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Peak hour traffic tackle for reasonably new rider.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by cash, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. Hi fellow NRs,

    I am reasonably new rider and need some advice from experience riders…
    For the past 2-3 weeks, I’ve been riding to work in the city once or twice a week all the way from Knox, usually kick off at around 9:30am. I take Burwood Highway, Springvale Rd, Eastern freeway and then Alexander Parade…I go home at about 6:30pm on the Monash then High St all the way to Knox. There were traffics around but not to the extreme. I’ve been practicing line filtering when opportunities are there or when I see big enough gaps…so, I am quite confidence on slow speed limited space riding..

    If I were to tackle really peak hour, e.g. 7:30am and 5:00pm.. What would be the best route? Any tips from fellow experience riders who travel to the city everyday from the same area or vice versa? Any part of the route where I should avoid lane filtering or be extremely cautious? E.g. Narrow 2 laners, tram tracks etc.

    Or should I just try to avoid peak hour traffic, go in before 7am and leave before 5pm?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
  2. I dont know which way to take, but be careful filtering on the freeway in peak hour traffic, and be careful of gaps because if you can see a big gap a car can as well and will cut you off to get to it.
  3. From Knox that is the straightest route in

    your wouldnt benefit from going up Boronia road
    as it only leads to the eastern anyway with more traffic lights
    and would waste more of your time
  4. Well, just as a general rule, do not filter through heavily packed traffic that is moving at reasonable speed...take up a position go with the flow, then filter through when the traffic is down to a crawl or stopped.

    Allow traffic lights to be your friend...everytime you catch a red light, it allows you to safely filter through to the lead and get out in the clear.

    For me...riding a bike in traffic is not about getting home more quickly (although that is the general outcome)...it's more about reduced stress levels. No getting stuck in long lines of stop start crap traffic. I can always be moving - always gaining ground.

    Do not travel too much faster than the prevailing traffic speed...just enough to keep you moving and progressing through the traffic. In other words...don't be darting in and out and all over the place - the cagers will not have time to spot you (those that are looking).

    Situational awareness - be alert to what's going on around you, by taking in the bigger picture as well as the individual cars..."see" what's unfolding in front of you (and behind), and know where you fit in with it all. Then position yourself accordingly.

    I know all of that sounds rather general but it takes time to gain the judgement req'd to keep yourself safe (relatively), and even then it can still go pear shaped. :)...So take your time, be smooth and fluid.

    If you would like to go over anything, more specifically, then shoot me a PM and we can go into those in detail.
  5. ahh.. thanks for the replies.. just some clarification from my first post..

    When I said Lane Filtering.. that's only when cagers are in complete stationary stop at the lights etc. I don't do lane splitting when traffic are moving...

    Agreed with jgm, I am not after the fastest way to work or go home.. I am more into safer, less trickier, better road condition etc. For example, if ride on freeway, be careful of the windy condition.. etc.

    Here are my thoughts.. Not sure if anyone disagree.

    High St
    - A lot of start stop, not good for the bike.. use more petrol...more lane filtering at junctions.. (I've observed that there should be enough rooms in between cagers at the lights.. so shouldn't be an issue.. even though the high St 2 laners are narrower comparing to let say Burwood Highway?)
    - Fair bit of uneven road and tram tracks.
    - 60 km/h .. normal speed riding..

    Springvale Road - Eastern Fwy.
    - Very good lane filtering at the nunawading station and also exit of freeways where all the cagers are piling up.. I mean more room in between cars..
    - High Speed... higher chance of heavy injury as compare to medium speed?
    - More traffic on the Fwy.
    - Windy at time.
    - Road condition is pretty good.
  6. I'm on a bigger bike, so I would always choose the freeways. On freeways, the traffic is more settled and everyone is heading in the same direction, so it is less work mentally.
    But on a 250, it might be a different perspective..

    On secondary roads, there are alot of intersections, side streets, cars jockeying for position, turning, etc...for me, that is more hazardous.
  7. Your chances of having an accident on a freeway would be a hell of a lot less then on normal roads. Sure your going faster, but theres a lot more room for error and a lot less possible errors to make. Go freeway mate.
  8. Rode to work yesterday morning... and the traffic was not as bad as usual due to school holidays..(some).... have to say .. I've learnt my lesson yesterday and luckily nothing bad happen... I will be extremely careful from now..

    Anyway.. What I've learnt and wish to share my experience with fellow new riders... and hopefully get some tips from experience riders as well..

    1. Very foggy in the morning.. and my visor was full of mist.. around nunawading, pedestrain crossing lights ... filtered all the way to the front from the stationary cages.. Ha.. couldn't see the lights properly and as I was about to wipe mist off my visor... the lights must have turned green.. I couldn't see .. as I didn't have enough time to wipe the mist off.. Ended up.. the Ute behind me overtook me from the lights... (lesson learned - Keep your visor visible and be alerted.. and always ready to take off if you are infront of the Q...)

    2. On my way back.. I got off High St Road junction from M1... thinking I will try the 60km/h traffic.. At a particular traffic light, there was a long cager Q and I was trying to filter all the way up... have to admit, the gap is very narrow and probably just enough to get thru and very little room for mistake... Half way thru.. the lights turn green and I was in the middle of passing a car.. and ... guess what.. nearly sandwich.. :LOL: Wasn't funny.. I was like less than 5cms next to the car on my left while moving.. I have to put my leg down (panic mode) to balance in between moving cars and just managed slot in behind the car on my left.. Gee.. (lesson learned - No sure if this is right.. but if you are to filter to the front and the traffic lights turn green.. always make sure you have a spot to slot into.. and wave you hand quickly to say thanks to the cager behind? Very dangerous if you are sandwich in between moving traffic.... and prolly not a good idea to filter in some part of High St Road.. very narrow..)

    3. Waiting at the lights and I was the 1st on the right.. 3 lanes merge into 2. Far left... must be a V8 Calais which I didn't notice.. Lights turn green and away I go.. and this crazy a$$ V8 did a burnout and outrun everyone.. I wasn't slow off the line.. and I think he was having a go at me.. He tried to outrun me as well I think.. and doing at least 100km/h in a 60 zone.. I slowed down after noticing that I was doing 80 (shhhh!!!)... In the next sets of lights... I thought I better stay behind this crazya$$... and let him win because he was the first at the lights and who knows what will happen if I filtered in front of him... (lesson learned - Stay away from crazya$$ V8... No point risking your life for some crazya$$ which you were probably 1 minute in front... )

    Correct me if I am wrong fellow netriders...
  9. Cash,

    I have ridden the Freeways and the smaller roads on both a 250 and now a bigger bike. Stick to the Freeways when you can.
  10. I ride from keilor (west sub's) to cnr burwood hwy and springy every day - use the eastern fwy route. I am going opposite direction to you but would still recommend eastern over monash. Until the extension goes thru the eastern is way lighter for heavy trucks and the road surface is much better. Good luck.