How To Map Out A Safe Bicycling Route For Local Transportation

Posted on: 29 July 2015

In some neighborhoods, it's easy to mistakenly assume that the area is not well suited for road cycling. Traffic congestion on primary roads creates a false impression that the entire vicinity is equally busy. The reality in most areas is that cyclists can selectively utilize secondary roads to safely travel several miles or more.

Motorists almost always choose the most efficient route to reach their destinations. By avoiding the busiest roads, cyclists are able to use the alternate routes for commuting or recreation. The typical speed of amateur bike riders is about 10 to 15 miles per hour, so the plan for a transportation route may encompass more than just your immediate neighborhood.

Choose the roads less traveled

Analyze a map of your area to gain an understanding of how the roads are connected. Once you have chosen a tentative route plan, drive the roads in an automobile. The test drive provides familiarity with the route, and it allows you to experience the roadway from the perspective of a motorist.

Make a note of any sharp curves in the roads along the route. One of the greatest safety factors for a cyclist is being visible to motorists from a distance. Because of tree growth, drivers may have limited views of an upcoming curve in the road. If you must navigate a sharp curve when cycling, strive to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.

Avoid busy highways

Although the goal is to minimize your interaction with automobiles, a route plan may necessitate an occasional intersection with a busy highway. The ideal option is to simply cross over the busy roadway and continue onward on another secondary road. Even on secondary roads, the amount of vehicle traffic is variable throughout each day.

Consider fluctuating traffic patterns

Secondary roads carry vehicles to primary roadways, so their level of traffic depends on the time of day. Weekends generally tend to produce lighter traffic. Sunday mornings tend to be relatively free of road traffic in some locations. If riding early on Sunday, your bicycle may be the only traffic on some back roads.

The side streets of residential neighborhoods are useful if needed to complete a safe bike route. A combination of streets and secondary roads may be required to produce a route for you with minimal traffic.

Some cities have dedicated road lanes to accommodate bicycle traffic. In the absence of exclusive lanes, bike riders can design their own path. Contact a bike shop for more advice on selecting the best bicycle option for your transportation use. One shop you can talk to is Tri-A-Bike Inc.