Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How to drive a bicycle on the expressway, without really dying

It is possible to manage the risks of driving bicycles on high-speed expressways. In Oklahoma, it is also legal, unless there's a sign posted prohibiting bicycles. I usually drive on the Broken Arrow Expressway to go Downtown, or eastbound to Coweta.

Even though bicycles are allowed to take a lane legally, I usually roll on the shoulder. On-ramps are not much of a problem to cross, when going straight. Motorists getting on the expressway are looking for trouble before mixing in with the traffic. So, what's another bicycle crossing the on-ramp. All you have to do is check your rear-view mirror first. Flip a final look-see off your right shoulder for safe gaps, and cross.

It's the off-ramps that need some attention to details:

1) Anticipate off-ramps at least a quarter-mile out;
2) On the approach, stick your left arm out to slow traffic;
3) Check rear view mirror for safe gaps, before making the cross.
4) Give a thumbs-up and a wave-out to the motorists exiting behind you.

Exit ramps have speed limits. It's your job to encourage motorists to obey the law by slowing them down. When the exit ramp has two lanes, get into the right lane and cross. Works great every time.

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