Penn Ave drivers are MEAN!

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I’m in the habit of just taking Liberty up out of downtown. I’m pretty sure the merits of that route were discussed in a recent thread, but I’m not sure which one.

Basically there’s no shoulder and cars go fast, but the two lanes, fairly smooth pavement, and good visibility kind of make up for it. You have to trust that people in the right lane are going to see you and pass safely.

So far I haven’t had any trouble there, but I try to pay extra special attention to how I ride. I usually go fairly fast and hold a tight line just a hair to the left of the sewer grates. I use a mirror on my left side and listen carefully to keep track of the cars.

I make an extra effort to get out of the way and let somebody pass if they seem to be hesitating and holding back (i.e. scared of passing me, and in the process creating a line of angry people behind them who will then come blazing past me). The same goes for people who seem to be already in a hurry. I can usually identify both of these types by the sound, and the hesitant ones I can confirm in the mirror.

Liberty isn’t a good route if you get spooked easy or have a low tolerance for getting buzzed, but it is pretty fast and direct.

Update: Here’s one thread that has some stuff on routes in and out of downtown. I think there’s another more recent one, but I haven’t found it yet.

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