Author Topic: Question: Highway Troubles?  (Read 3830 times)

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Offline Charlie Parker

Question: Highway Troubles?
« on: March 02, 2013, 03:27:33 pm »
Hi guys,

The more I think about riding across the states, the more real the idea becomes.  :)

However one question I can't seem to find anywhere is... what do you do on the highway when you come across an exit?! Riding through it just seems dangerous, especially if a car is behind you. I only ask because I'm sure this is a problem that would come up a lot on my tour, and I want to know the legal way to handle it.

Thanks in advance,
CP

Offline John Nelson

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 03:54:26 pm »
Stay to the right until it's clear and then cut over. Don't cut over until there is a shoulder to go to. Better yet, stay off limited access highways.  It's a lot more enjoyable.

Offline Charlie Parker

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 05:42:32 pm »
Could I avoid limited access highways for the majority of the trip?

Offline tsteven4

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 06:17:41 pm »
Easily.  You might want to consider the adventure cycling route network.  I can think of a few places on ACA routes I have done were you had to be on the freeway for a stretch, but I would guess it is less than 1% of the distance.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 07:48:01 pm »
Stay to the right until it's clear and then cut over. Don't cut over until there is a shoulder to go to. Better yet, stay off limited access highways.  It's a lot more enjoyable.
Easily.  You might want to consider the adventure cycling route network.  I can think of a few places on ACA routes I have done were you had to be on the freeway for a stretch, but I would guess it is less than 1% of the distance.
Yeah, I think there was only one section (I-80 East of Rawlins) on The Trans America where we rode on interstate.  I don't recall how long it was, but it wasn't all that far.

On the Southern Tier I rode a lot of interstate and didn't mind it.  In fact I rode quite a bit more interstate than the official AC route uses.

It is easy enough to navigate the interchanges if traffic isn't crazy heavy and it isn't a really major interchange, like where you need to cross multiple lanes of traffic.  Those can generally be avoided though.

If you aren't comfortable crossing the exit lane, you can typically just exit and then get back on via the on ramp.


Offline John Nelson

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 09:01:30 pm »
Could I avoid limited access highways for the majority of the trip?
The TransAm uses 13 miles of interstate. The Northern Tier uses 47 miles. Not everybody has the same preferences, but for me, interstates are the worst possible roads to ride on--all that truck traffic making all that noise. Lonely country back roads are so much more enjoyable (albeit hillier and longer).

Offline DaveB

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 10:26:25 am »
In most places bicycles are forbidden to use Interstate and other limited access highways.  The only places that allow bicycles on them are where alternative roads either don't exist or are considered so far away they are impractical.  When you have to be on an Interstate it's because there is no good alternative.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 11:17:39 am »
The TransAm uses 13 miles of interstate. The Northern Tier uses 47 miles. Not everybody has the same preferences, but for me, interstates are the worst possible roads to ride on--all that truck traffic making all that noise. Lonely country back roads are so much more enjoyable (albeit hillier and longer).

I kind of enjoyed that hour on the TransAm from Walcott to Sinclair.  Easy grades, way wide shoulders, little trash that was hard to avoid.  The only trucks that didn't move into the left lane for us were the few who passed when they were being passed, and the two Sams/Walmart trucks.  Of course we were excited to be heading for the big town of Rawlins (snicker, chuckle, once you get there you'll understand!).

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 12:14:31 pm »
In most places bicycles are forbidden to use Interstate and other limited access highways.  The only places that allow bicycles on them are where alternative roads either don't exist or are considered so far away they are impractical.  When you have to be on an Interstate it's because there is no good alternative.

Not always so. In a lot of western states, bicycle riding on Interstates anywhere outside of urban areas is perfectly legal. In Oregon, for example, I can legally ride the length of I-5 from near the junction of I-205 south of Portland all the way south to the California line (with the exception of a section through Medford). And I can ride 84 east of the Portland Metro area east to Idaho.

But I agree with everyone else who says try to ride on the Interstates as little as possible.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 12:44:42 pm »
A lot of I-90 in WA is legal for bikes even though there are lots of alternative routes.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline DaveB

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2013, 10:04:06 pm »
OK, then the guidelines have been relaxed.  At one time I was informed that the Interstates and similar roads were automatically off-limits to non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians unless specifically permitted and that wasn't often.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 11:06:18 pm »
At one time I was informed that the Interstates and similar roads were automatically off-limits
This is pretty much an East/West thing. Most people in the East believe that interstates are off limits, because it's pretty-much true in their world. Most people in the West grew up with a different reality.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2013, 07:32:31 am »
OK, then the guidelines have been relaxed.  At one time I was informed that the Interstates and similar roads were automatically off-limits to non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians unless specifically permitted and that wasn't often.
I don't think it has changed much, it is just that the rules vary with the state.  In the East they are pretty much off limits no matter what.  In the West it varies by state.  At least that is what I have observed.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2013, 07:44:15 am »
I kind of enjoyed that hour on the TransAm from Walcott to Sinclair.  Easy grades, way wide shoulders, little trash that was hard to avoid.  The only trucks that didn't move into the left lane for us were the few who passed when they were being passed, and the two Sams/Walmart trucks.  Of course we were excited to be heading for the big town of Rawlins (snicker, chuckle, once you get there you'll understand!).

We didn't mind that section, but of the interstate that I have ridden it was my least favorite section with only one exception.  That exception was the I-10 through Houston, which I recommend avoiding like the plague.  It was absolutely horrible.

There have been sections of interstate that I greatly enjoyed.  I-25 in New Mexico and some sections of I-10 come to mind as being pretty good choices.

Oh and at least one thing in Rawlins made our highlights list.  We absolutely loved the Mennonite bakery in the back of a cut rate store that sold mostly outdated stuff (the baked goods were fresh baked and not outdated).  They had what was probably the best sticky bun I have ever eaten among other delightful choices.  The RV park we stayed in there was one of the few RV parks where I actually liked the site and facilities.  It had a nice tent area and was reasonably priced for cyclists.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Question: Highway Troubles?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2013, 09:53:23 am »
1. IIRC, the section of I-80 east of Rawlins is about 16 miles. I rode it early in the morning heading east on a July 5th and ecountered little traffic.

2. 47 miles of Interstate riding on the NT? Where? I don't remember any interstate mileage. Could it be the re-route around the Wlliston area has added intersate mileage or that I am simply getting old?

3. Unless I am mistaken, every inch of interstate in MT is open to bicycles. A few years ago we rode a couple of 3 mile stretches of I-90 when no thru frontage roads were available.

4. As for crossing ramps, as noted, stop and wait for a break in traffic. Another thing you can do if there are on and off ramps for your direction is exit and then get back on using the on ramp. I did this while riding an extremely busy stretch of limitred access highway that rings Sevilla.