If you’ve taken the CyclingSavvy course, you’ll recall the video of John Alexander’s bicycle ride across a huge highway interchange. At less than 10 miles per hour, on an Elektra Townie bicycle.
If you haven’t seen the video, watch it here, and relax. John’s bicycle ride was boring, not daring.
John — and Keri Caffrey, riding behind him with cameras to record it all — had the road almost entirely to themselves, through thoughtful choice of lane position, and by taking advantage of traffic-signal timing.
My own gnarly bicycle riding challenge
I face a similar situation later this month. I have two doctor’s appointments about a mile apart. By far the shortest route between the two doctors’ offices passes through a similar huge highway interchange. I could take a much longer way there, and this longer ride would also include backtracking on a poison-ivy-infested sidewalk.
On Monday, I checked out the route in a car, with a dashcam running:
OK, here’s a challenge for you:
How would you ride this?
Would you ride it at all?
Have a look in Google maps
The image below shows my route, from right to left, in Google Maps. (When I drove, I went straight through on Route 9 rather than turning into William Street. That doesn’t change anything important.)
Google will let me share the location but not the route information. Here’s the location in Google Maps. You can play around with Google Street View and get a closer look.
Not familiar with Street View? If you’re using a computer, click on Google Dude, the yellow fellow in the lower right corner of Google Maps. Drag the green fog under his feet to any street that lights up in blue, release the mouse button, and there you are.
You can move around using the the keyboard’s arrow buttons. The right and left buttons turn you around. The down button is your reverse gear, up button moves you forward. Or click on the image and drag with the mouse.
Once you’ve dropped your Dude, there’s a “compass” in the lower right corner that also makes it easy to turn around:
Once I dropped Google Dude on the road, I spun the compass to point Dude in the direction I’ll be riding next week. I clicked on the street to move forward, and stand with Dude in the middle of any road.
The arrow in the black box at the upper left corner of the screen takes you back to the overhead view.
On a tablet or smartphone, you can tap and swipe the screen to access these same features.
This bicycle ride is possible!
I have discussed this route with a few other people and found at least two, maybe, three different ways to manage it. I don’t consider the ride difficult even for a novice cyclist, but savvy strategies can make it much more convenient. (Hint: see my description of John Alexander’s ride above.)
Please post comments and suggestions. I’ll get back to you in a couple of weeks with video of my ride.
I love to ride my bicycle, but I have my limits. Arriving at the doctors’ offices drenched in sweat during a pandemic or with rain would exceed those limits! If necessary, I’ll ride the route on a different day to shoot the video.
Your turn now.
I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this ride.