curb jumping--why?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Luigi De Guzman, May 1, 2003.

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  1. subject line says it all. I have NEVER needed to jump a curb, and I live in Central London,
    congestion central.

    I can appreciate it as a skill in itself (i'd do more of it, for shits and giggles, if I didn't have
    such questionable wheels...) but I don't really see the advantage in it. Give us cyclists a very bad
    name, indeed; hopping curbs and mowing down peds whenever we feel like it

    Here it's technically illegal, and if you do it in the City of London, the velocops will stop you
    and ticket you (great feature in the CyclingPlus #142 about them).

    -Luigi dura lex, sed lex est
     
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  2. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > subject line says it all. I have NEVER needed to jump a curb,

    Of course, you can get off and manhandle the bike - but done well, curb-hopping can be
    poetry-in-motion.
    >
    > I can appreciate it as a skill in itself (i'd do more of it, for shits and giggles, if I didn't
    > have such questionable wheels...)

    Those who are good at it don't stress their wheels in the slightest - and they can do it at 40kph!!
    [I am NOT one of these skilled hoppers]

    > but I don't really see the advantage in it. Give us cyclists a very bad name, indeed; hopping
    > curbs and mowing down peds whenever we feel like it
    >

    Mowing down peds can't be good for public relations - that's true! Mark Lee
     
  3. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > subject line says it all. I have NEVER needed to jump a curb, and I live in Central London,
    > congestion central.

    It all depends on where you ride. At EVERY university I have attended or visited, curb-hopping was a
    necessary skill just to get around. A discussion with the bicycle coordinator at one campus brought
    several things to light. First, cyclists will not park more than 20 to 30 meters from the building
    they want to enter. To control the clutter of loose bikes, racks must be placed within this
    distance. Many buildings do not have adjacent roads, only sidewalks. With racks on the sidewalks and
    the distance from the road being significant, cyclists will ride, not walk, to the racks. Even
    though there are wheelchair ramps available, they often aren't the fastest way to the racks, thus
    the need to mount the curb.

    The coordinator was seeking feedback on the placement of bicycle lanes around the campus. In my
    opinion, they were pretty much irrelevant. When cycling on a campus that was so equipped, I
    discovered that most pedestrians ignored them - a lesson that was driven home after several tire
    screeching near-misses. I definitely do not endorse sidewalk cycling even when cycle lanes are
    present. If you must ride there, then you should do so at walking speed.

    But I digress! The need to hop is not restricted to curbs. I have hopped to avoid glass, road-kill,
    potholes, sticks, and other random road obstructions. It's a skill no cyclist should be without.

    -Buck
     
  4. Luigi de Guzman wrote:
    >
    > subject line says it all. I have NEVER needed to jump a curb, and I live in Central London,
    > congestion central.
    >
    > I can appreciate it as a skill in itself (i'd do more of it, for shits and giggles, if I didn't
    > have such questionable wheels...) but I don't really see the advantage in it. Give us cyclists a
    > very bad name, indeed; hopping curbs and mowing down peds whenever we feel like it

    Hopping curbs and mowing down pedestrians are certainly NOT necessarily connected. I do the first
    every time I bike to work. I've never done the second.

    Anyway: I learned to hop the bike decades ago. It's a valuable skill, not only on curbs. I use it to
    get across bad RR tracks (also every ride to work), across potholes that suddenly jump out in front
    of me, and over at least one dog that would have otherwise taken me down.

    It's not that hard. Practice.

    > Here it's technically illegal, and if you do it in the City of London, the velocops will stop you
    > and ticket you (great feature in the CyclingPlus #142 about them).

    It's probably illegal on the short section of sidewalk I cross by curb hopping - but it's never
    going to bother anyone, and it saves me quite a bit of time and trouble. I try hard to be
    law-abiding when on the bike, but there are limits.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  5. Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote:
    > subject line says it all. I have NEVER needed to jump a curb, and I live in Central London,
    > congestion central.

    Often to get to one's parking spot or destination. It can be formally distinct from sidewalk riding.

    But of course the real reason is to piss off recumbent riders.

    The need for curb jumping varies greatly depending on how strict your locality is about
    disability-access laws and hence installing curb cuts and ramps.
     
  6. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >It all depends on where you ride. At EVERY university I have attended or visited, curb-hopping was
    >a necessary skill just to get around.

    I work at a university, I never hop curbs at the big U. Handicapped access is such that every place
    I might need to jump a curb there is a ramp.

    >But I digress! The need to hop is not restricted to curbs. I have hopped to avoid glass, road-kill,
    >potholes, sticks, and other random road obstructions. It's a skill no cyclist should be without.

    I agree. The capability to jump over obstacles is nice and a sign of the agility possible when
    riding a diamond frame bike.

    jon isaacs
     
  7. Andy

    Andy Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    > subject line says it all. I have NEVER needed to jump a curb, and I live in Central London,
    > congestion central.
    >
    > I can appreciate it as a skill in itself (i'd do more of it, for shits and giggles, if I didn't
    > have such questionable wheels...) but I don't really see the advantage in it. Give us cyclists a
    > very bad name, indeed; hopping curbs and mowing down peds whenever we feel like it
    >
    If you're on a narrow bit of road and traffic behind you can't pass safely then jumping the curb to
    cycle on a pavement/sidewalk without any pedestrians on it will hurt no one, help the people stuck
    behind you on their journey thereby actually giving cyclists a good name.

    Andy
     
  8. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Benjamin Weiner wrote:
    > ... But of course the real reason is to piss off recumbent riders....

    Or better yet, motor vehicle operators who may well take their feelings out on a cyclist who never
    jumps from the street to sidewalk (or vice versa).

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  9. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Andy wrote:
    > ... If you're on a narrow bit of road and traffic behind you can't pass safely then jumping the
    > curb to cycle on a pavement/sidewalk without any pedestrians on it will hurt no one, help the
    > people stuck behind you on their journey thereby actually giving cyclists a good name....

    So the motor vehicle operators will then expect all cyclists to behave in a similar manner, whether
    or not it is safe to do so. As John Forester would say, "cyclist inferiority complex".

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  10. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Fri, 02 May 2003 19:14:59 -0500, <[email protected]>, Tom Sherman
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >Or better yet, motor vehicle operators who may well take their feelings out on a cyclist who never
    >jumps from the street to sidewalk (or vice versa).

    Why is spreading the vengeful boogie-man 'motor vehicle operator'
    psyscho-killer myth your personal mission? It's scary to think that may be how _you_ feel when you
    drive. From all the evidence I've seen, that's aberrant behaviour.
    --
    zk
     
  11. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Tom Sherman wrote:

    > Andy wrote:
    > > ... If you're on a narrow bit of road and traffic behind you can't pass safely then jumping the
    > > curb to cycle on a pavement/sidewalk without any pedestrians on it will hurt no one, help the
    > > people stuck behind you on their journey thereby actually giving cyclists a good name....
    >
    > So the motor vehicle operators will then expect all cyclists to behave in a similar manner,
    > whether or not it is safe to do so. As John Forester would say, "cyclist inferiority complex".
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)

    Hold your line, maintain a stable position, and keep on truckin'. Don't forget to smile and enjoy
    the ride! Best regards, Bernie
     
  12. Zoot Katz <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > Why is spreading the vengeful boogie-man 'motor vehicle operator'
    > psyscho-killer myth your personal mission? It's scary to think that may be how _you_ feel when you
    > drive. From all the evidence I've seen, that's aberrant behaviour.

    In my experience the overwhelming majority of MV operators are extremely polite--even in London, the
    congestion capital of Europe....

    The key I guess is communication; let them know where you're going and what you're doing, and
    they're usually willing to give you space and let you do it.

    I'm actually gladdened by the number of drivers who acknowledge my signals--even with gratutitously
    friendly motions, like a nod, or a gesture of the hand yielding me the space i need. Taxi drivers
    have been great at this. Perhaps more cities should emulate the licencing regs the Public Carriage
    Office here in London lays down...

    -Luigi
     
  13. Pete Hickey

    Pete Hickey Guest

    curb jumping.... I remember doing it one time. My son, for some unknown reason, had taken off my
    front wheel, and replaced it-- very loose. It stayed on while I was riding, then I came to a curb.
    Lifted up. Before I hit the ground, I was able to notice the wheel rolling away from me. In that
    split second, I remember thinking. "I'm going down... damn kid"

    --
    --
    LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Did you know that 90% of North Americans cannot taste the difference between
    fried dog and fried cat?
     
  14. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    3 May 2003 03:29:44 -0700,
    <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Luigi de Guzman) wrote:

    >Zoot Katz <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >> Why is spreading the vengeful boogie-man 'motor vehicle operator'
    >> psyscho-killer myth your personal mission? It's scary to think that may be how _you_ feel when
    >> you drive. From all the evidence I've seen, that's aberrant behaviour.
    >
    >In my experience the overwhelming majority of MV operators are extremely polite--even in London,
    >the congestion capital of Europe....
    >
    >The key I guess is communication; let them know where you're going and what you're doing, and
    >they're usually willing to give you space and let you do it.
    >
    I sometimes take it a step further by instructing them what to do. Drivers can learn simple commands
    like "STAY", "NO" and "MOVE". Many are well enough trained to respond to hand signals and whistles.
    Eye contact and head nods work close in with the good ones.

    >I'm actually gladdened by the number of drivers who acknowledge my signals--even with gratutitously
    >friendly motions, like a nod, or a gesture of the hand yielding me the space i need. Taxi drivers
    >have been great at this. Perhaps more cities should emulate the licencing regs the Public Carriage
    >Office here in London lays down...
    >
    >-Luigi

    Yes, I appreciate drivers' acknowledgement but I often take offense at their stupid resistance to
    follow traffic laws regarding right-of-way. Around here there are many drivers who err on the side
    of extreme caution. They're a nuisance while trying to be polite. I honestly believe most of them
    simply don't know nor understand the basic traffic laws. I don't trust them.

    The other extreme, those who knowingly break laws and depend on their vehicles' mass for
    intimidation, are thankfully, fewer and further between. They're potentially dangerous because they
    generally overestimate their driving skills.

    The ones who act on some vengeful desire to run you down, for something I did, are truly rarer than
    good fiction except in the bent minds of inferior cyclists.
    --
    zk
     
  15. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Zoot Katz <[email protected]> writes:

    ...

    > Around here there are many drivers who err on the side of extreme caution.

    ...

    > The other extreme, those who knowingly break laws and depend on their vehicles' mass for
    > intimidation, are thankfully, fewer and further between. They're potentially dangerous because
    > they generally overestimate their driving skills.

    I like to sum it up thus: I want the impatient ones to get ahead of me, and I keep the indecisive
    ones behind me.

    That way I don't get stuck behind indecisive drivers rubbernecking at the collisions caused by the
    impatient ones.

    Lately with the advent of good weather, I've noted a lot more kids tearing around on their brand-new
    bullet-bikes (murdercycles) -- they're another thing to keep a whether-eye open for. I *especially*
    don't trust some of those kids to handle their machinery (or their speeds) very well. I find it
    notable how these wannabe speedsters seem to evade criticism, while a bicycle rider hopping a curb
    -- maybe to cautiously eke past an half-block of street construction, and without going so fast as
    to spook onlooking cats in ppl's front yards ... doesn't. Evade criticism, that is.

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  16. Zoot Katz <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<3eb61708.

    > Yes, I appreciate drivers' acknowledgement but I often take offense at their stupid resistance to
    > follow traffic laws regarding right-of-way. Around here there are many drivers who err on the side
    > of extreme caution. They're a nuisance while trying to be polite. I honestly believe most of them
    > simply don't know nor understand the basic traffic laws. I don't trust them.

    Fair enough. I'll give you a concrete example of what I mean, though:

    Intersection of Wm IV Street & Charing X Rd (just north of Trafalgar Sq). Gridlocked traffic
    southbound on Charing Cross Rd; i'm looking to turn right onto the northbound end of that
    street.(this is England, remember, so right turns are 'across the grain' movements). All traffic
    stops, stranding two or three cars in the intersection.

    Rule of yields means I have to wait for a proper break in the traffic & yield to the southbound
    gridlock. I make eye contact with a black cab in the intersection and point to a *narrow* space in
    front of him--just enough to get through, if he waits ten seconds and lets me by before he proceeds
    (the queue is beginning to move, wave of motion hasn't quite hit him yet). He nods, points, and
    waves me through. Stupid as it sounds, that made my day.

    [OK, partly: on the way home, I yielded to let a black cab scoop a fare up from the pavement. This
    got me a grateful wave out the open drivers-side window of the black cab.]

    >
    > The other extreme, those who knowingly break laws and depend on their vehicles' mass for
    > intimidation, are thankfully, fewer and further between. They're potentially dangerous because
    > they generally overestimate their driving skills.

    ...wasn't there a study somewhere that found that SUV drivers were several times more likely to
    agree strongly with the statement "I'm a better than average driver"?

    >
    > The ones who act on some vengeful desire to run you down, for something I did, are truly rarer
    > than good fiction except in the bent minds of inferior cyclists.

    They do exist, however rarely. Not all of them are rednecks--I'm still mad at the old woman who
    tried to push me and my brother off the road--and then shouted at us as we rode to church one
    Sunday--and then walked into the same church. Physician, heal thyself, eh?

    -Luigi
     
  17. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Zoot Katz wrote: Yes, I appreciate drivers' acknowledgement but I often take offense at

    > their stupid resistance to follow traffic laws regarding right-of-way. Around here there are many
    > drivers who err on the side of extreme caution. They're a nuisance while trying to be polite. I
    > honestly believe most of them simply don't know nor understand the basic traffic laws. I don't
    > trust them.
    >

    Here's something that has happened several times, always in Vancouver: I am holding in the left
    lane, ready to turn left on a fairly busy 4 lane street. Oncoming driver stops and waves me on.
    Meanwhile, the oncoming curb lane traffic is whizzing by - as it should. Are they really not with
    it, or are they trying to cut down the number of pesky bicycles on the streets??

    >
    > The other extreme, those who knowingly break laws and depend on their vehicles' mass for
    > intimidation, are thankfully, fewer and further between. They're potentially dangerous because
    > they generally overestimate their driving skills.

    Generally true Bernie
     
  18. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    3 May 2003 18:26:06 -0700,
    <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Luigi de Guzman) wrote:

    >> The ones who act on some vengeful desire to run you down, for something I did, are truly rarer
    >> than good fiction except in the bent minds of inferior cyclists.
    >
    >They do exist, however rarely. Not all of them are rednecks--I'm still mad at the old woman who
    >tried to push me and my brother off the road--and then shouted at us as we rode to church one
    >Sunday--and then walked into the same church. Physician, heal thyself, eh?
    >
    >-Luigi

    You were being too polite. She counted on that. You'd not yet developed "the eye". After a year in
    London, you should be able to stop her type with a glance.

    I've been threatened maybe three times in as many years. They were attempting to frighten me,
    not hit me.

    Assuming they're going to try hitting me because somebody else blew a stop sign, jumped a curb or
    otherwise tweaked their psychic wedgie is ludicrous, not frightening.

    It's scarier to find _cyclists_ promoting this myth.
    --
    zk
     
  19. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    Bernie <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Here's something that has happened several times, always in Vancouver: I am holding in the left
    >lane, ready to turn left on a fairly busy 4 lane street. Oncoming driver stops and waves me on.
    >Meanwhile, the oncoming curb lane traffic is whizzing by - as it should. Are they really not with
    >it, or are they trying to cut down the number of pesky bicycles on the streets??

    I was once involved in an accident due to this phenomenon (thankfully I was in a largish
    Oldsmobile).

    A kind driver waiting in the rightmost straight lane waved a driver crossing the road in front of
    her from the left on. What she was communicating was "you may pass in front of me".

    What the driver crossing interpreted the gesture as was "c'mon through
    - there's nothing coming up the right turn lane either", which wasn't the case (intention-wise or
    otherwise).

    The car crossing got clipped really well in the back end, did a 360 and clipped my left front fender
    as it spun. D'Oh! Of course, it would have hurt a lot more had I been standing there on a bike
    (worse yet, on a 'bent). ;-)

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  20. Fritz M

    Fritz M Guest

    Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:

    > A kind driver waiting in the rightmost straight lane waved a driver crossing the road in front of
    > her from the left on. What she was communicating was "you may pass in front of me".

    My insurance company includes tips about fraud in their statements and bills. According to them,
    friendly offers to yield the right-of-way can be an attempt to commit insurance fraud.

    RFM
    --
    To reply, translate domain from l33+ 2p33|< to alpha. 4=a 0=o 3=e +=t
     
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