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Thread: First time commuting JHB to PTA via N14 - Someone to follow?

  1. #1
    Biker

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    Default First time commuting JHB to PTA via N14 - Someone to follow?

    Hi everyone,

    Not sure if this is the correct section to post in, if not please can an admin move it.

    I have just got my bike and plan on using it to commute from Lanseria to the University of Pretoria.

    Since I am new to commuting in traffic, I would just like to know if anyone rides this route that wouldn't mind me following/showing me the correct way and place to lane split. There are road works on the N14 and I would like to learn the proper procedure from the start.

    I get onto the N14 at the Malibongwe on-ramp and get off at Atterbury in Pretoria.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Davey Jones Marsupial
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    All depends on type of bike etc.
    N14 construction area if the traffic is flowing stay with the traffic, if traffic is moving slow split between the cars, keep an eye out of pedestrians around Diepsloot area as they enjoy playing chicken.
    The rest of the route under the assumption that you have a larger cc bike fast lane as the traffic is usually fairly free flowing. If you need to lane split, ride between fast lane and the lane left of it.
    Watch out for peeps on their phones, doing makeup, eating breakfast, usually drifting in their lane.
    Watch for wheel movement of cars, this will indicate what their intention is as they rarely indicate.
    Watch for lanes suddenly slowing as the cagers will usually just change lanes to the lane that is moving without following any of the basic traffic principals

    I'm sure others will over more advice

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  3. #3
    Herman the German
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    Some of the sections mentioned are down to one lane traffic. That will make it difficult for a newbie, as there won't be any lane splitting. So you either have to stick between the cars, or overtake on the small strip towards the veld or alternatively to the left, which is cordoned off by cones. That needs good bike control and balls, to be ready for plan "B" if the need arises. I'd be careful.

    Otherwise, check the traffic pattern at different times, if you can. In peak time, not a nice stretch at present and it may be worth the while, to look for alternative routes.
    You don't ride in the rain, you don't ride!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice so far. I agree, the road is particularly bad with road works and the reduction to one lane at the moment.

    I have bought a 1290 adventure, not my first time riding on the road, but it is the first bike I will use for commuting a fair distance.

    Normally I don't leave in peak hour traffic, my usual time to leave is around 8. I don't often see bike while sitting in the traffic, so I thought the conditions would be quite tricky.

    The alternative route is the one that runs parallel to the highway, in front of diepsloot, and then joins at the hartebeespoort on ramp.

  5. #5
    The Windsurfer

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    Give me a shout (oh 7 nine 313 ate621) and we can set something up. Commute from Ferndale to Pretoria daily - Normally on the N1, but happy to go via the N14 to assist.

  6. #6
    Biker

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    Thank you very much, I appreciate the offer. Next week once i'm back from the long weekend I will be in contact.

  7. #7
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    So I decided to give commuting from JHB to PTA a try this morning. The roadworks and single lane do make things difficult but I took it easy and left just after 8.30 so I wasn't in peak traffic.

    I would like to describe what I did in each section so that you guys may criticise my ways or offer me alternatives:

    1. Highway, dual lane, traffic flowing - sat in the right-hand lane at a comfortable speed, moved over to left lane if I could see someone fast approaching in the distance behind me. I assumed escape routes could be to either side depending on other vehicles?
    2. Highway, dual lane, heavy traffic - lane split between fast and second lane, paying attention to cars drifting/jumping into gaps. Didn't go more than 20km/h fast than traffic. Not quite sure what my escape routes are here apart from braking?
    3. Highway, single lane, roadworks in the left lane, heavy traffic - when the traffic was flowing at a reasonable speed, I just sat in between the cars. When the traffic slowed I overtook on the small strip on the right-hand side. However, this is where I seemed to spend a lot of time as the traffic was moving very slowly. Speed was not more than 15-20km\h faster than traffic. Sometimes I went onto the gravel next to the road when a truck or something was blocking the small section of road. Not sure if this was the best idea but I was following someone else on a bike.

    All-in-all I feel it was quite a successful experience, saved a huge amount of time and arrived in PTA in a much better mood.

    Please feel free to criticise what I did so I know what to do next time. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Nuon Fangirl

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    Sounds like you have it close to 100%.

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    Banner Boy

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    Great first attempt

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  10. #10
    Nuon Fangirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatDane View Post
    Not sure if this was the best idea but I was following someone else on a bike.
    A silver Yamaha 1200 SuperTen perhaps?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMZ View Post
    A silver Yamaha 1200 SuperTen perhaps?
    I'm honestly not sure, I think it had panniers on, and the person was wearing a yellow TB vest.

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