My place of employment recently had a new vinyl sign printed up and instead of paying for delivery, I figured I’d ride out to pick it up. It sounded like a good bike challenge. The sign printing place is located on Jefferson Boulevard, a light-industrial strip in Warwick, RI. Here’s a map indicating the last couple of miles of my route:
I spent most of my journey on Elmwood, much of which is a four lane road with no median, and a 35 MPH speed limit. For a short distance, I was on Post Road, which is four lanes has a median, a 45 MPH speed limit, and a few highway on and off ramps as you can see. Post Road and Jefferson Blvd run parallel, and it looked like the easiest way to get between them was to take this shortcut:
… through Lincoln Cemetery. If you can ride through a cemetery to get between two points, I highly recommend it. Not much traffic.
After whistling through the graveyard, I ended up on Jefferson Blvd, another four lane, non-divided street. Looking at the street numbers, I figured I didn’t have far to go, so I did something I usually don’t recommend: I rode my bike on the sidewalk.
I was in a hurry during most of this trip, so I didn’t stop to take many pictures, but I did grab this shot which is a good illustration of why it’s almost always a bad idea to ride on the sidewalk on a major street:
The motorist pulled right up to the street without looking to her right. I saw her coming, so I paused at the intersection until she pulled out. If I had been a little earlier, or slightly less aware, this could have been an ugly situation. On my return home, I stayed on streets the entire way (except for the cemetery shortcut).
I took one more photograph. I thought that NPR headquarters was in Washington DC, evidently they produce one of their most popular programs in Warwick, RI!
I’m happy to report that in 20 miles of urban and suburban cycling in unfamiliar territory, there were zero instances of honking, close passing or any other dangerous behavior. Also, on the way back in to Providence, I kept pace with a RIPTA bus for about 5 miles until I was finally able to pass him for good. This means that the average speed of a city bus is less than 15 MPH, including bus stops, not including stop lights.