Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bike Route 5

At long last, we moved beyond the recreational routes and took on our first cross-town route: Bike Route 5! Bike Route 5 is a north-south route in west Raleigh that starts near 440 at the intersection of Gorman St and Thistledown Drive, and finishes at north of the Quail Ridge Shopping Center at the intersection of Glen Eden and Ridge Road.

Although the route is a linear route, we rode it as a loop, heading down Gorman Street from the intersection of Hillsborough and Faircloth, completing that end of the loop and heading back up past the Quail Ridge Shopping Center to the end of the route. This route was our most heavily trafficked so far, especially along Gorman St. south of NCState's campus. We had quite a bit of trouble triggering lights at the following locations:

Faircloth and Wade Ave.
Gorman and Hillsborough
Gorman and Western
Gorman and Avent Ferry

We found the following drainage grate headed north on Gorman at the intersection with Avent Ferry. We actually found it first on our return to Fred Fletcher Park on Bike Route 4, but we passed it again for Bike Route 5. This grate probably originally had the slots in the wrong direction like all old-school grates, and the metal strips were later put on top to protect bike tires like ours thanks to our friendly Raleigh staff (woohoo!). It looks like that first metal strip on this one came off from wear...

Between Western Blvd and Avent Ferry, the facilities on Gorman range from standard width lanes with curb and gutter to extra-wide lanes with on-street parking. The area is fairly residential, but traffic is in a hurry. South of Avent Ferry, Gorman St. develops a nice wide shoulder, which is nice given the level of high-speed traffic on the road. There's a nice gas station at the intersection of Gorman and Thistledown for a good break.

Headed north on the route, we enjoyed the wide shoulder along Wade Ave between Faircloth and Ridge Road. It has a bit of a drop off next to it though, so be careful and don't try to talk to the people behind you while riding. As before, the stretch on Ridge Road is, of course, very beautiful. And the nice bike lane also meant we didn't have to worry about traffic too much excepting when it disappears a little bit near Lake Boone Trail.

Once we finished the route, we rode back to Fred Fletcher Park using some of Route 7 - a nice little preview. Overall, Route 5's requires some patience with some finicky signals, comfort in traffic, and a little bit of power to get over a couple hills. Total Route length: 5.3 miles. Ride length: 10.6 miles, plus 4.5 miles to and from Fred Fletcher Park to the route, for a total ride of 15.1 miles.


Blogger Copenhagen Bike Rental said...

christania’s “lej en cykel” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.

7:45 PM  

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