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Would you ride on these roads? 55-60mph?

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Would you ride on these roads? 55-60mph?

Old 11-10-18, 08:48 PM
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Awaqa909
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Would you ride on these roads? 55-60mph?

I live near Austin, TX. The roads that I would have to commute on are 55-60mph on the high side. I believe they all have big shoulders, besides the one my work is on, but that one has a side walk. The roads I would have to use are US 79... which might be a highway? Limmer Loop or Chandler Rd/University Blvd . I'm just trying to figure out if it's even safe to commute on these roads, before looking too much into bicycles. My commute would be 20-22 miles round trip. I used to see bicyclists every once in a while on Chandler/University.

Thanks,
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Old 11-10-18, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Awaqa909 View Post
I live near Austin, TX. The roads that I would have to commute on are 55-60mph on the high side. I believe they all have big shoulders, besides the one my work is on, but that one has a side walk. The roads I would have to use are US 79... which might be a highway? Limmer Loop or Chandler Rd/University Blvd . I'm just trying to figure out if it's even safe to commute on these roads, before looking too much into bicycles. My commute would be 20-22 miles round trip. I used to see bicyclists every once in a while on Chandler/University.

Thanks,
Awaqa909
Accidents can happen anywhere. What is your comfort level riding a bike?
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Old 11-10-18, 09:42 PM
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Pushbikes are best on country lanes not urban highways.
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Old 11-10-18, 10:12 PM
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Glancing on those roads on googlemaps, they look fine to me. May take a bit to get used to high speed traffic if you haven't ridden such roads before, but those shoulders would meet my standards. I generally wouldn't ride roads like that without shoulders.
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Old 11-10-18, 11:52 PM
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I commute 60km roundtrip with 38 of it on a highway. I have a wide shoulder although I generally ride within about 3 ft of the fog line to minimize flats from the debris in the shoulder. I find most cars and trucks are considerate and move to the left side of their lane so give me plenty of room. One advantage of the highway is there are very few access points so limited opportunity to get hit from someone turning onto or off of the highway. Not everyone is comfortable on the hwy but I like it.

https://www.google.com/maps/@49.0642...7i13312!8i6656
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Old 11-11-18, 02:00 AM
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We have to see the road Timmy.
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Old 11-11-18, 05:45 AM
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Probably not.
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Old 11-11-18, 07:50 AM
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If there were alternate routes, no, even if the commute was a bit longer. If no alternates, then maybe. I would first do a reconnaissance ride of the route during a low traffic period (like a weekend morning). You'll gain a lot of information about condition of the shoulder, how the intersections are set up. Google street view shows the routes to have great sight lines and wide shoulders so that's a plus. Google plus also shows that there are a number of low density county roads that look like good possibilities.

Again, the only way to truly assess is to get on a bike and ride the routes. I take it that you do not yet have a bike? Perhaps borrow or rent one then.
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Old 11-11-18, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Awaqa909 View Post
I live near Austin, TX. The roads that I would have to commute on are 55-60mph on the high side. I believe they all have big shoulders, besides the one my work is on, but that one has a side walk. The roads I would have to use are US 79... which might be a highway? Limmer Loop or Chandler Rd/University Blvd . I'm just trying to figure out if it's even safe to commute on these roads, before looking too much into bicycles. My commute would be 20-22 miles round trip. I used to see bicyclists every once in a while on Chandler/University.

Thanks,
Awaqa909
Your info says you joined in 2014, so I'm gonna assume you currently own a bike and ride, or have ridden on a semi-regular basis. If not, rent or borrow a bike, or buy a cheap "hoopty" (which can be resold, or become a backup bike).

While it is useful to get the opinions of others (which you have done), only you can make the final decision, as everyone has different comfort levels.

As usual, I advise getting a glasses or helmet mounted mirror so you can easily see behind as easily as in a car. While most of my commute routes have adequate shoulders, other rides take me along stretches no shoulders, or un-rideable shoulders. In those cases, as long as I can pull over and stop when a line of cars is approaching, I feel safe. If that happens too often, then that wouldn;t be a good route for me as it would add too much time.

Not knowing exactly where you are riding, I took a quick look at the roads you mentioned, and some have very generous shoulders, some, not so much. As far as the sidewalk, I am a firm believer in using them if they are the safest alternative for a stretch of road. Of course, that's if it's permitted and there are few or no pedestrians. When there are pedestrians, I ring my bell early, slow down and either take the grass around them, or straddlethe bike and walk past them.

Distance-wise your commute is very doable for most rider.

You also may have the option of taking a less direct route which may add a mile or two, but that is only 5-10 minutes extra, and if it means less traffic, it will be safer and more pleasant.
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Old 11-11-18, 11:34 AM
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If the shoulder is kept reasonably clean, I would do it. Shoulders in Louisiana get "cleaned" by the wind created by passing vehicles and rain storms. So I would have to add some Marathon Plus tires or something puncture resistant. Are there rumbles strips? Our highways have rumble strips placed EXACTLY where wind from passing cars do the best job of cleaning the shoulder 18"-24" outside the fog line. At least the rumble strips let me know if someone drifted over behind me while looking at their phone or plucking their eyebrows.
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Old 11-11-18, 06:59 PM
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I live in rural Arkansas. That's what I mainly ride on. Most have good shoulders, some only have a white line. 99% of the people are courteous and give plenty of room. There will always be the 1 or 2 that make you tense up. I like lots of lights. Everything I have heard about biking in Austin has been positive. It seems to be a great place to ride.
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Old 11-11-18, 11:30 PM
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On the shoulders, I'd be absolutely comfortable on those hwys. On some of my bike-camping trips into East Texas, the Farm Roads I was on lost their shoulders for a few miles and that was a bit unnerving, at times. I would recommend a rearview mirror--if for no other reason, it gives you some extra peace of mind in keeping an eye on approaching traffic.
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Old 11-12-18, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Tamiya View Post
Pushbikes are best on country lanes not urban highways.
Just wondering how you know or why you think the OP is using a pushbike? What did I miss?
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Old 11-12-18, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Just wondering how you know or why you think the OP is using a pushbike? What did I miss?
Assumption made since OP mentioned "bicyclists" in paragraph.

But you're right, on occasion some do mistake here as the HOG forums too, dunno why!
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Old 11-12-18, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoopdriver View Post
If there were alternate routes, no, even if the commute was a bit longer. If no alternates, then maybe. I would first do a reconnaissance ride of the route during a low traffic period (like a weekend morning). You'll gain a lot of information about condition of the shoulder, how the intersections are set up. Google street view shows the routes to have great sight lines and wide shoulders so that's a plus. Google plus also shows that there are a number of low density county roads that look like good possibilities.

Again, the only way to truly assess is to get on a bike and ride the routes. I take it that you do not yet have a bike? Perhaps borrow or rent one then.
+1

Individuals vary greatly as to how much traffic they can tolerate. I seem to tolerate traffic a lot better than some people. It's kind of funny listening to some people on long-ish tours complain about trucks blowing by their elbow at 70 mph, when I didn't notice them because they were across the rumble strip and I was on the far side of the shoulder. How do these people prepare for a week of 60-70 mile rides?

One of my commute routes has 4 miles of wide-shoulder highway, and it's a great ride when the shoulders are clean (about twice a year). It was a tough call when my normal route was milled up for repaving and left that way to season for 6 weeks, and the highway shoulders gave me three flats in a month.
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Old 11-12-18, 12:59 PM
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First, its illegal to ride in the shoulder, so that should never be an option. Second, would you ride 1 mile on the high-speed road or 4 miles out of your way?
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Old 11-12-18, 01:41 PM
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I think I wouldn’t ride that daily.

If I did, I would totally ride on the shoulder, and spare not a moment’s worry whether it was legal.
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Old 11-12-18, 01:48 PM
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nah
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Old 11-12-18, 01:57 PM
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I don't commute but every road that actually leads out of my immediate area on to other surrounding areas is a state highway with posted speeds of 55, actual speeds 70. Even the side arteries in the surrounding area are typically marked as 35 and it's absolutely normal to see 60+ on them as well. I quit riding most of them due to distracted driving and an increasing awareness of my mortality.
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Old 11-12-18, 02:24 PM
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Google earth snapshot of a representative portion of road would help (so people don't have to go look it up)

What's a "fog line" -- never seen that term before, and it's in this thread twice!
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Old 11-12-18, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
Just wondering how you know or why you think the OP is using a pushbike?
Maybe because he raised the question on a forum about bicycles, aka pushbikes to distinguish them from motorbikes.
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Old 11-12-18, 03:30 PM
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These roads suck coming in and out of our Texas cities from outlying areas, everything under constant development. Chandler looks like wider shoulder and possibly slightly less suburb auto traffic from the google map images I viewed.
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Old 11-12-18, 04:46 PM
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2nd pic looks ok with the wider shoulder, 1st pic looks scary. Then again at least 1st pic has a passing lane in the middle so cars are more likely to scoot over.

I would want some over-the-top rear lighting/reflectivity going on. Powerful red blinky (cygolite hotshot is great), DOT-grade reflective tape, safety vest?, reflective bits on moving parts (ankle straps? pedals? spokes?)

Maybe also investigate 3foot ben-hur spikes for your wheels, so the cars stay away to protect their paint jobs.

Just joking; in TX I imagine a passive-aggressive move like that will get you attacked by a drunk-driving redneck in a brodozer
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Old 11-12-18, 06:44 PM
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Daytime running lights and multiple (daylight) rear flashers so you can be seen a mile away should keep anyone from inadvertently running up on you. An entire lane for legal passing.
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Old 11-12-18, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Google earth snapshot of a representative portion of road would help (so people don't have to go look it up)

What's a "fog line" -- never seen that term before, and it's in this thread twice!
White line on the right side of the road
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