Earlier this week, I posted a video of my commute along quiet side streets. To show how different the ride is along a busy route, on Friday morning I took Lincoln Avenue, a popular street for both bikes and motor vehicles. I considered this taking one for the team, because I hate this route during rush hour.
A few notes before moving on to the video:
- Lincoln Avenue is a major bikeway, with either bike lanes or sharrows along the length of it. As I discussed previously, it’s a pathetic set-up for such a popular bike route. Nevertheless, most bicyclists would take this street from my neighborhood to downtown.
- This route takes about 25 minutes to my work, while the side streets route takes about 40 minutes. Lincoln is faster because it is diagonal, a straight shot to downtown.
- The bicyclist who happens to be in front of me for most of the video is carrying a child on the back, very cool. I position myself a little further in the street and away from the parked cars than she, to avoid the door zone.
- There’s a lot of traffic during rush hour and I generally filter on the right to get in front at stop lights. This is the safest place to wait, but it’s important to position yourself in front of cars and trucks, not next to them. Also, I know the light cycles well and go ahead only when I have enough time to do so safely.
- The video is sped up by 250% and shows only 1/3 of the ride. My memory card got full right before I passed three solid blocks of traffic-jammed cars. That’s always smugly fun.
Can you see why I prefer the side streets? Which route would you take?