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Signaling past on ramps??

This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  the beast 1 yr, 3 mos.

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the beast

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May 16 2013 at 7:44am #

I am pretty sure I am in the right here, but Ive been honked at so many times in the last week I wanted some other opinions.

Near the end of my ride coming through Harmarville, I am biking on a 4 lane road with a speed limit of 45. Through most of the business area, I ride on the shoulder which is pretty clear and safe. At the end, there is an on ramp to head up to the turnpike. About 200 yards before the ramp, i work my way out to the lane a bit more and am riding just left of the white line. The problem is that I just follow that white line, which turns into a dotted white line and back to solid white after the ramp. Im not sure where motorists think I am going to go, but Im following the same line anyone would follow in a car that wasnt using the ramp.

Should I be signaling a move to the left at this point?


jonawebb

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May 16 2013 at 7:52am #

Well, the safest thing to do would be to take the lane. The problem is that if you’re to the right, drivers will try to cut around you, maybe misjudge, and end up hitting you, like what happened to those doctors on Washington Boulevard a few years ago. Or you could ride up to where the ramp starts, then stop on the shoulder and wait for traffic to clear, and scurry across. That’s what I would do if the traffic was really high speed and I was worried about someone Beau Fishinger’ing me.


gg

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May 16 2013 at 8:25am #

Wow, that is one tough spot. You have a few other things at play on top of motorists desperately trying to get around you in haste, they also want to beat other slower drivers in the left lane passing them on the right because that road drops from 4 lanes to 2. It is also very busy there. Safest way is to actually ride up the ramp a tiny bit and wait for an opening as suggested, but that is a pain. Still the safest, even though sometimes that wait might be for that red light to change at the McDonalds.

Here is what I would do. Ride your normal route and take a right at the light next to the Target like you are going to that equipment renal place. Then take a left on that little road and get passed that bad spot. Then you can pop back out on Freeport and carry on. I think it would make your ride a little nicer, but those roads you are on are not my favorite, but other ways around them are really hilly. Good luck.


Marko82

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May 16 2013 at 8:40am #

If you dont feel confident taking the full lane there (which would probably be best but I may not either) I think I would at least use a hand signal. What I do in similar spots is to to raise my left hand fully like a normal left turn, but then point toward the ground so my arm ends down at a 45 degree angle keeping my arm at this angle as I go through the ramp. I also make these arm movements very crisply, and if a lot of traffic is passing by I will repeat the full extension then point down movement so that the cars immediately behind me know my intentions.

I’m not sure this is in the rule book, but I think it communicates to the driver your intentions and draws attention to yourself at the same time.


edmonds59

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May 16 2013 at 11:36am #

Do what you’re doing. Add hand signal. That’s all.
I find that just signaling intents relieves 90 percent of drivers. It seems that it is not knowing, or surprise, that fires up all the signals in the stupid angry little human lizard brain.


Mick

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May 16 2013 at 11:40am #

There is no legal obligation to give “I’m going straight” signal, but it can improve your safety.

This always makes me feel like I’m giving the Nazi salute, or am in some inspirational painting of an explorer pointing ever onwards, but there are places it’s a good idea.


the beast

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May 16 2013 at 2:06pm #

Thanks all for the advice! I have been doing the route for about 4 years now and at various times have done the “stop by the ramp thing” but it was such a pain. I cycle across the HPB and past the 55mph, no shoulder stretch between Blawnox and Harmar, and this turnpike on-ramp is the most nerve racking for me.

I think I may start doing the hand signal again regularly.


StuInMcCandless

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May 17 2013 at 4:48am #

I have one of those to deal with, too, on inbound McKnight at the I-279 on-ramp, where 75% of traffic takes the ramp. Everything said above, I agree with. I would only add that there is no single “best” way to do it. Good to have a couple of tools at the ready.

I try to gauge the speed and flow of traffic. If it’s super busy, it’s also slow, so I have no problem simply signalling and pulling in between two cars, then switching to the left to continue on my way. If there’s a big opening, I can just ride along straight, unimpeded. The bigger problem is where traffic is moderate, but fast, with no breaks. Then I just have to pull over and wait for a break.


gg

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May 17 2013 at 9:42am #

the beast wrote:Thanks all for the advice! I have been doing the route for about 4 years now and at various times have done the “stop by the ramp thing” but it was such a pain. I cycle across the HPB and past the 55mph, no shoulder stretch between Blawnox and Harmar, and this turnpike on-ramp is the most nerve racking for me.

I think I may start doing the hand signal again regularly.

Have you ever considered slightly changing your route as I suggested, or do you like the challenge of that crazy spot? The older I get the more I change route to make it safer. Sure it takes 30 seconds longer, but what is 30 seconds?


the beast

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May 17 2013 at 10:17am #

@GG-FOr some reason, I was under the impression that the road was not connected all the way through there, but looing at a map it seems it is. I will check it out on my way home today, or next week.
If I have to stop at GetGo or Target or somethign on the way, I will take the back way that leads to McD’s and the light, but never just use it as an option.
I have always thought going up the hill by UPARC would be a nice end of ride hill climb, but I get to the babysitters right about 4:30 and cant justify an xtra $10 a day to make the climb!

Do you ride out there often?


gg

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May 17 2013 at 11:04am #

the beast wrote:@GG-FOr some reason, I was under the impression that the road was not connected all the way through there, but looing at a map it seems it is. I will check it out on my way home today, or next week.
If I have to stop at GetGo or Target or somethign on the way, I will take the back way that leads to McD’s and the light, but never just use it as an option.
I have always thought going up the hill by UPARC would be a nice end of ride hill climb, but I get to the babysitters right about 4:30 and cant justify an xtra $10 a day to make the climb!

Do you ride out there often?

No, I don’t ride there often. That area isn’t for everyone, and I would try and avoid it to be honest. I have NOT tried that river route as I suggested on a bike, but I do believe that does get you past that Turnpike spot that is so horrible. I have ridden back by Ladbroke to get off Freeport and I think that is a good idea. Going up by UPARC is better, but yeah it would be longer for sure. I commend you are tackling such roads. Maybe someday there will be a trail from Blawnox to Springdale. That would make that ride sooo much nicer to say the least. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try. If I am out there, I will have a closer look at that road by the equipment rental place.


the beast

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May 20 2013 at 7:48am #

I rode through by taking a right into the Denny camps and rode it down and sure enough, the road does go through, but there is a gate blocking the way…..


gg

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May 20 2013 at 10:58am #

the beast wrote:I rode through by taking a right into the Denny camps and rode it down and sure enough, the road does go through, but there is a gate blocking the way…..

Can you get around it, or did you have to go back? Crap, I was really hoping you could have a nice little part of that tough ride.


the beast

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May 20 2013 at 2:25pm #

I didnt really see a way around it, I didnt have a whole lot of time to explore. I just turend around until I could safely jump the tracks and get back on Freeport.
The section isnt that bad….or I have just become used to it after the last few years.

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