Thursday, July 20, 2006

Merges and Diverges

This is a satellite shot of the Eastern Diversion. Last night after a Cycling Cog ride followed by food, beer, and socializing on a patio I was riding back home with two other east-enders. Hey we're not going over the Eastern Diversion are we?! I commented as it seemed we were headed in this general direction of a road I have never ridden on before.

See there is NO GOOD REASON to use the Eastern Diversion on a bike. To a car-driving east-ender, this is the fastest way to get downtown. For a bike, there's no amenities along this route, and it is just about as short but more congested (ie slower and saner moving traffic) to use Queen Street to cross the Don Valley. In fact there are signs somewhere saying exactly that "Bicycles use Queen Street to cross the Don

Well you're leading! was the reply. Oh I was not aware of that. Hey lets take the Eastern Diversion! (this is why beer and biking don't mix) There's a very funny sign along this route that says "Weaving Traffic. Cyclists Beware". I've always found that hilarious for some reason because I always wonder who are the crazy cyclists biking along here? (In fact when I first noticed the sign I was trying to return a rental car downtown, and was unsuccessful at negotiating the psycho merge ramps to end up going the way I wanted to go. So I really thought the sign should say "Psychotic Weaving Traffic. Novice Motorists Beware".)

At any rate, it was late and traffic was light. I followed the green line in the picture - basically riding at the right hand side of the lane that is not an on and off ramp. I've drawn red arrows where there is merging and diverging traffic. The first arrow is traffic merging from Adelaide Street. The second arrow is traffic exiting on the on-ramp to the Don Valley Parkway. I must say though it is quite disconcerting having traffic moving MUCH faster than you are passing you on BOTH sides at the same time.

So I'm wondering for a road like this what is the best way to approach it? Ride straight through the green line as fast as possible? Or shoulder check and merge over the curb lane at the first blue X, then shoulder check and merge one lane left before the on ramp?

Or use Queen Street and just avoid entirely :) (apologies to the two people following me, although I think traffic was light enough not to freak anyone out.)

(I must footnote this by saying I only had one pint before anyone thinks I'm a crazed drunk-driving cyclist. And I did say no to someone's crazy idea of lets ride up the Bluffers Park road - the steepest hill I'm aware of in the city - after having consumed said beer)
Old Comments (6)