I'm not really disagreeing with them about the need to consider bicycles when modifying the roads, but I must take exception to their idea that without the rumble strips, bicyclists can ride on the "shoulder," to the right of the white stripe.
I would argue that, in fact, riding to the right of the white line, in the remaining 1-2' of shoulder, is inherently dangerous. The only times I have fallen while touring was when I was trying to ride too close to the edge of the road and went off the road, hooked my tire on the road edge, and fell back into the road. I and my riding mates have done it multiple times. Once when I did it, the car that was following right behind me (for which I was trying to hug the edge of the road), came to a stop with its front wheel touching my pannier.
On the roads shown in the Adventure Cycling blog entry, any bike rider who tries to ride to the right of the white line is insane. Any bicycle "expert" who advises it is negligent.
|Really? Adventure cycling thinks THIS is a rideable shoulder?|
The only safe way to ride on such roads is to position your front wheel in the right wheel track of the road, to the LEFT of the white line. I realize that this puts the bike rider more directly in the cars' line of fire, but let's face it: Even when the bike is hugging the shoulder on a narrow road, there is not enough room for a car to squeeze by safely while staying in its lane. It will either force oncoming traffic off the road or, more likely, it will force the bike off the road. It is dangerous to hug the shoulder.
So, in a perverse way, the rumble strips make it safer for bicycles, because they force bikes to position themselves away from the dangerous edge of the road, which also prevents cars from trying to sneak by when there's oncoming traffic. Drivers may honk, but at least it's harder for them to force bikes off the road.