Unfriendly cycling cities

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Speedodk, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Speedodk

    Speedodk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is it even possible to commute efficiently and safely in these places?

    I lives in the panhandle of Florida in Pensacola and 80% of the main roadways to get across the city are fast speed single lane highways with very small curbs littered with debris. I pretty much can't avoid these roads where i live for any form of commuting or distance riding, and riding safely in the curb for most of the way is impossible.

    I just recently got into cycling but i should note i almost NEVER see cyclists where i live, and there is zero infrastructure to support us. Being a poor city doesn't help i guess.

    I have tried taking control of the lane for only very short distances chugging along at a decent 25mph, and was met with extreme aggression by waaay to many motorists laying on their horns and passing within inches of me. I feel as though i have no right being on the road with people that refuse to go around me without giving me a piece of their mind first.

    Am i screwed? Am i doing something wrong? I really enjoy cycling and don't want to quit but i feel i might have no choice
     
    Tags:


  2. vspa

    vspa Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    39
    according to your description of the problem i think you have no choice but to use those 20% left of secondary roads,
     
  3. digibud

    digibud New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    3
    yeah, you're screwed. Taking the lane, effective cycling, being safe all depends upon at least a modicum of sanity on the part of local motorists. It does no good to know you are in the philosophical right if you exercise that right from a hospital bed. I'm all for asserting my right but at times it simply is not possible to do so safely. The arrogance and ignorance of some cities and some drivers can indeed make life miserable for cyclists. Sorry to learn of your problems.
     
  4. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
    I live in a suburb of Cincinnati (yeah home of the Bungles, but also the Reds) and while all of the other neighboring cities are putting in bike lanes and building bike trails, my hometown built a couple of .5 mile "trails" and now claims that it is bike friendly.....yeah, right/img/vbsmilies/smilies/nonono2.gif. I also have a hard time commuting by bike. I live 3 miles from work by the most direct route which consists of rather busy roads. To safely commute, I have to ride 7 miles and takes 45 minutes because of one very busy crossing. Motorists in this town are not used to seeing cyclists and are as likely to run you over as miss you while they talk or text on their cell phones or mess with their music or GPS units. Therefore, my bike rack in my truck gets a lot of use to get me beyond the city limits to the more bike friendly communities or to the country roads which are not too far away. A group of my fellow riders and I attended several of our city council meetings to look into making the city more bike friendly and the first time they said that they would take it under consideration. Two months later, they were still considering it. Four months later they said that they would appoint an advisory committee. Six months ago they could not tell us who was on the committee because it had never been appointed. Since the last election, the new council said that they will take it under consideration again.
     
  5. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    23
    In a day of financial difficulty for cities and towns everywhere, finding new ways to "spend" money isn't a high priority. Be patient and keep the issue current at council meetings so when budgets are less tight you don't have to start all over again. Maybe build a coalition of cyclists using local bike shops as a recruiting tool (and sponsor). Through the chamber of commerce they can raise awareness of their business interests through greater cycling participation and possibly make a economic case for making the city more bike friendly.

    Good luck!
     
  6. vjbknife

    vjbknife New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    3
    I have lived in 11 states and for the last 12 years have been in Pittsburgh, PA. I retired a few years ago and last year took a part time job in a bike shop to keep myself occupied. There have been a couple of new bike shops open around the city and from that and our sales increases I think that there is a pretty fair amount of interest in cycling here and it seems to be growing.

    But I think it is still about the worst place out of any that I have lived for cycling. Maryland, Southern Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Southern California all seemed better in terms of roads, motorists, weather and terrain. The only place I lived that seemed worse for cycling to me was Louisiana.

    There are some decent rail to trail pathways for cycling but the roads here suck. Drivers in Pittsburgh seem mostly OK with cyclists but more often than the other places they are not sharing the lanes and honking horns. There are very few bike lanes around the city. The roads are mostly narrow with small if any shoulder on them and usually in bad repair and there are a lot of bridges. The weather is rainy pretty often and cold for a fairly long time. Every other place except Louisiana, that I have lived has been better in at least a couple of those categories.

    Of course, this experience has be over a period of over forty years so some of the other places I have lived may have changed significantly, I know Maryland is a lot worse than it used to be.

    I still try to ride in Pittsburgh as much as I can, even in the cold but not in rain or snow. I ride to work pretty often and take to a couple of back roads that are not bad, but most of them suck.
     
  7. vjbknife

    vjbknife New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    3
    Sorry, duplicate post.
     
  8. Aussie_Al

    Aussie_Al New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local politics at its finest !
     
  9. MemphisMQT

    MemphisMQT New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Although we try, my hometown - Memphis, TN - is by far the most "bicycle unfriendly" city in the lower 48. Just this past year, our city council added a "greenline" (7 miles of rails to trails), but just this morning, our local newspaper published a column on the rising crime along the new trail system...*sigh*
     
  10. finnrambo

    finnrambo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    1
    The worst city I have ever biked in? I havent been to many places (calgary,vancouver,surrey) but by far the worst for me was surrey just because of the people, the drivers were terrible, moral of the story: don't wear lycra in surrey they dont understand, that said calgary was an amazing bike friendly city
     
  11. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
    Springfield, Ohio has found itself in a dire financial situation like every other city of any size in the US. Part of their solution is to close their portion of a long rail trail to save on the cost of upkeep and repair. So now you can't ride the entire Little Miami Scenic Trail without riding on the backstreets of Springfield, Ohio's little Detroit.
     
  12. Scotttri

    Scotttri Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    5
    Well maybe you all need to move to Australia, most of our cities are fantastic for cycling. I live in perth and you could easily do 100 mile on a two lane bike track with out even touching a road used by cars. Most of our Freeways have two lane bike tracks that run parallel to them but are seperated by about 10 metres of dirt, bushes etc.
     
  13. vspa

    vspa Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    39
    i'm in !
    how about the wind, is it windy ?
     
  14. maddogbubba

    maddogbubba New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't know about you guys, but I'm ready to move to Perth . Besides I think all this work stuff is highly over rated . If I was independently wealthy I would already be packing.These days the majority of drivers have very poor driving skills and very short attention spans . Very bad combination . I'm in the north end of the San Fernando Valley ( Los Angeles ) and it seems like the drivers put up with us cyclists only because they have to ( that's the decent drivers ) .As for the roads , I've been on dirt washboard roads that were better maintained . Do the best you can to watch out for road hazards (pot holes, Cars , trash) .
     
  15. Scotttri

    Scotttri Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    5
    i'm in !
    how about the wind, is it windy ?



    It can get very windy, but more in the afternoon, generally in the morning the wind isn't to bad
     
  16. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
    I was in Perth in 1980. It is a beautiful city and most of the people that I met were very nice. The pubs were open on Sundays but the hours were odd. Something about an afternoon session and an evening session. Just a little reminder for anyone who is leaving the US to go ride in Australia: we ride on the right side of the road, but in Australia, they ride on the perfect side of the road(as was told to me by a nice older Aussie cyclist).
     
  17. finnrambo

    finnrambo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    1
    it does sound like quite a nice place except I wouldnt be able to stand the accents and riding "perfect" side of the road I'd go insane with confusion
     
  18. Mpath

    Mpath New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    The commuter bike lanes in Vancouver downtown core, what a mess!! Especially at night in the rain...difficult to see the new lanes, lines, and lights!
     
  19. SierraSlim

    SierraSlim Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    600
    Likes Received:
    26
    My sister lives in a town of less than 3,000 in east Texas near the Louisiana border. I thought that, as few people as there were, she wouldn't have any problems cycling their country roads. But she says that people there are incredibly rude to cyclists, often driving too close and blaring their horns or shouting things. Maybe it's the backwoods mentality, I don't know. In Austin it's a great place to ride!!
     
  20. finnrambo

    finnrambo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    1
    The commuter bike lanes in Vancouver downtown core, what a mess!! Especially at night in the rain...difficult to see the new lanes, lines, and lights!


    tell me about it, you gotta be nuts to ride at night on the eastside though
     
Loading...
Loading...