Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

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Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby whitey » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:40 pm

Hi

I have been spending a fair bit of time in near Coolah in NSW. I haven't yet taken up the bike but am keen to do some rides there next time I go. BUT the roads are all 100KM/h and often single lane with no marked shoulders. Lovely rides (and a couple of hills I am very keen to ride on) but just wondering if I am tempting fate or are there extra steps I can take to make myself more visible, thinking of one of those safety yellow gilets?

While Im asking questions is it worth putting some wider tires on my bike? Its a Cervelo R3 and I run 23mm in the city - wondering it I should go to 25 or 27mm? Probably go for something with more puncture protection too.

Thanks Guys
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by BNA » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:25 pm

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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby zephy » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:25 pm

safety is an issue, I frequently (several times a week) ride on the open road here in rural SA and at times it can be a little intimidating.... for that reason I ride a MTB with 1.75 touring rubber fitted so I am confident enough to get off the road (safely) in a hurry if needed probably overkill but it works for my peace of mind :D

I also ensure the light is good so I'm easily seen by other road traffic ie not early morning or late evening rides and I try and go a little faster around what could be blind left hand corners for road traffic approaching from behind, vehicles travelling at 100km/h+ sneak up on you real fast... have also thought of having the rear light on and running as an extra eye catching thing but haven't done that yet...
Just an ol' man, riding an ol' bike.... every hill feels like Alpe d'Heuz....
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby biftek » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:10 pm

i live in a regional/rural area , lots of trucks and fast moving traffic , the trucks do scare the crap out of you but i have had no troubles , drivers give you plenty of distance , but the roads surfaces are pretty crappy
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby ruscook » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:43 pm

I took my mtn bike to central Qld last year - rode around Longreach and Hughenden. The long B-doubles try to give you clearance, but can't move much as the roads aren't that wide and they'll set the bogey to swaying if they try (which could take you out).

MUCH safer on the mtn bike and pulling off to the dirt edge so they have room to pass safely.

Not sure about Coolah itself as the main hwys are north and south of you (only passed through the area on the motorbike) but I the hills (blind crests) and corners can make it dangerous at times. Maybe check with the local footy club and pubs to see what roads they think are safe for riding on. Even if they don't ride their kids might.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby martinjs » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:15 pm

About 80% of my riding is done on 100kph marked roads, now days I actually feel safer on these roads then I do in Built up areas.
I switch from 700 x 23 to 700 x 28's after about 6 months of riding on these roads and have reduce my puncture rate to almost zero.

On the roads with a marked shoulder on ride on the shoulder as much as possible, the trick is to watch as far in front as possible so when the shoulders disappear (as they do) you can get out onto main part of the road safely. As for shoulder-less, depends on the road, I rarely get of into the dirt and find most other road users a happy to go around.
The places to be most aware of is the narrow bridges and creek crossings, they usually have double lines but the other road users still pass across the lines, I'm always aware of one day something might be coming the other way :shock: There's no where to go so keep you eyes peeled.
On some of our Narrow roads I some times come across to bloody great semi coming from opposite directions. No problems I simple get off my bike and move as far as possible off the road. I live in Leeton part of MIA so there are a lot of channels and canals of the side of the roads so I'm always aware that the truck drivers have NO where to go if something goes wrong.

I lived in Melbourne for just on 15 years and found it more nerve raking to ride my bike or drive my car down there. Love the country roads and the fresh air. Only place to ride. :D

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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby whitey » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:25 pm

Thanks Martinjs, I think I'll get some wider tyres and give it a go. Wonder how fat I can go on my R3.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby ruscook » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:21 pm

Great advice Martin. City traffic is what you get used to though. When commuting on the motorbike to Sydney a few years back I'd have 3 serious near misses a fortnight and think little of it. Now I only go into the city a couple of times a month it feels scary :D
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby open roader » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:42 pm

Virtually all my riding is done on rural roads on mostly 100km/hr speed limited roads.

I'd never ride in an urban area with any sort of traffic nowerdays, just the thought of it freaks me out, let alone the reality of it. My point is that I find riding on rural roads with fast moving rural traffic levels is a comparitively relaxing with my experience being that it involves far fewer 'close calls' than the urban riding I did when I was a teen.

My policy is to be incredibly visible, I wear yellow jersey, yellow shoes, yellow helmet even yellow gloves. I may look like Crusty the clown and draw plenty of passing hoon abuse but at least they are seeing me. I've also recently begun using a small but very bright red LED flasher under my seat as I'm riding in the forest often now.

I know the Coolah / Cassilis area, very pretty, reasonable road surfaces, nice picturesque rural lanes and yes some good hills and reasonably quiet traffic wise. I'd simply recommend that you make yourself as visible as possible and hold as safe margin from the edge of the bitumen as vehicles approach from behind so you don't fall off the shoulder if a truck blasts past.

I'd expect there to be far less puncture causing material to be on rural roads and your current tyres to be just fine for the purpose. I've managed over 5,000km in 3 years without a punture .......yet......... Unless you want more comfort factor I'd stick to 23mm tyres.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby brawlo » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:24 am

When I get out and ride on the roads for fitness/training, it's usually early morning. I can count on one hand most mornings how many cars pass me. The roads are quiet but I always have my flashing rear light running. There's pretty much 4 common rides in my area to pick from that are ridden often. The roads are 2 lane but narrow, but with the reduced traffic it's not so bad.

I believe in being courteous to drivers while riding. While not going to the extent of riding off the road, I will certainly indicate if on crests or blind corners, if it is safe to pass, and the opposite, whatever the case may be. As a rider in front of a car, you have a different vantage point from the driver and can let them know if it is safe/not safe to pass. If they have the courtesy to slow down and not pass you on crests/blind corners, you should repay that courtesy and let them know it's safe to pass before they can see. It iritates me to be behind riders I know who will not give any indication to following drivers if they can pass or not. This small gesture goes a long way in the mind of the driver. It's pretty obvious by the courteous wave as opposed to the angry look and mouth rattling off. I am a driver on one of these roads and therefore more sensitive to the issue.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby mtbalb » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:10 pm

I do all my riding on country roads and love it .
I use a MTB with lights on all the time and a fluro shirt and if i hear a Semi coming i get onto the gravel as i have be all most been suck in under a trailer before.
The speed limit 110 km but most people are good and leave a bit of road for us.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby Tim » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:01 pm

I ride most days on roads that pass through a mix of bush and farmland. I've come to the conclusion that red and even a lighter blue stands out against the background better than flouro yellow or green. I reckon yellow blends into a dry grass background on a sunny day and likewise green into the bush. I often see a couple riding the same roads as me. She usually wears a bright red jersey, black pants and black bike, he a yellow jersey, black pants and white bike. She is very obviously more visible. It's just a thought and an observation but my next jersey order is going to be red.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby WarrenH » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:13 pm

Today on the Queanbeyan River Fire Trail above the Eastern Foreshore of Googong Dam I saw two Eastern Brown Snakes ... but one of them saw me first.

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Warren.

PS, I've had worse.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby WarrenH » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:52 am

After my encounter with the Eastern Brown Snake I was fine and given the all clear, as if nothing had happened. I spent a couple of days circumnavigation The Rock south west of Wagga Wagga and then I started another ride in the Northern Tinderrys ... then the effects of the snake hit me.

It is now nearly six weeks since being bitten. The amount of muscle damage that I've had to the leg that was bitten, has been non stop and difficult to walk. At least I've now stopped peeing blood and coughing up blood and I can get out of bed and not-spin out when I stand up and my blood pressure is slowly coming down.

I don't know what a skeletal muscle damage test is but I'm having one tomorrow ... with another half dozen blood and urine tests, tests that don't have an end in site. I'm also glad that I live in Australia, where the medical bills for this, are like handing over pocket money, compared to somewhere like having this happening in the US.

I still haven't received the NSW Ambulance Service fee yet ... 10 years of paying ambulance insurance with NIB, will be covered in one hit, if not being covered for the next 10 years as well, I'm guessing.

I'm going for a short bike ride about a kilometre this morning, I'll soon know after 20 seconds, if I'll be able to ride a full kilometre.

Have a good Christmas and may I say? ... stay hyper-vigilant.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby open roader » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:37 am

Heck Warren, a major brown snake bite :shock: - what are the odds? Sorry to hear you are suffering what appears to be the full gammut of toxic symptoms. If it doesn't depress you too much keep posting here as to your progress............ for the better we all hope.

I'm also glad that I live in Australia, where the medical bills for this, are like handing over pocket money, compared to somewhere like having this happening in the US.


Yes, if you had been bitten in America the insuing uninsured medical/finacial catastrophe may have made you wish you bitten by a rattler and had not survived to pay the bills........ I agree 100% with your point re-ambulance subscription. Having been a member for decaces I required a one way meat wagon ride last year which would have set me back $2.8K which for me is major money......

Let us know if you got 1km down.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby WarrenH » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:31 pm

open roader, thank you Mate and much appreciated. I was reading today that from the middle of October this year, three people have died in Queensland from snake bites. One from a Taipan in mid October and two from Eastern Brown Snakes in the past few weeks. Luckily I was bitten in NSW.

WarrenH wrote:I still haven't received the NSW Ambulance Service fee yet ... 10 years of paying ambulance insurance with NIB, will be covered in one hit, if not being covered for the next 10 years as well, I'm guessing.


The invoice arrived today. The cost wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Only $960 for a half hour ride of 53 kilometres. The NSW government paid a subsidy of $471 and NIB will pay the rest of the bill. It costs about $90 for the year, for Family ambulance coverage. I'm still a couple years in credit.

open roader wrote:Yes, if you had been bitten in America ... may have made you wish you bitten by a rattler and had not survived to pay the bills........ I agree 100% with your point re-ambulance subscription. Having been a member for decades I required a one way meat wagon ride last year which would have set me back $2.8K which for me is major money......


In the US, it doesn't appear as though a person pays for a medical treatment or service, but pays a ransom to be kept alive. On the MTBR Forum one of the members was bitten by a rattlesnake and paid around $100,000 for a doctor's visit.

To set a broken finger in the US, again from MTBR, quotes can be between $20,000 to $30,000. To finger splint a dislocated little finger which involved an X-rays, cost another MTBR Forum member $3900 ... rider heal thy self.

If I lived in the US, I don't think that I'd like it, going on the number of times I stack my mountain bike. Rarely a day went by when I wasn't washing out when I had on Kenda Small Block 8s. Maybe it was my Small Block 8 technique that was sketchy. Looking for edge grip that doesn't exist.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby open roader » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:59 pm

WarrenH wrote:I'm going for a short bike ride about a kilometre this morning, I'll soon know after 20 seconds, if I'll be able to ride a full kilometre.


Are you up to pedaling any distance yet?
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby whitey » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:21 am

Funny this thread should pop up again. On my way to coolah for Christmas. After last trip have abandoned taking up roadie and have borrowed a mountain bike. The traffic is too fast and the roads too narrow.

Hope recovery is fast Warren. Might rack the snake gun on the MTB.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby richo74 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:06 am

Great thread.

I ride mostly on country roads too, I'm a noob roadie (12 months) and I choose quiet roads, mostly with a shoulder to get some kms up.

I've never had any probelms with traffic, other than lazy motorists who dont give enough room. Passing at 100km/h and only giving a cyclist a foot clearance when there is nothing coming the other way is stupid, any i normally let them know just by throwing my arm up. Trucks are good - I can hear them behind me splitting down a gear which gives me plenty notice as they then accelerate around. I've also been taking my 11 year old out with me on his new Hillbrick. I then position myself behind him, and about 1 foot further onto the road.

Biggest danger I think is sunglare. I try not to ride into the glare, cos' cars behind me wont see me.
Biggest annoyance is stock crates - pigs can stink for about a km!

Even with a shoulder I ride just inside the white line where the road is smoother.

cheers!
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby silkishuge » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:22 pm

I am not too far from you as far as country distances go, a little to the east is where you will find me. My advice is avoid the state roads. regional and local roads are usually good. I ride to and from work each day 45km one way in 100km/h traffic. You will also notice that rural drivers tend to drive to the condition of the road, which may be greater than 100 or less than 100 km/h. Most drivers I know don't accelerate through a crest for example. Anyway, after 6 months of commuting, everyone on my route knows me and expects me. They will give you a wave and not the finger

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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby martinjs » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:26 pm

Just a reminder to City folk who plan on biking in the sticks this summer. Please remember to carry plenty of water! Most places away from the coast are very dry, already this year a couple of people have died in Cars that broke down.
I love riding around the Riverina, but even my commutes to work in the mornings (Average 25k's) I can use up to 1 litre of water.

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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby WarrenH » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:53 pm

open roader wrote:Are you up to pedaling any distance yet?


open roader, no.

I bought a rear quick-release that suits the Mimoura trainer and I've put the MTB on the trainer in front of the air conditioner. It will most likely stay there for the majority of the summer and I'll try to keep flexible on the trainer.

I've got a road bike and when I stop damaging muscles, which keeps happening, I'll do some early morning rides. Even today just slowly walking 50 metres around a garden centre, I did damage to my so far undamaged other calf muscle. One of the nurses told me that venom can effect the muscle fibres adversely for a long time. I'm finding this out daily.

One of our friends who's family has a property in the Darling Downs, the manager of the property was bitten by a King Brown an Inland Taipan and it was 6 months before he was able to walk freely. Apparently when the bloke was bitten he became black across his entire body, from a massive creeping haematoma. At least that hasn't happened.

At the end of February I'm hoping still to cross the Brindies from Canberra to reach the Murray and then make my way west for a month. Taking it easy of course but all in its own good time, that will happen, I guess.

Warren.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby open roader » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:12 pm

WarrenH wrote: open roader wrote:Are you up to pedaling any distance yet?



no.


Bugger.......

Life is 4/5 about waiting. Chin up, Merry Christmas and all that jazz but most importantly I wish you a Happy New Year for 2013......
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby WarrenH » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:43 pm

Back in the saddle now, proper. Thanks Open Roader.

I've covered good ground over the last few weeks. Riding and hiking the bike out on the back tracks, near home. The early post dawn hours are comfortable ... no thanks to the all-time prolonged record heat wave we are experiencing, in this neck of the SE. With the heat, we're all in the same boat?

The grasslands of the BNT in the NW of the ACT.

Image\


Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Riding on rural roads - safety concerns

Postby open roader » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:22 pm

Hey - hey back in the saddle....... excellent news Warren!

Maybe this ridiculous heat is a good limiter to your initial exercise recovery, no point in pushing the boundaries this early in your recovery.

Nice photo - a picture tells a thousand words............
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