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Thread: Shady Grove Road Gaithersburg

  1. #1
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    Default Shady Grove Road Gaithersburg

    I'm taking my car into the shop for repair near the MoCo Airpark and want to commute in to work on Metro rail from Shady Grove station, I have a bike rack on the back of my car and was thinking of picking up a Capital Bikeshare, dropping off the car, then riding to Shady Grove Metro station from the Airpark. Google maps suggests riding the bike lane on Shady Grove Road, but looking at street view there's a difficult intersection with the Mid County Highway, I would be cycling during rush hour on a 45mph road. The MoCo bicycle comfort level map marks the road in red (confident cyclists), and a local ride cue sheet suggests it's best avoided during rush hour. I understand MoCo permits riding on the sidewalk but only if a bike lane is not available, it's my first time there and I don't know what morning traffic is like. I was thinking of crossing at Mill Run Dr and riding on the sidewalk as far as Tupelo Dr to avoid having to ride on Shady Grove Rd through that intersection.

    Do other cyclists who ride on fast arterial road bike lanes also consciously change your route and ride on the sidewalk to avoid difficult intersections?
    Last edited by Dewey; 10-30-2017 at 09:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    I'm taking my car into the shop for repair near the MoCo Airpark and want to commute in to work on Metro rail from Shady Grove station, I have a bike rack on the back of my car and was thinking of picking up a Capital Bikeshare, dropping off the car, then riding to Shady Grove Metro station from the Airpark. Google maps suggests riding the bike lane on Shady Grove Road, but looking at street view there's a difficult intersection with the Mid County Highway, I would be cycling during rush hour on a 45mph road. The MoCo bicycle comfort level map marks the road in red (confident cyclists), and a local ride cue sheet suggests it's best avoided during rush hour. I understand MoCo permits riding on the sidewalk but only if a bike lane is not available, it's my first time there and I don't know what morning traffic is like. I was thinking of crossing at Mill Run Dr and riding on the sidewalk as far as Tupelo Dr to avoid having to ride on Shady Grove Rd through that intersection.

    Do other cyclists who ride on fast arterial road bike lanes also consciously change your route and ride on the sidewalk to avoid difficult intersections?
    Hell yeah. Chide me all you want, but if there's a sidewalk beside a bike lane that's on a super speedy/sketchy road, I'm going to jump on that sidewalk and deal with a possible ticket rather than getting smashed. Preferably, I'd find a less dangerous route, but I know this isn't always possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drevil View Post
    Preferably, I'd find a less dangerous route, but I know this isn't always possible.
    Yeah, I looked at the parallel Redland Road on streetview but found it very narrow with no sidewalks and blind corners in places, no thanks. I'd choose to ride on the sidewalk heading South along Shady Grove Road, I'd be worried about the draught from fast passing trucks threatening to suck me into the road. To be fair heading North looks safer because it avoids the dangerous intersection with the Mid County Hwy, because of the adjacent sidewalk, and the 10' wide Shady Grove Rd-Metro access bike path. I read somewhere there are 2,000 daily bicycle commuters in Montgomery County so wondered how Maryland cyclists choose to ride on the bike lanes next to these fast roads.
    Last edited by Dewey; 10-30-2017 at 10:06 AM.

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    I would avoid that road if at all possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    I'm taking my car into the shop for repair near the MoCo Airpark and want to commute in to work on Metro rail from Shady Grove station, I have a bike rack on the back of my car and was thinking of picking up a Capital Bikeshare, dropping off the car, then riding to Shady Grove Metro station from the Airpark. Google maps suggests riding the bike lane on Shady Grove Road, but looking at street view there's a difficult intersection with the Mid County Highway, I would be cycling during rush hour on a 45mph road. The MoCo bicycle comfort level map marks the road in red (confident cyclists), and a local ride cue sheet suggests it's best avoided during rush hour. I understand MoCo permits riding on the sidewalk but only if a bike lane is not available, it's my first time there and I don't know what morning traffic is like. I was thinking of crossing at Mill Run Dr and riding on the sidewalk as far as Tupelo Dr to avoid having to ride on Shady Grove Rd through that intersection.

    Do other cyclists who ride on fast arterial road bike lanes also consciously change your route and ride on the sidewalk to avoid difficult intersections?
    On a Capital Bikeshare bike, I cannot recommend riding in the bike lane for that stretch of road. The speed of traffic is way too fast compared to your own (especially when riding that slow tank of a CaBi bike), and you'll feel incredibly uncomfortable. What you'll want to do is ride on the eastside sidewalk which runs the entire way until leading you to a paved sidepath that will lead to the Metro.

    If you want more of a visual of what that stretch looks like, I made a video during SafeTrack that includes a route on Shady Grove Rd going from Muncaster Mill Rd to the Shady Grove Metro. Scroll to 2:40 in my video for that section of Shady Grove Rd:


    I hope this helps you find a workable solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobco85 View Post
    If you want more of a visual of what that stretch looks like, I made a video during SafeTrack that includes a route on Shady Grove Rd going from Muncaster Mill Rd to the Shady Grove Metro. Scroll to 2:40 in my video for that section of Shady Grove Rd
    Much obliged to you for the video, I'd come to the same conclusion, looking closer at the Google streetview photos for that road all the cyclists ride on the sidewalk. Very brave of you to ride in the bike lane to take the video, thank you.

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    Much obliged to you for the video, I'd come to the same conclusion, looking closer at the Google streetview photos for that road all the cyclists ride on the sidewalk. Very brave of you to ride in the bike lane to take the video, thank you.
    You're welcome. I rode my road bike which is obviously much faster than a CaBi and gathered footage on a weekend when it was less crowded, so I can only imagine how crazy that stretch gets during the average weekday rush hour.

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