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#1 2017-05-29 09:23:06

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 172

South First from river to Ben White --- WHY????

Yes it is totally legal to ride on this stretch, and it is legal to take the lane as well.  But why would somebody want to do that?  Just to prove a point? I have a business at 1636 S 1st and also cycle a lot so I am somewhat familiar with the area.  No bike lanes and traffic that is, at times, quite heavy and is not particularly bike-friendly.  I see wrecks in front of my shop on a regular basis.  Haven't seen one with a cyclist involved, but did see an innocent motorcyclist injured and his bike totalled.  A block or two or three to the west we have Dawson/S. 5th, Bouldin, and further south we have Garden Villa and S 2nd.  These streets have a tiny fraction of the traffic that S 1st has, and vehicles speeds are much lower and drivers also seem more accommodating.  If one is riding for the sake of riding as opposed to commuting and needing the very fastest most direct route possible, why would anybody ride an unfriendly street when friendly alternatives exist?  The riders I see seem to be fitness riders not people going to work.  A cyclist friend who lives a few blocks south of my shop says she would never ride S 1st either.

Somebody tell me what I am missing here?

Don

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#2 2017-05-29 12:18:53

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: South First from river to Ben White --- WHY????

I feel you.  I used to take S. 5th when I did a commute in that area in the early 90s.  I probably took S. 1st once, and then said, "Not doing *that* again."

I think many new cyclists just take the same streets they used for driving, not realizing they should choose entirely different streets.  That was one of the first things I pointed out in a recent lecture I did on bike safety, that when you start biking instead of driving, you should try to go through neighborhoods as much as possible and avoid high-speed streets that don't have enough room for bikes.

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#3 2017-05-29 18:16:12

Donald Lewis
Member
Registered: 2009-07-11
Posts: 172

Re: South First from river to Ben White --- WHY????

MichaelBluejay wrote:

I feel you.  I used to take S. 5th when I did a commute in that area in the early 90s.  I probably took S. 1st once, and then said, "Not doing *that* again."

I think many new cyclists just take the same streets they used for driving, not realizing they should choose entirely different streets.  That was one of the first things I pointed out in a recent lecture I did on bike safety, that when you start biking instead of driving, you should try to go through neighborhoods as much as possible and avoid high-speed streets that don't have enough room for bikes.

I guess that is why.  When I choose a route I question and consider EVERYTHING.  I live out in Oak Hill off of Circle Drive.  I came up with a couple of what I consider quite creative routes in to my shop on south 1st.  I could have just ridden on the side of 290 and saved about 3 miles, but that seemed like an incredibly bad idea!

Don

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#4 2017-05-29 18:56:14

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: South First from river to Ben White --- WHY????

Folks like us have been biking so long, it's hard to remember back to a time when the details about how to do it properly weren't second nature as they are now.

I'm embarrassed to admit, when I was a freshman at UT, I was unsure what side of the road to bike on, but riding on the left side seemed like a good idea because I could see traffic.  My very first day, going down Speedway, another student yelled at me, "YOU'RE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!"

Years later I would come to write a popular illustrated guide on how to ride safely, including to not ride against traffic, but as a newly-minted UT student, that wasn't obvious to me at the time.

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#5 2017-05-29 21:02:23

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 116

Re: South First from river to Ben White --- WHY????

MichaelBluejay wrote:

My very first day, going down Speedway, another student yelled at me, "YOU'RE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!"

And maybe you are alive today because someone taught you what to do.  Don't give up on this fight.

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