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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel about like Homer Simpson – deciding on where to post this. Oh well, it can always be moved.

First of all I am NOT young. Started this road biking thing about 18 months ago. Rode trails until I felt I had sufficient skills to tackle the highways. So far so good. A couple of catcalls,but who’s the idiot? Don’t answer that.

I always choose highways where there is a wide brim, but the main problem I’m having is darn near getting blown off the road by big trucks. I ride in Florida, and we generally have a pretty stiff wind, then one of those 18 wheelers passes within 5 feet at maybe 65mph. The cross currents, make it very hard to control my 16 pound bike and my 160 pound body. Haven’t come close to actually loosing control, but it does keep my attention.

Any you vets have any words of wisdom for road ridding?

One fairly close one I gotta tell. Got to the top of one of our huge hills and was on the way down at maybe 30mph. I could see ahead that wind had blow that very slick sugar sand onto the brim, leaving me about 6 inches of clear pavement. Sure enough, I arrived there at the same time as one of those trucks. I knew I could not risk the sand. Nothing coming in opposite direction, thank God. Signaled to the truck that I needed some room and he politely obliged. With room, he hopefully didn’t need me to ask for room. Without that room I guess I wouldn’t be writing this windy post. I wonder where dumb asses who ride bikes along with cars and trucks go when they croak?:
 

· classiquesklassieker
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bboseley said:
I feel about like Homer Simpson – deciding on where to post this. Oh well, it can always be moved.

First of all I am NOT young. Started this road biking thing about 18 months ago. Rode trails until I felt I had sufficient skills to tackle the highways. So far so good. A couple of catcalls,but who’s the idiot? Don’t answer that.
Is it actually legal to be riding a *non-motorized vehicle* in a HIGHWAY??
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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He might not mean "highway" in the interstate sense. A highway could be a 2 lane, rural road that happens to be a state route.
 

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on most interstates/state highways there is a sign on the onramp/entrance to it that says u cant take non motorized vechicles, walk, even atv on it. the bike lane on any highway isnt a bike lane, its a breakdown lane.

bike on roads, when possible, use back roads. roads with few cars and wide bike lanes. roads w/ 18 wheelers are bad, and should be avoided at all costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My two pennies...

Try asking this question in the Regional Forrums - that would be Southeast for you Better yet, seek out a club and try to hook up with riders at your own current level. Sign up for a charity ride by joining a team close to where you live. These rides offer a SAG support and you meet other riders, too.

Scout your roads in advance. Look for things that might impact your ride; traffic, soft shoulder, etc. Time your rided during non-peak traffic hours.

There.. that's 'bout a nickels worth. Be safe and have fun.
 

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Mirror helps

First off, when he used the term "highway" I suspect he meant a county or state road. The term has been around long before there were Interstates. And in some places, even riding a bike on Interstate highways (on the shoulder) is legal, although I've never been tempted to do it. (I-70 in Colorado, 75 MPH speed limit, bikes allowed) Also, 18 wheelers and other large trucks can be on almost any highway. Avoiding any road that might have a truck on it would mean not riding on roads or sticking to residential streets in many areas.

As to the original question, I find that using a mirror helps me prepare for things like trucks passing in a crosswind, along with other safety issues. If I Know it's coming, I can prepare for the wind shift, slow down, etc. Your example of seeing sand on the road with a truck approaching from behind is a good example. You did the right thing by signalling that you needed to move to your left, but a mirror might give you even more warning. I use one of the little mirrors that attaches to eyeglass frames. There are other types (helmet, handlebar mounted) that people like. Don't worry about looking dorky -- a mirror is a good safety accessory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, What did I Start?

My reference to Interstate was a figure of speech. It is indeed illegal in Florida. I was riding along a state route, Actually what I do is ride about 25 miles on a rail-trail, then use a country lane to take me over to State Rt 33. I then ride it for 10, 20 or so, then swing back over to the trail.

We actually have some outstanding "road routes" - even some with "climbs".

My original post may have been a poor attempt at humor - but the serious part had to do with crosswinds. Those can catch you just about anywhere and obviously along with big trucks can cause immediate pit stops.

There is a ride here which incorporates Mt Dora, for those who know Florida, and winds around several st and ct routes. Planning than one for the Fall.

Thanks all.
 

· classiquesklassieker
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bboseley said:
My reference to Interstate was a figure of speech. It is indeed illegal in Florida. I was riding along a state route, Actually what I do is ride about 25 miles on a rail-trail, then use a country lane to take me over to State Rt 33. I then ride it for 10, 20 or so, then swing back over to the trail.

We actually have some outstanding "road routes" - even some with "climbs".

My original post may have been a poor attempt at humor - but the serious part had to do with crosswinds. Those can catch you just about anywhere and obviously along with big trucks can cause immediate pit stops.

There is a ride here which incorporates Mt Dora, for those who know Florida, and winds around several st and ct routes. Planning than one for the Fall.

Thanks all.
This is probably best answered on the suitable regional message board. Sounds like you are new to road cycling. One thing to learn is to start thinking like a cyclist when figuring out which way to go. It takes a lot of time to learn the "cyclist routes", but the best way is to make friends with riders who know the area well. Join a cycling club, look at the different clubs/teams' websites, as many of them have route suggestions.

There are also many established "rides", of different distances, in different parts of the world. When I was starting out, I spent a lot of time on one of the local clubs' website, http://www.crw.org, and pored over their cue sheets. The best is to find a good group to ride with, since then you'll learn the routes while riding, too!

Good luck and welcome to the sport, if indeed you are new!
 

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You can often see the cross winds ahead. Watch the trees and the other traffic. Eventually you learn to spot topography where cross winds are likely-- such as where a row of protective trees end, or when the road comes out of a 'cut' through hills. The 'bow wave' from a semi can be pretty severe, but it is only there when the wind is from the truck side of the road. The truck also acts as a mobile wind block, which accentuates the pressure difference (and sucks you towards the truck!).

Keeping your upper body loose and relaxed on the bike helps a lot with dealing with windy conditions.
 
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