Have you ever thought of giving up the road bike? - Page 2
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  1. #26
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    Don't worry, you're going to die of food poisoning on November 12, 2015. Until then, ride your bike.
    “To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit — ever. They’re like the Viet Cong — Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower.”

  2. #27
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    Never. I have tried to do some mountain bike when I lived in California, but discovered I really didn't like it a whole lot. The first MTB I got was a tank, a Giant Rincon, still have it, my wife rides it and likes it; then I got a Kona Lava Dome, a lighter bike but still don't like riding it. I take them camping so I can ride trails but I don't like the fact I don't have all the hand positions like a road bike. I still like jumping the bike off drops though at 58 years of age. But I much prefer to ride a road bike due to being able to ride way over 30 miles which is about as far as can ride a MTB before I start getting really uncomfortable.

  3. #28
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    How funny, I gave up my motorcycle so I could focus on cycling. To answer the OP - no, I have not thought about it.

  4. #29
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    Giving up road cycling, do you mean there are other forms of cycling?

    On the other hand, I took up serious cycling as recuperation to get over an avalanche and a 300 foot fall while ice climbing. Which, by the way, is a much better way of upping the ante in the getting killed early stakes.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by GearDaddy View Post
    The only times I ever thought about it was the 2 different times that I suffered through herniated cervical disc problems. Both times it sort of "snapped" out of the blue a few days after doing a lot of riding. It made me question whether I should continue riding when my body seemed to be rebelling against it, and the thought of giving up seriously bummed me out.

    I've managed to recover each time and learned a lot more about looking for the signs of problems, avoiding bad bike fit (namely handlebars set too low). Thankfully, I'm feeling 100% again and avoided any surgery or drugs to get back to good.

    I certainly have been tailing back on racing, but there's no way I'm gonna stop riding just for fun. I do lots of mountain biking and look forward to cyclocross each fall too. Doesn't matter to me whether it's road or off-road. Just swinging a leg over the bike and taking it in is a happy place that I don't want to give up.
    I was in a similar situation. I picked up riding many years ago and found that my chronic headaches (also involving shoulders and neck) were exacerbated by the basic riding position. I went to all sorts or doctors, took all the necessary scans, but nothing ever came of it. I even tried recumbent bikes but it was not the same for me. I saw a physical therapist last summer and he made my headaches worse---and so I was down in the dumps.

    I recently began see another physical therapist who specializes in neck and cranial problems, and he is also an avid cyclist. He has undone the knotted muscles in my shoulder/neck/jaw/head and so far so good.

    I've decided that even if this doesn't work, I will just reduced the miles/length of time I ride; get on a vitamin regiment of calcium, D, and magnesium (for muscles), and use a Stim machine if the pain comes back. I love cycling too much to quit.

    If this was not enough, I have a torn meniscus in my left knee and had cal reconstruction in the other and cycling is the only sport that doesn't hurt my knees. Find a time when there is low traffic, or scout out areas that will minimize unattetive numb nuts on the road.

    If all else fails, ride your trainer in your back yard.

  6. #31
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    When I lived in Cali I could not understand why any one would want to road bike, look at all the grade A mountain biking that surrounds you. Check out OCrider.com they all get together and ride bikes i think they have given up road riding all together in the past year.

    It took moving back to the sh!t hole we call the North East to get me to to hit the roads. I need speed and the crappy technical trails around here dont cut it. I cant even find a mountain to climb and bomb down around here, whereas in SoCal i lived next door to the Holly Jim trail, Santiago Truck trail and San Juan trail, with trails like that who needs roadbiking?

    If I ever do move back to Cali my mtb will without a doubt become my main ride again.

    After many road bike projects my next one will finally be a new mtb.... Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon, I hope.

  7. #32
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    I would never give riding up. As far as road bike? I do switch time to time from track to road.

  8. #33
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    Statistically you are about as likely to be injured or killed driving as you are biking. Which is still high in comparison (much higher chances than being killed in airplane crash, being struck by lightning, being eaten by sharks, bitten by poison snakes, being killed by an intruder and other things we humans tend to be irrationally paranoid about). Much lower than being killed by heart desease or cancer.
    I bet there's some serious flaws in how those statistics are calculated. Are they comparing people who ride bikes on mostly closed or non-busy paths to people commuting on busy roads. I find it utterly incoceivable that in an honest all-thing-equal comparison, any two-wheeled vehicle (motorcycle or bike) come out safer than driving a 4-wheel vehicle. "All things equal" meaning driving a car vs cycling the same number of miles to and from the same destinations at same time of day.

    Or how about descending a relatively straight hill at 45mph (not considering cornering) on the shoulder of a busy road on a bike. On the bike if I hit a big piece of debris I could hit the tarmac and land in the hospital. In my car, I could probably roll over the same object with no ill-effect. Also, does "chance of being injured" give weight based on the severity of the injuries? Consider a typical car-bike traffic collision. Both parties might technically have some injury as result but I can guarantee the cyclist or motorcyclist will come out with more severe injury.


    I've had 4 bike crashes in 4 years of daily cycle commuting. One crash in just over a half a year of serious recreational riding. One of those was a collision with a motor vehicle who ran a red. I reacted to that one in time and came away with almost no significant injury or property damage. The rest were cases where I simply lost control of the bike for one reason or another with no other vehicles involved.


    All that said, I don't expect to cut down on road cycling for sport. I am drastically cutting down the amount of cycle commuting I do. Compared to my weekend or early morning fitness rides, I have a lot more interactions per hour with traffic and get a lot less pleasure and aerobic benefits from commuting. So the risk/benefit ratio is much worse for me. Except in a couple of specific situations, like avoiding expensive parking permits, there isn't really much monetary savings by bike commuting vs driving on the margin. This is espeically true given that the majority of the cost for my automobile would be the same independent of how much I drive (ie car payments, insurance, registration etc.).

    When I lived in Cali I could not understand why any one would want to road bike, look at all the grade A mountain biking that surrounds you. Check out OCrider.com they all get together and ride bikes i think they have given up road riding all together in the past year.

    It took moving back to the sh!t hole we call the North East to get me to to hit the roads. I need speed and the crappy technical trails around here dont cut it. I cant even find a mountain to climb and bomb down around here, whereas in SoCal i lived next door to the Holly Jim trail, Santiago Truck trail and San Juan trail, with trails like that who needs roadbiking?

    If I ever do move back to Cali my mtb will without a doubt become my main ride again.

    After many road bike projects my next one will finally be a new mtb.... Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon, I hope
    Over the holidays I spend a lot of time in California. What I enjoyed doing the most there was riding extensive networks of fire roads on my road bike. Great weather, great scenery and fun rolling terrain with no vehicular traffic to worry about.
    Last edited by PhotonFreak; 02-15-2012 at 05:54 PM.

  9. #34
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    To the extent that I've had such thoughts, it's been more about where and when I ride than any idea of puttiing it aside.

    And to the extent that I've felt personally out of control, threatened, or 'squeezed' when riding, it's been getting out in the lane that's fixed the problem. Cowering towards the white line has always made it worse. Not to make this into a defensive riding discussion, but it's the folks riding right on the edge that are all but inviting the drivers to try to squeeze by in the lane. Get out there in the lane, move over when it's safe for YOU to let them past, and it goes much better. It also puts a big object between you and the distracted driver behind them. If the traffic can't support that, you're likely on the wrong road.

    Plus, the only serious injury accident I've ever had was riding alone on a desolate stretch of a MUT through the countryside. Water bottle missed the cage, hopped the back wheel off the pavement. When it tried to run back on, physics took over, and I inverse-supermanned headlong into a tree. By the grace of dog I don't eat through a tube, but for almost two years I couldn't see the top of my shoulders without a mirror, or more than 15 feet up the road when trying to ride. I did quit the road bike then.

    I bought a recumbent and an eyeglass mirror.

    Thankfully, that shame* is long past me.


    *I keed. There's actually quite a lot to be said for them. I just happen to belong on a proper bike. Still use the mirror, though.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by danl1 View Post
    To the extent that I've had such thoughts, it's been more about where and when I ride than any idea of puttiing it aside.

    And to the extent that I've felt personally out of control, threatened, or 'squeezed' when riding, it's been getting out in the lane that's fixed the problem. Cowering towards the white line has always made it worse. Not to make this into a defensive riding discussion, but it's the folks riding right on the edge that are all but inviting the drivers to try to squeeze by in the lane. Get out there in the lane, move over when it's safe for YOU to let them past, and it goes much better. It also puts a big object between you and the distracted driver behind them. If the traffic can't support that, you're likely on the wrong road.
    My only crash with a vehicle was nearly being t-boned by a driver who outright blew a red light mid-signal. I was able to slam the brakes and turn at the last second so that I hit their car door shoulder first, rather than being splattered. It's scenarios like this that have me more worried than the bread and butter car cyclist altercations like "right hooks" or getting buzzed -- which I agree can be mitigated dramatically by cycling defensively.

    I'm pretty assertive about taking lanes, getting into positions etc. to make left turns. Also, I'm pretty sure I've avoided a LOT of right-hooks by getting behind drivers who are acting like they're about to turn right, and passing them on the left as they make their turn.

    Plus, the only serious injury accident I've ever had was riding alone on a desolate stretch of a MUT through the countryside. Water bottle missed the cage, hopped the back wheel off the pavement. When it tried to run back on, physics took over, and I inverse-supermanned headlong into a tree. By the grace of dog I don't eat through a tube, but for almost two years I couldn't see the top of my shoulders without a mirror, or more than 15 feet up the road when trying to ride. I did quit the road bike then.
    Almost every cyclist I know, their most serious injuries came about from something dumb like this. My worst crash was back in college on my way to a meeting. I was riding hands off the bars putting something away in my backpack when I saw I was about to ride into a big crack in the road. I panicked, grabbed the bars, then hit the brake and oversteered trying to avoid the crack. I was probably only going about 10mph at the time but ended up with a fracture in my right hand and was unable to write three days before finals started...

    It was after that I became a lot more proactive about actually practicing bike handling.

    I bought a recumbent and an eyeglass mirror.

    Thankfully, that shame* is long past me.


    *I keed. There's actually quite a lot to be said for them. I just happen to belong on a proper bike. Still use the mirror, though.
    I don't know why people are so down on mirrors. I run one of these on all my bikes. I find it really helps a LOT when looking for openings to make left turns on multi-lane streets, or glancing to check for potential right-hooks without having to turn my head completely around every 5 seconds...

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonFreak View Post
    I don't know why people are so down on mirrors. I run one of these on all my bikes. I find it really helps a LOT when looking for openings to make left turns on multi-lane streets, or glancing to check for potential right-hooks without having to turn my head completely around every 5 seconds...
    Because they're all way more image conscious than they want to admit. Besides mirrors detract from $500.00 chrome bike shoes and add a heinous number of grams to a bike. Good thing helmets are fashionable or the death toll would be much higher.

  12. #37
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    The thought had flittered thru mu brain recently. Gravel. Cross bike on a gravel road in January in Minnesota. Snow, no snow, doesn't matter. It's good. And if you have a group enjoying it together, it's very good. You can use the entire width of the road, "traffic" worries are a joke.

    Only real downside so far is dogs. They're a lot more direct when riding gravel. It took me a while to realize I can't just out sprint them. I have a nice bruise to show for it now. But live and learn.

    So yea, I've thought briefly about giving up road cycling. Just ride gravel all year long. But road riding round these parts is not a gladiator sport. Drivers are not urban drivers etc. I could not live in a major city and deal with such traffic. (I did live near a major city, dealt with the traffic for a while, smarted up and moved away so I can enjoy life and not get stuck in the rat race)

  13. #38
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    Been riding for 25+ years. The only time I considered quiting all together was when I let myself go for a several year period being consumed by work. I gained 50 pounds, was eating horribly and had a messed up sleep cycle. Riding was torturous and humiliating with people I had once demolished on the bike. But I realized that would only make matters worse. Luckily, that is behind me now and I live much healthier. Riding is fun, invigorating and a stress reliever. I really feel compassionate for those big, heavy guys on a group ride that are laboring so much, I know they are trying as hard as I, but have to work 3 times as hard. I remember.

    brewster

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    Statistical misunderstanding, selection bias, paranoia.



    It only "seems like" it because you're looking for it. It's not that bad, and it probably hasn't actually gotten worse; in fact, it may be better.

    Do you know how many people die in traffic accidents in the U.S. on an average day? Around a hundred. How many of those are on bicycles? one or two. In the whole country. And probably half of those are kids, riding with far less attention and skill than you use.

    Think about the odds implied even by your perception. Southern California is a region with a population of more than ten million. There are probably tens of thousands of people who cycle more than once a week, and possibly hundreds of thousands who ride at least once every week or two. One death or serious injury per month? That's a very small number.

    So on a broad statistical basis the chances of you getting hurt are pretty low. And you can (and almost certainly do already) improve those odds significantly. A skilled, attentive rider is even safer than the average. A significant number of those injured or killed riders did something careless. Certainly not all of them -- there are bad drivers that do things no one can avoid, but it's actually pretty rare to get caught up in something like that.

    So I suggest we all try to get realistic about the risks and dial back the fear a little. Hone your skills, maintain your equipment, learn and employ good traffic techniques, pick your routes sensibly. If you do all that, the odds against getting hurt on the bike are probably better than your chances driving on the freeway.
    First let me say that I believe riding can be safe if drivers and cyclist are smart while on the road.

    With that said, where did you get your numbers? I have this funny feeling you pulled them out of a hat...to put it nicely. Take a look at just Pennsylvania statistics. They (just one state) blow your numbers out of the water.

    National & Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Statistics

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonFreak View Post
    I don't know why people are so down on mirrors. I run one of these on all my bikes. I find it really helps a LOT when looking for openings to make left turns on multi-lane streets, or glancing to check for potential right-hooks without having to turn my head completely around every 5 seconds...
    What I think is bad about mirrors is that you don't move your head and look. IMO, drivers will react to the motions you make when on the bike. If they see you turn and look back to the left or right, then the drivers are more apt to think you are going to move to the left or right, or you simply acknowledge that you are aware of the driver. Someone wearing a mirror may appear to drivers to swerve unexpectedly off their line because they are NOT showing any indication of their intentions.

    Turning, looking, making eye contact is good communication to others on the road and makes for safer riding.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpre53 View Post
    What else am I going to do for exercise outdoors year round? Run? Walk? In the rural area where I live, with no sidewalks along most roads, you're even more vulnerable to cars running or walking, than you are on a bike.
    That is one thing that astonished me when I took up running again to complement my riding. I run on the sidewalk when there is one, but when there is no sidewalk and I run in the road drivers actually get closer to me than they do when I ride a bike.

    I concluded that the vast majority of close passes while cycling are, therefore, not due to animosity towards cyclists (I've never heard animosity expressed on the behalf of drivers towards runners), but instead are due to other factors (inattention, incompetence, selfishness, etc.).





    -----------------------------------------
    Last edited by D&MsDad; 02-16-2012 at 10:53 AM.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by trip221 View Post
    Here in southern California it seems like people are getting critically injured or killed by cars left and right, at least once a month. I doesn’t matter if it’s an area with bad roads and no shoulder or a new community with wide bike lanes. It’s distracted drivers. Hell, even the local MUT isn’t safe with recent muggings and bike thefts. So as much as I love solo rides I’m only doing group rides now. And my extra cautious wife is paranoid every time I go out.

    Has anyone else thought of giving up the road bike entirely? I love mountain biking too, and at least with that I feel that most of the burden of safety is on my own shoulders (except a possible mountain lion attack). But at least there won’t be any run-ins with cars. I still don’t think I could hang up the road bike for good, but it is something I think about on a weekly basis.
    I grew up in north San Diego county. I can remember when 101 was the only road from Oceanside to San Diego. I remember when the beaches were empty except for us local kids. I can remember when traffic was very light. Now, it's hard to go back there. Traffic is very heavy no matter the time of day or night. I see guys riding through Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach and Lucadia and constantly having to deal with rude, distracted drivers. It's a beautiful area, but a tough place to try to get a good peaceful ride.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by LubbersLine View Post
    With that said, where did you get your numbers? I have this funny feeling you pulled them out of a hat...to put it nicely. Take a look at just Pennsylvania statistics. They (just one state) blow your numbers out of the water.

    National & Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Statistics
    I'm not sure how you define "blow your numbers out of the water." The data on that site fail to indicate the *rate* at which bicyclists are injured -- injuries/fatalities per mile and/or per riding hour. Just stating stuff like "The number of bicycle accident injuries increased in 2010 to 1,474" (as an actual example) is useless as a means to gauge the risk.

    Also, it's on the website of a personal injury attorney, so there's at least some interest in presenting the data in an alarming manner.

  19. #44
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    No way would I give up road riding because of the risk. Not riding also has risk since cycling is my primary form of exercise. Years ago I was more of a mountain biker but now I am no fan of getting into the car to go biking, so I have largely given up mountain biking. I do live in the mountains and there are outstanding trails around; I have also heard of more people getting killed mountain biking than road biking in this area. I spoke to someone that works for the USFS and she stated EMS is hauling people off the mountain routinely on a mountain bike trail in the area which I ride occasionally. To make a long story short, I believe I am in more danger when mountain biking but OTH, theoretically, the risk is more in my control.

  20. #45
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    Almost - Due to the weenies that reprimand me for "blowing up the group" during group rides. The prospects of getting hit can freak out any cyclist, but I'm probably safer on the road than in the woods...

  21. #46
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    I've thought about it... but every time I get on my bike I end up saying to myself "man, this is the best thing ever" and I can't ever imagine hanging it up. I really have no desire to MTB. I don't ride the regular (traffic) roads very often these days...mostly because I ride alone. When I'm riding around the OC I see cars swerving in and out of bike lanes all the time. I just don't feel safe out there.

    I mostly just stick to the MUTs and there's a nature park nearby with wide roads only used for a very occasional service truck. We haven't had any problems with our MUT here that I know of. I can get a decent 20 - 30 miles in a day there. I'm in SoCal too. If you're at all near Dana Point come check it out. It's about as safe as it gets as it gets really.

    You should be able to find a fairly safe route for yourself. Even if its a nearby neighborhood or driving your bike to a safe place. Bike are fun. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by tystevens View Post
    I have been thinking about it recently, especially after a conversation w/ my wife where she admitted that my commuting to/from work on the bike worries her more than I previously understood. Kinda like I gave up motorcycles when I got married and became a dad -- didn't seem like the risk was worth it anymore.

    But it doesn't seem like lots of cyclists are getting hit by cars here in SLC. I believe my commuting and fun ride routes (usually from one suburb to another, as I don't work downtown) are about as safe as they can be, and in 4 years of commuting now, I've not really even had what I'd consider a "close call" w/ an automobile. So I'm not gonna give it up yet. But I do see some people riding downtown or other places and wonder what they are thinking.
    tystevens...what part of town are you in? I live at Thanksgiving Point but ride all over...my regular Saturday ride is up behind Hogle Zoo and back.

    My office used to be downtown and I would ride up City Creek every day on my lunch break. Just getting from the Triad Center to Memory Grove (1 mile?) was a death defying feat everyday. I see the same guys riding downtown around the city and think they're nuts...

  23. #48
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    I've been hit by cars and been injured a coupla times and my only thought has been, "when can I get back on my bike".
    Stuff Happens and we can't hide from all of it. People eat in restaurants every day without worrying if somebody spit in their soup, and I'm willing to bet it happens more than we'd like to think. Maybe more often than close calls while cycling.
    Life is full of risk and I'm OK with that, in fact Life without risk would be pretty bland.

    Now, about traffic...
    I have just started riding with a GoPro camera mounted on my bike and I'm starting to think that we may be over-reacting to the whole "They're all trying to get me" thing.

    During my rides when I'm buzzed by or threatened by a driver it enrages me and I probably stew about it for anywhere from a little while to a number of miles, and it's on my mind till the rides over and I've been home for a while.

    But....
    When I review the video of my ride/rides most drivers are giving me ample room and fair treatment. And I think that that's probably universally true. We percieve more danger out there than there really is because just treatment doesn't stand out like a threat, real or percieved, does.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GearDaddy View Post
    What I think is bad about mirrors is that you don't move your head and look. IMO, drivers will react to the motions you make when on the bike. If they see you turn and look back to the left or right, then the drivers are more apt to think you are going to move to the left or right, or you simply acknowledge that you are aware of the driver. Someone wearing a mirror may appear to drivers to swerve unexpectedly off their line because they are NOT showing any indication of their intentions.

    Turning, looking, making eye contact is good communication to others on the road and makes for safer riding.
    That's the best reason I've heard since a fellow rider told me, from his hopital bed, that he could judge a car's distance behind him at dusk by the reflection in his front wheel.

    Turning, looking, making eye contact is absolutely a must in traffic, but with a mirror you're aware of the vehicle before you turn and make eye contact.

    You are also correct.....drivers will react to the motions you make when on the bike. In a study done a few years back, it was found that when being overtaken by a car, if you drop your left hand to your side (without swerving) and give it a quick shake as if it was getting numb, drivers will give you more room when they pass.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclin Dan View Post
    tystevens...what part of town are you in? I live at Thanksgiving Point but ride all over...my regular Saturday ride is up behind Hogle Zoo and back.

    My office used to be downtown and I would ride up City Creek every day on my lunch break. Just getting from the Triad Center to Memory Grove (1 mile?) was a death defying feat everyday. I see the same guys riding downtown around the city and think they're nuts...
    Wow, T-point to Hogle and back is a pretty good ride, especially being in the city most of the way! How long does that take you?

    I live in South Jordan and work in Holladay. I have a variety of commuting routes to eliminate boredom, but mostly either: 1) Jordan River Pkwy MUT to 4800 S, then up to Holladay; 2) 1300 W to Vine (by the hospital) then up to Holladay, or 3) 9800 S. to 700 E, then down to Van Winkle. All are either not very busy roads, MUT, or large roads w/ excellent shoulders. I actually really like roads like 700 E (south of about 5600) or Redwood (south of 90th), even though they are busy, because the bike lanes are really wide and there isn't a lot of people turning onto the roads except at lights. My 'fun' rides are usually around parts of the South Valley (12600 So up to Highland and around to 146 So., the U-111 loop, or Redwood to Saratoga Springs).

    It seems that the farther north in the valley you go, the worse the roads become for riding, with the exception of Wasatch/Emigration Cyn area I suppose. If I worked much further north than I do (~4800 So), I probably wouldn't ride to work.
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