Why not use the sidewalk?

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Tacomaboy, Jun 2, 2003.

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  1. Tacomaboy

    Tacomaboy Guest

    Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But when I ride around town, I always
    (if poosible) use the sidewalk. Particularly becasue I have a suspended moutnain bike, I find it a
    lot safer, more convenient, and just sensible. But for all I know its not legal. I just don't want
    to compete with 2500 pound cars going 45+ MPH. I won't win. Just out of curiousity, why is the road
    preferred to the sidewalk? I understand some road bikes can't handle the poor terrain. Not to
    mention that as a driver (arent we all) I sometimes find it frustrating to find bicyles in really
    bad places, on bridges, on the expressway (WTF is THAT), on 65+ MPH roads, and on 40+ MPH roads in
    the middle of the lane ( I know they have the right, but they travel 15-20 MPH, and it can be very
    dangerous, and causes lots of traffic). I don't have a problem with cyclists around a neighborhood,
    on a non-frequently used road, or country road, but I really find it hard to understand why someoen
    would want to ride in such a dangerous manner...

    Can anyone shed some light for me?
     
    Tags:


  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "TacomaBoy" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But when I ride around town, I
    > always (if poosible) use the sidewalk. Particularly becasue I have a suspended moutnain bike, I
    > find it a lot safer, more convenient, and just sensible.

    It is not safer. Sidewalks have pedestrians, driveways, and intersections, all of which make
    sidewalks more dangerous than riding on the street.
     
  3. Shaun Rimmer

    Shaun Rimmer Guest

    TacomaBoy <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But when I ride around town, I
    > always (if poosible) use the sidewalk. Particularly becasue I have a suspended moutnain bike, I
    > find it a lot safer, more convenient, and just sensible. But for all I know its not legal. I just
    > don't want to compete with 2500 pound cars going 45+ MPH. I won't win. Just out of curiousity, why
    > is the road preferred to the sidewalk? I understand some road bikes can't handle the poor terrain.
    > Not to mention that as a driver (arent we all) I sometimes find it frustrating to find bicyles in
    > really bad places, on bridges, on the expressway (WTF is THAT), on 65+ MPH roads, and on 40+ MPH
    > roads in the middle of the lane ( I know they have the right, but they travel 15-20 MPH, and it
    > can be very dangerous, and causes lots of traffic). I don't have a problem with cyclists around a
    > neighborhood, on a non-frequently used road, or country road, but I really find it hard to
    > understand why someoen would want to
    ride
    > in such a dangerous manner...
    >
    > Can anyone shed some light for me?

    Riding sidewalks is illegal most places as far as I'm aware (and it most certainly is here), it's
    also slower with all the stop-starting and pedestrian avoiding.

    Cyclists will often take the centre of the lane to be seen - riding down the side of the road
    encourages idiots in cars to either not see you, or decide they can squeeze past you without having
    to cross that deadly white line to

    down, give the cyclist space and time to make their moves, and FFS, show some freaking patience
    before speeding back up again. _You_ as a car driver, can accelerate away afterwards with little or
    no effort, and if coming across cyclists on the road costs you an extra 5 minutes (tops!) on your
    journey time, 5 minutes is sweat FA.

    Open your mind a little, and see this from the perspective of those who have to or even just choose
    to travel by bike on the road - it couldn't be more simple.

    Shaun aRe - An amazing amount of problems can be solved by seeing through another's eyes.
     
  4. Technician

    Technician Guest

    TacomaBoy <[email protected]> spoke thusly...
    > Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But when I ride around town, I
    > always (if poosible) use the sidewalk. Particularly becasue I have a suspended moutnain bike, I
    > find it a lot safer, more convenient, and just sensible. But for all I know its not legal. I just
    > don't want to compete with 2500 pound cars going 45+ MPH. I won't win. Just out of curiousity, why
    > is the road preferred to the sidewalk? I understand some road bikes can't handle the poor terrain.
    > Not to mention that as a driver (arent we all) I sometimes find it frustrating to find bicyles in
    > really bad places, on bridges, on the expressway (WTF is THAT), on 65+ MPH roads, and on 40+ MPH
    > roads in the middle of the lane ( I know they have the right, but they travel 15-20 MPH, and it
    > can be very dangerous, and causes lots of traffic). I don't have a problem with cyclists around a
    > neighborhood, on a non-frequently used road, or country road, but I really find it hard to
    > understand why someoen would want to ride in such a dangerous manner...
    >
    > Can anyone shed some light for me?
    >
    >
    >

    I know in my town it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk. just ride the roads to play it safe.

    a few tips for road riding (other can and most likely will chip in). ride predictably. if you ride
    erratically, drivers won't know where you are going and will get frustrated. use hand signals. even
    if you don't use the proper ones, pointing when you plan to make a turn (with enough advance time to
    alert any drivers) is usually enough. follow all traffic laws just as a car has to. and try and at
    least stay under the speed
    limit. this may sound strange, but i have actually gotten stopped for speeding through a residential
    area (37 in a 25 zone i think it was. or maybe it was 27 in a 15 zone, i can't remember) got
    off with just a warning as the cop didn't really think it was justifiable to write out a
    ticket (no licence, or even a licence plate to write on the ticket anyway).
    --
    ~Travis

    travis57 at megalink dot net http://www.megalink.net/~farmers/
     
  5. Tacomaboy

    Tacomaboy Guest

    "Ken" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "TacomaBoy" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > > Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But when I ride around town, I
    > > always (if poosible) use the sidewalk. Particularly becasue I have a suspended moutnain bike, I
    > > find it a lot safer, more convenient, and just sensible.
    >
    > It is not safer. Sidewalks have pedestrians, driveways, and
    intersections,
    > all of which make sidewalks more dangerous than riding on the street.

    I did think about pedestrians.. back on campus it was illegal to ride on the sidewalk due to soooo
    many of them. But on your average sidewalk there are not many, and I would rather hit a pedestrian
    and bruise them up (and myself) then be flattened out by a car or truck... I am not saying its good
    to hit a ped, just the lesser if the two evils IMO. But I do understand about the intersections,
    they are a PITA.
     
  6. Tacomaboy

    Tacomaboy Guest

    "Shaun Rimmer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > TacomaBoy <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But when
    I
    > > ride around town, I always (if poosible) use the sidewalk. Particularly becasue I have a
    > > suspended moutnain bike, I find it a lot safer, more convenient, and just sensible. But for all
    > > I know its not legal. I
    just
    > > don't want to compete with 2500 pound cars going 45+ MPH. I won't win. Just out of curiousity,
    > > why is the road preferred to the sidewalk? I understand some road bikes can't handle the poor
    > > terrain. Not to
    mention
    > > that as a driver (arent we all) I sometimes find it frustrating to find bicyles in really bad
    > > places, on bridges, on the expressway (WTF is
    THAT),
    > > on 65+ MPH roads, and on 40+ MPH roads in the middle of the lane ( I
    know
    > > they have the right, but they travel 15-20 MPH, and it can be very dangerous, and causes lots of
    > > traffic). I don't have a problem with cyclists around a neighborhood, on a non-frequently used
    > > road, or
    country
    > > road, but I really find it hard to understand why someoen would want to
    > ride
    > > in such a dangerous manner...
    > >
    > > Can anyone shed some light for me?
    >
    > Riding sidewalks is illegal most places as far as I'm aware (and it most certainly is here), it's
    > also slower with all the stop-starting and pedestrian avoiding.
    >
    > Cyclists will often take the centre of the lane to be seen - riding down
    the
    > side of the road encourages idiots in cars to either not see you, or
    decide
    > they can squeeze past you without having to cross that deadly white line
    to

    > down, give the cyclist space and time to make their moves, and FFS, show some freaking patience
    > before speeding back up again. _You_ as a car
    driver,
    > can accelerate away afterwards with little or no effort, and if coming across cyclists on the road
    > costs you an extra 5 minutes (tops!) on your journey time, 5 minutes is sweat FA.
    >
    > Open your mind a little, and see this from the perspective of those who
    have
    > to or even just choose to travel by bike on the road - it couldn't be more simple.
    >
    >
    > Shaun aRe - An amazing amount of problems can be solved by seeing through another's eyes.
    >

    I am always cautious with cyclists, dont get me wrong. But it seems selfish to me that they
    cause people in cars to slow down so much when they could just choose a slower route, i.e. why
    choose Mopac bridge (for those of us in Austin) instead of some other route... I dont mean to
    sound like an A-hole, and I really should just stfu so I dont make enemies here, but I just dont
    understand it. One cyclists causing traffic problems for many many cars, and IMO its not even
    worth the risk to boot!

    Please understand I am just referring to high traffic roadways... oh and BTW, if you HAVE to ride on
    the road.. wear a freaking helmet, I cant imagine why I see so many people on Lamar, or some other
    high traffic road with no helmet on...
     
  7. Tacomaboy

    Tacomaboy Guest

    "Technician" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > TacomaBoy <[email protected]> spoke thusly...
    > > Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But when
    I
    > > ride around town, I always (if poosible) use the sidewalk. Particularly becasue I have a
    > > suspended moutnain bike, I find it a lot safer, more convenient, and just sensible. But for all
    > > I know its not legal. I
    just
    > > don't want to compete with 2500 pound cars going 45+ MPH. I won't win. Just out of curiousity,
    > > why is the road preferred to the sidewalk? I understand some road bikes can't handle the poor
    > > terrain. Not to
    mention
    > > that as a driver (arent we all) I sometimes find it frustrating to find bicyles in really bad
    > > places, on bridges, on the expressway (WTF is
    THAT),
    > > on 65+ MPH roads, and on 40+ MPH roads in the middle of the lane ( I
    know
    > > they have the right, but they travel 15-20 MPH, and it can be very dangerous, and causes lots of
    > > traffic). I don't have a problem with cyclists around a neighborhood, on a non-frequently used
    > > road, or
    country
    > > road, but I really find it hard to understand why someoen would want to
    ride
    > > in such a dangerous manner...
    > >
    > > Can anyone shed some light for me?
    > >
    > >
    > >
    >
    > I know in my town it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk. just ride the roads to play it safe.
    >
    > a few tips for road riding (other can and most likely will chip in). ride predictably. if you ride
    > erratically, drivers won't know where you are going and will get frustrated. use hand signals.
    > even if you don't use the proper ones, pointing when you plan to make a turn (with enough advance
    > time to alert any drivers) is usually enough. follow all traffic laws just as a car has to. and
    > try and at least stay under the speed
    > limit. this may sound strange, but i have actually gotten stopped for speeding through a
    > residential area (37 in a 25 zone i think it was. or maybe it was 27 in a 15 zone, i can't
    > remember) got off with just a warning as the cop didn't really think it was justifiable to
    > write out a ticket (no licence, or even a licence plate to write on the ticket anyway).
    > --
    > ~Travis
    >

    Thats something else that doesnt make a whole lot of sense... why make it illegal to ride on the
    sidewalk? I understand at my college campus why it was. Way to many peds. But if I were riding down
    to the grocery store and got ticketed for being on the sidewalk, boy would I be pissed. I would
    fight that sucker till I was blue in the face, I dont want to risk my life on the road if there is a
    perfectly good sidewalk to use. But maybe I'm crazy.
     
  8. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "TacomaBoy" <[email protected]> wrote But I do understand
    > about the intersections, they are a PITA.

    And *every* driveway, parking lot is an intersection.

    Pete
     
  9. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    In news:[email protected], TacomaBoy <[email protected]> typed:
    > I don't have a problem with cyclists around a neighborhood, on a non-frequently used road, or
    > country road, but I really find it hard to understand why someoen would want to ride in such a
    > dangerous manner...
    >
    > Can anyone shed some light for me?

    The answer lies at http://www.lesberries.co.uk/cycling/infra/research.html &
    http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Library/riskfactors.htm

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "All truth goes through three steps: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.
    Finally, it is accepted as self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer
     
  10. Dick

    Dick Guest

    TacomaBoy wrote:
    > Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But when I ride around town, I
    > always (if poosible) use the sidewalk. Particularly becasue I have a suspended moutnain bike, I
    > find it a lot safer, more convenient, and just sensible. But for all I know its not legal. I just
    > don't want to compete with 2500 pound cars going 45+ MPH. I won't win. Just out of curiousity, why
    > is the road preferred to the sidewalk? I understand some road bikes can't handle the poor terrain.
    > Not to mention that as a driver (arent we all) I sometimes find it frustrating to find bicyles in
    > really bad places, on bridges, on the expressway (WTF is THAT), on 65+ MPH roads, and on 40+ MPH
    > roads in the middle of the lane ( I know they have the right, but they travel 15-20 MPH, and it
    > can be very dangerous, and causes lots of traffic). I don't have a problem with cyclists around a
    > neighborhood, on a non-frequently used road, or country road, but I really find it hard to
    > understand why someoen would want to ride in such a dangerous manner...
    >
    > Can anyone shed some light for me?
    >
    >

    I sorta agree. If i feel like taking my time and goofing off then I always take the sidewalk. I'm
    never on the sidewalk if there are more than one 1 or 2 peds per couple of blocks, and I almost
    always move to the street or just stop to let them buy. The law says it's wrong but laws are not
    always right. Still have to be careful at every driveway though.

    If I am trying to get somewhere and will be moving at a good clip then it's time to hit the street,
    any street.
     
  11. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    TacomaBoy wrote:
    > Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But when I ride around town, I
    > always (if poosible) use the sidewalk. Particularly becasue I have a suspended moutnain bike, I
    > find it a lot safer, more convenient, and just sensible. But for all I know its not legal. I just
    > don't want to compete with 2500 pound cars going 45+ MPH. I won't win. Just out of curiousity, why
    > is the road preferred to the sidewalk? I understand some road bikes can't handle the poor terrain.
    > Not to mention that as a driver (arent we all) I sometimes find it frustrating to find bicyles in
    > really bad places, on bridges, on the expressway (WTF is THAT), on 65+ MPH roads, and on 40+ MPH
    > roads in the middle of the lane ( I know they have the right, but they travel 15-20 MPH, and it
    > can be very dangerous, and causes lots of traffic). I don't have a problem with cyclists around a
    > neighborhood, on a non-frequently used road, or country road, but I really find it hard to
    > understand why someoen would want to ride in such a dangerous manner...
    >
    > Can anyone shed some light for me?

    You gave the reason: bikes ride at 15-20 mph. That's far too fast for a sidewalk unless it's a wide,
    empty one. It requires 10-30 feet to stop. When I take to the sidewalk, I keep my speed way down.
    It's courteous and safe but boring unless it's a nice outdoor shopping area with eye candy. The
    point of riding a bike is that you can always go exactly as fast as you want. Except on a sidewalk
    or bike path.

    If I'm taking a large chunk of a (busy) 45-mph road, I'm doing around 30 myself. Otherwise, I'm not
    taking a chunk of the driving surface.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  12. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "TacomaBoy" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > Thats something else that doesnt make a whole lot of sense... why make it illegal to ride on the
    > sidewalk? I understand at my college campus why it was. Way to many peds. But if I were riding
    > down to the grocery store
    and
    > got ticketed for being on the sidewalk, boy would I be pissed. I would fight that sucker till I
    > was blue in the face, I dont want to risk my life on the road if there is a perfectly good
    > sidewalk to use. But maybe I'm crazy.

    But you'd 'risk your life' on the sidewalk? Even when it is demonstrably and statistically less safe
    then the road? MAy be counterintuitive, but it's true.

    Sidewalks are not designed nor built for 15+mph traffic. Sightlines, surface, user expectations all
    work against riding on the sidewalk.

    Now....if you're going to restrict your riding to <10mph...then the sidewalk is probably 'safer'.

    Me, I like to actually get somewhere.

    Fight a sidewalk ticket, and you'll piss off a whole lot of cyclists. Allowing universal cycling on
    the sidewalk is one short step away from *requiring* cyclists to use the sidewalk.

    Pete
     
  13. Tacomaboy

    Tacomaboy Guest

    These are all good arguments. I suppose it does depend on how and where you are riding. I suppose
    maybe I have seent oo many riders in places I would never ride. But personaly, I normally ride
    around town (when I do, which is rare) at less than 15MPH, since its hard as hell to get my bike
    over 25, its not fast. I see people on 360, which is a very high traffic, fast moving road, and lots
    of cyclists there, but there is a very wide shoulder, so it doesnt bother me. But when I see someone
    on Mopac bridge (very fast, no shoulder, and its a bridge!) I get pretty upset. But to each thier
    own. Still, if I get a ticket riding on the sidewalk, I will fight it. Here is to hoping I dont.
     
  14. <gomer pyle> "Ooohhh lordy, lordy, look out over there." </gomer pyle
     
  15. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    "TacomaBoy" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Can anyone shed some light for me?

    Next time you're driving, think..

    1) Did you REALLY think about it when you drove across every sidewalk (most don't consistently)?
    2) Do you EVER look to your right when you're making a right turn (most don't)?

    There are some routes I take that make short stints on the sidewalk a distinct possibility (heavily
    trafficed 6-lane roads with no shoulder, for example), but I avoid them like the plague whenever
    possible - AND change my riding style dramatically when I AM on the sidewalk (go slower, slow on
    blind driveway crossings, scan for cars turning right before crossing an intersection).

    But generally, it's much, much safer out in the street where cars will be more likely to see you.

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  16. Chris Snell

    Chris Snell Guest

    "TacomaBoy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Not meaning to start flames here, so don't anyone be offended. But
    when I
    > ride around town, I always (if poosible) use the sidewalk.
    Particularly
    > becasue I have a suspended moutnain bike, I find it a lot safer,
    more
    > convenient, and just sensible. But for all I know its not legal. I
    just
    > don't want to compete with 2500 pound cars going 45+ MPH. I won't
    win.
    > Just out of curiousity, why is the road preferred to the sidewalk?
    I
    > understand some road bikes can't handle the poor terrain. Not to
    mention
    > that as a driver (arent we all) I sometimes find it frustrating to
    find
    > bicyles in really bad places, on bridges, on the expressway (WTF is
    THAT),
    > on 65+ MPH roads, and on 40+ MPH roads in the middle of the lane ( I
    know
    > they have the right, but they travel 15-20 MPH, and it can be very dangerous, and causes lots of
    > traffic). I don't have a problem with cyclists around a neighborhood, on a non-frequently used
    > road, or
    country
    > road, but I really find it hard to understand why someoen would want
    to ride
    > in such a dangerous manner...
    >
    > Can anyone shed some light for me?
    >
    >
    I don't like to bike on the sidewalk, cause if they start letting me do it, then they'll start
    letting other people who bike like me do it, and then I'd be scared as hell to walk anywhere.

    - Chris.
     
  17. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >Just out of curiousity, why is the road preferred to the sidewalk?

    Depends on who you talk to and where they're riding.

    My take is that conditions vary so drastically from place-to-place that a practice that is sensible
    in one place is tanatmount to suicide in another.
    -----------------------
    PeteCresswell
     
  18. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >AND change my riding style dramatically when I AM on the sidewalk (go slower, slow on blind
    >driveway crossings, scan for cars turning right before crossing an intersection).

    I think you've nailed something that causes a lot of conflict between posts.

    Some people are thinking about riding a sidewalk at "traffic speed" and others are thinking in terms
    of a jogger's speed.
    -----------------------
    PeteCresswell
     
  19. It's ok. I used to do it all the time. Then I got my drivers license and quit riding my bike.
     
  20. Superslinky

    Superslinky Guest

    I use sidewalks all the time and I have never had a cop look twice at me for being on the sidewalk.
    I ride around in Chicago several times a year on bike. A few years ago I asked a cop if it was OK to
    ride a bike on the sidewalk. He thought it was a strange question. Why would anyone care if I rode a
    bike on the sidewalk? I think It depends on the sidewalk whether or not it is safer than the road.
    If you have a good view of the driveways and alleys that cross the sidewalk, then they are
    preferable to the road, IMO. If there are buildings, hedges, fences or whatever that make for blind
    intersections, then sidewalks can be extremely hazardous at anything faster than walking speed.
     
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