Over the past few days, I’ve been mulling over that whole idea of bike friendliness in Nashville. The commute route I have chosen (my secret back ways, as Dottie said) is quite bike-friendly, so I do my best to stick to those roads and not get on a street where I feel at risk. In my neighborhood, I can do that—crossing town, during peak traffic periods, it’s a little more difficult, which was why I was in my car yesterday afternoon.
While looking at the beautiful blue sky and wishing I’d been able to bike (an evening drive in traffic is just horrible when you’re used to biking, but being in a convertible does help) I spotted two cyclists on a road I usually avoid when on my bike. Though Wedgewood is a more direct route to my office, I won’t ride on it between 8th and 21st. The massive amounts of traffic (by Nashville standards, anyway), the hills that slow you down and create blind spots for drivers, and the fact that two people I know have been hit by cars while biking here keep me away.
That did not dissuade these two guys. Would you bike this road?
You’ve got to love the “Bike Route” sign here. I suppose it’s nice but on a road like this, you need more than a sign to make it bike-friendly!
Then I spotted a guy to my left riding on the sidewalk in the opposite direction of traffic.
Perhaps deciding there’s safety in numbers, sidewalk safety guy rode across the crosswalk while the light was red and joined adventure man in climbing up the hill.
I’m not sure this car was observing the 3-foot rule.
Sidewalk safety man turned off somewhere on Belmont, but white shirt guy continued merrily along until about 14th Ave., where he inexplicably got off the road and onto the sidewalk.
Not knowing their departure points or destinations, it’s hard to say if they could have chosen a different route. Certainly cyclists being more visible, and staking out their right to the road, is a good thing. But though I’ve been increasing my comfort zone and traveling to new places, I’m not sure I have the balls to back up traffic for blocks and put up with increased risk (and hills!) to bike a street like Wedgewood. So what do you think? Would you bike this road, or would you go a couple of blocks out of the way to avoid one like it? And if you are white shirt or safety man, say hi.