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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    165

    Riding in differnt countries

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    I am currently on the Isle of Man with the family before we leave for Dublin on Tuesday. Prior to this, we spent several days in London, then Edinburgh. I had planned to ride in each city as part of my vacation activities. I was looking forward to the bragging rights of doing so. I completely chickened out! I have never been more amazed seeing so many bicyclists riding. The traffic is crazy, yet they ride with the flow. Taking lanes and navigating amongst the busses and taxis. Particularly here on the Isle with so many twisting and winding roads. Portions of different routes have room for only one vehicle at a time. The riders are so bold to me. I am loving it, and living vicariously through them!
    Kudos to all you brave souls I enjoyed (envied) reading here about your adventures riding in different countries.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,996
    Maybe it's best to try short ride on side, residential streets with someone else while in a foreign country. You underestimate yourself wynrider.

    I'm not sure what it is like riding on the left vs. right in UK since I've never cycled there.

    Admittedly all the foreign country bike touring with our belongings in Germany, France, Czech Republic and Denmark has been with dearie... I put my fear really more on being less geospatially comfortable in unknown areas compared to him. Nothing to do with foreign country....

    To me, it makes a difference to have lived and biked in big North American cities with very busy downtown areas and cyclists..which has helped me when we tour in foreign big cities. Meaning over 1 million people.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,050
    My only experience is riding in England and Ireland. It didn't take long to get used to riding on the left side and many roads I was on in Ireland were small roads, without much traffic. However, there are no shoulders on the roads.

    Riding in Cambridge took a little more getting used to, but it's a very cycling-oriented city so drivers are very used to dealing with cyclists. It helped to get some guidance from my daughter and her boyfriend at first. We didn't ride it London but there were many cyclists there. Still, it looked a little bit scary with all the traffic.

    Riding on main streets in Dublin would probably be a little more challenging.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,464
    I've ridden in France, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Austria. Most of it was not in cities. At one point, I did ride into Granada with the group, with one scary merge, but other than that, we were shuttled out of huge city areas on the trips I've been on. However, when in France last month, we took a wrong turn off of a rotary and ended up in a medium sized city at rush hour (which starts at about 3 in France). We had to circle around one way streets with 3 lanes of traffic, getting over to the left to get back to where the road went back in the other direction. DH is perfectly comfortable riding along the right of the cars, with no shoulder, while I get in the lane. We both got in the lane and the cars did not bother us. It was only scary at one point, when we had get to the right and there was no room at all. We also learned that a sign, which we had no idea the meaning of, meant that cars entering the road from the right have the right of way over cars going straight . So, in one instance, we thought a woman was just pulling out in front of us, but she had the right of way.
    I think if you are used to riding in a big city here, you could ride anywhere... I don't ride in Boston, so I wouldn't ride in Paris, either!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    25
    I am going over to London next week actually! I have been looking for a better used bike for over there on eBay, as the one I have there now is similar to a heavy walmart bike, I have never really liked it and find it very difficult to ride. I've ridden over there on the quieter side streets, bike paths and along the Thames and that is about it. Anything else is like, yikes! Are kidding me!! My husband has no problem zipping in and out of traffic as he grew up there, but not me, I get off and walk it. Maybe it will be different with a better bike, but I will have no problem getting off and walking a better bike either if I don't feel comfortable in the traffic. I much prefer riding here on the back roads with very little if any vehicles around me!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Cornwall, UK
    Posts
    40
    Hey Steppink, No shame in being worried about cycling in London; I'm a Brit and there's no way I would! Across one of the parks, maybe but the roads...... nah. :-D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    25
    Thanks kernowcyclist, glad to know I am not alone! We were in Cornwall in March, you live in a beautiful part of the country :-)

 

 

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