the road and ride with traffic. I see a lot of cyclists (especially in suburbia or the city) that don't do this. I kind of think those are the people that get into the majority of the accidents, and those people give motorists the idea that they don't belong on the road.
Yeah you can't be scared to take you position on the road. You have to own it.

I appreciate the feedback! It gives me a general idea even though it is only anecdotal.

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Old 05-19-2016, 10:31 AM   #8
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I live near Pulaski so I skirt around the Tug Hill and pick up 28 in McKeever. From there I mostly have been on 28 or 28N going to either Newcomb or Indian Lake. Last year I made a shorter trip due to time constraints, up to Stillwater via Lowville. The last 2 years I have been pulling a canoe behind the bike on a trailer which slows me down but is more fun when I get there. Sometimes the smaller road is better. I take South Shore Road from Old Forge to Inlet instead of 28. It is narrower but there is less traffic and it is flatter and straighter so the people in the cars can see the bike from further away.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:53 AM   #9
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Wear Bright Colors

I've always had good luck with cars seeing me if I wear bright colors, especially neon yellow. Sort of like a school bus, which most people are conditioned to slow down for. It's surprising the difference it makes.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:21 PM   #10
Bob K
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Biking in ADKs

There are many fine roads with good wide shoulders, of course some less so. FWIW there is at least one significant organized bike ride (race) The Ididaride is 75 miles and likely covers some of the route you might take. Hope this link works for the map.

http://www.adk.org/elbo/assets/idida...ide2016Map.jpg

I did a 26 mile trip yesterday from N Creek and had a great day on my vintage Motobecane road bike that goes faster down hills than i'm comfortable riding.

There is at least one book describing ADK rides and it may help find the preferred roads to ride on. I recall that Rt 28 between N Creek to Indian lake is great (though gigantic hill), and perhaps good at to Blue Mtn Lake.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:58 PM   #11
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Dangers of Biking

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBikeSki View Post
I've always had good luck with cars seeing me if I wear bright colors, especially neon yellow. Sort of like a school bus, which most people are conditioned to slow down for. It's surprising the difference it makes.
Great. Thanks for the tip

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Old 05-20-2016, 07:03 PM   #12
nettijoe96
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Dangers of Biking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
There are many fine roads with good wide shoulders, of course some less so. FWIW there is at least one significant organized bike ride (race) The Ididaride is 75 miles and likely covers some of the route you might take. Hope this link works for the map.

http://www.adk.org/elbo/assets/idida...ide2016Map.jpg

I did a 26 mile trip yesterday from N Creek and had a great day on my vintage Motobecane road bike that goes faster down hills than i'm comfortable riding.

There is at least one book describing ADK rides and it may help find the preferred roads to ride on. I recall that Rt 28 between N Creek to Indian lake is great (though gigantic hill), and perhaps good at to Blue Mtn Lake.
Thank you so much for this. This will be extremely helpful in mapping my route and convincing my parents

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Old 05-23-2016, 08:38 AM   #13
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I started doing bike trips kind of late, late-20's, and my first ride was Rt. 9 from Bolton to Sabbath Day Point to escape a painfully boring conference at the Sagamore. That was in the 90's. Since then I've crossed NY State a couple dozen times including three trips through the Adirondacks. I'm 50 now, my mother is in her mid-80's, and she still worries every time I set out for a few days. Get used to it; find some roads that take your breath away (like the hill over the Tongue Range), stop and talk to people you would never meet flying by in a car, and don't ride in Ireland on Sundays (pub day after church).
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:37 AM   #14
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Many of the ADK state roads are fairly wide and/or have excellent shoulders. Enjoy.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:05 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:45 AM   #16
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On my bike tour last year, the guides told us to "take the lane". I strongly disagreed and refused to do it. My argument was, I'm going 10mph and a car may be going 50. My bike and I weigh less than 200 lbs together, and a car weighs, what, 2 tons maybe? Who do you think is going to win that contest. Besides, it just seems inconsiderate not to get as far to the right as safely possible to let traffic go by. Interestingly, one of the guides was almost hit on the Rainbow Bridge on our last day because she was "taking the lane". A friend of mine took an Urban Cycling Class in Albany last year and was also taught to take the lane. I still won't do it.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:27 AM   #17
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There's a difference between taking the lane and owning your space. Taking the lane makes sense when you are at an intersection and need to turn left, but you only do it until you get through the intersection. Taking the lane on a highway is idiotic. Take your space, but also give cars enough room to get around you.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:04 AM   #18
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Good discussion. I see this all the time. On the ADKs Ididaride last year, bikes were all over the road on Route 28. Not just filling the entire lane in their own direction, but riding in large groups wholesale in the oncoming lane. This was while long lines of cars were waiting patiently to pass. Sadly, organizers said nothing to the 500+ bike group about safety at the start. A few responsible riders took on the role of Marshall, and shepherded the groups at least on to their own side of the road to allow some cars to go by safely.

As riders (I have been road riding for 45 years) we complain vociferously about the dangerous cars, but I think we own more than half the problem. The general rule in most states (there are variations in state laws) is that a bike IS a vehicle, and is allowed to use the road; bikes are not restricted to the shoulder, as some drivers maintain. But the rest of that rule is that bikes should ride single file, within about one foot or so of the white line that defines the edge of the lane. That's "owning your space" and is generally legal and correct, and safe.

I constantly see riders breaking just about every safety rule; far more often and in a far higher proportion than I see motorists doing that. I think the first improvement to be made in bike safety is to clean up our own act in the biking community.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:38 AM   #19
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I stay on the shoulder if it is paved, or as far right as possible if not (sometimes written as FRAP, I think). If there are potholes or other issues with the paving on the edge of the road I will move further into the lane providing traffic is not heavy. I do not believe in using more of the lane than I need, it seems to me to be a rather inconsiderate mindset. I do not always stop for stop signs if nobody is coming, but other than that I try to obey traffic laws as I would if driving a car. When turning left I usually get on the white line, or about a foot to the right of the yellow line depending on how many traffic lanes there are. In places where there is a right turn only lane I try to stay close to the line on the left side, in the right edge of the straight lane.
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:36 PM   #20
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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.
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