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Road or Sidewalk?



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 9th 04, 04:09 PM
K-Man
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Default Road or Sidewalk?

I had my first encounter with a jerk with an automobile the other day. I
was riding on the main 4-lane road going through town, as far to the
right as I could without going into the gutter, when from behind me I
hear the belligerent shout of "Get off the road!" I look back to see a
college punk in a black SUV. The traffic was light, and he had plenty of
room to pass me. I just ignored him and biked on.

But the incident brought to mind a question. I'm a fairly new cyclist,
having gotten my bike for Christmas last year. I've learned all the
rules of riding on the road and sharing the road with cars, and I follow
those rules religiously. I've never had a problem with a motorist until
the above mentioned incident. I see lot of cyclists riding on that same
road, and I also see a lot of cyclists riding on the sidewalks
paralleling that road.

My question is, should I be riding on the road when sidewalks are
available? I prefer riding on the road, and the sidewalks, while not
crammed with pedestrians, are never free of them either. What are ya'lls
thoughts? TIA!

Ken
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  #2  
Old June 9th 04, 04:25 PM
S o r n i
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Default Road or Sidewalk?

K-Man wrote:
I had my first encounter with a jerk with an automobile the other
day. I was riding on the main 4-lane road going through town, as far
to the right as I could without going into the gutter, when from
behind me I hear the belligerent shout of "Get off the road!" I look
back to see a college punk in a black SUV. The traffic was light, and
he had plenty of room to pass me. I just ignored him and biked on.

But the incident brought to mind a question. I'm a fairly new cyclist,
having gotten my bike for Christmas last year. I've learned all the
rules of riding on the road and sharing the road with cars, and I
follow those rules religiously. I've never had a problem with a
motorist until the above mentioned incident. I see lot of cyclists
riding on that same road, and I also see a lot of cyclists riding on
the sidewalks paralleling that road.

My question is, should I be riding on the road when sidewalks are
available? I prefer riding on the road, and the sidewalks, while not
crammed with pedestrians, are never free of them either. What are
ya'lls thoughts? TIA!


My thought? Don't let one idiot influence your safety/enjoyment of riding.
(Don't cower over by the gutter, either; you're entitiled to the right-side
portion of the lane, and sometimes the whole damned thing.)

A bicycle is a vehicle that belongs on the road (or a trail), NOT the
sidewalk.

Bill "cautious yet assertive" S.


  #3  
Old June 9th 04, 04:26 PM
loki
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Default Road or Sidewalk?


"K-Man" wrote in message
...
I had my first encounter with a jerk with an automobile the other day. I
was riding on the main 4-lane road going through town,


I'll let others deal with the 'should I take the sidewalk?' part as I'm
sure many are eager to.

My 2 cents worth regarding the 'as far to the right as I could without
going into the gutter' part: It may seem counter-intuitive, and most
jurisdictions laws are worded in the manner of: 'cyclists should stay as far
to the right as is _practical_ or _reasonable_' or some other qualifying
words BUT: sometimes that merely encourages auto-addicts to crowd you off
the road. Some motorcyclist acquaintances of mine claim similar experiences
especially wrt to cars passing them without moving fully into the other
lane. They say eventually they get crowded right off the roadway.
Consequently they ride near to the centre line to force autos to fully take
the other lane to pass.

As cyclist you should consider whether the conditions merit 'taking the
lane' for your own safety - Both to be more visible, and less likely to be
crowded off.

As I said; my 2 Canuckian cents worth.

--
Ricky: 'What's an aptitude test?'
Lahey: 'A suitability test, Ricky'
Ricky: 'I'll wear a suit if I have to'


  #4  
Old June 9th 04, 04:27 PM
David Kerber
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Default Road or Sidewalk?

In article , k-
says...
I had my first encounter with a jerk with an automobile the other day. I
was riding on the main 4-lane road going through town, as far to the
right as I could without going into the gutter, when from behind me I
hear the belligerent shout of "Get off the road!" I look back to see a
college punk in a black SUV. The traffic was light, and he had plenty of
room to pass me. I just ignored him and biked on.

But the incident brought to mind a question. I'm a fairly new cyclist,
having gotten my bike for Christmas last year. I've learned all the
rules of riding on the road and sharing the road with cars, and I follow
those rules religiously. I've never had a problem with a motorist until
the above mentioned incident. I see lot of cyclists riding on that same
road, and I also see a lot of cyclists riding on the sidewalks
paralleling that road.

My question is, should I be riding on the road when sidewalks are
available? I prefer riding on the road, and the sidewalks, while not
crammed with pedestrians, are never free of them either. What are ya'lls
thoughts? TIA!


Pedestrians are generally much less predictable than drivers and their
vehicles, so from the way you describe it, you will probably be safer on
the road. Also, drivers don't expect fast-moving vehicles on the
sidewalk when they are coming out of side streets and driveways, and
will likely pull out in front of you. Now if there were no shoulder and
bumper-to-bumper traffic in both lanes so that you don't have any room
to ride, it might be a different matter, but bikes usually are safer on
the road than on the sidewalk.

You really have to use your judgement for any given situation.

--
Remove the ns_ from if replying by e-mail (but keep posts in the
newsgroups if possible).
  #5  
Old June 9th 04, 04:27 PM
Dan Daniel
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Default Road or Sidewalk?

On Wed, 09 Jun 2004 11:09:59 -0400, K-Man wrote:



My question is, should I be riding on the road when sidewalks are
available? I prefer riding on the road, and the sidewalks, while not
crammed with pedestrians, are never free of them either. What are ya'lls
thoughts? TIA!

Ken


Here are a few links, and I'm sure others will post much better ones.
Educate yourself as to your rights and responsibilities. Don't let one
misinformed kid stop you from using the roads.

http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/index.htm

http://www.sfbike.org/download/resou...orists-STR.pdf

California laws regarding bicycles and roadways- most states should
have similar laws, but check...

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...le=21200-21212
  #6  
Old June 9th 04, 04:27 PM
maxo
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Default Road or Sidewalk?

On Wed, 09 Jun 2004 11:09:59 -0400, K-Man wrote:

My question is, should I be riding on the road when sidewalks are
available?


Side-walk, not side-cycle... :P I've been known to inform folks blocking
my path in the city when walking that it's also not called a side-stand,
that's what you use to park your bike. Some denser folk with smaller cars
and motorbikes have mistaken the sidewalk for a side-park, which is
probably the most egregious of the offences.

The rule/law in many if not most cities is that persons over 12 years of
age should not ride on sidewalks and should use the street in an
appropriate fashion.

I'm of the opinion that you should never ever use the sidewalk--of course
there's the rare and excusable occasion, but it should be that: rare.

You have every right to use the road unless local law or signage states
otherwise. Let the creeps yell at you, take their license plate number if
they're truly threatening, otherwise realize your emotional
superiority and cycle on with smug satisfaction. If you can't resist
yelling back--my favourite thing to do is to yell "HIYA PAT!!!!!" with a
huge smile on my face as if I'm the biggest hard of hearing idiot in the
world. Helps relieve the tension, and works even better if you can emulate
a circa 1957 Jerry Lewis accent.

Oh, and I hate to mention this, but over 25% of cyclists around here do it
(!) so, make sure you're riding on the correct side of the road--with
traffic. ;D

Happy travels!

  #7  
Old June 9th 04, 04:40 PM
maxo
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Default Road or Sidewalk?

On Wed, 09 Jun 2004 15:26:19 +0000, loki wrote:

Some motorcyclist acquaintances of mine claim similar experiences
especially wrt to cars passing them without moving fully into the other
lane. They say eventually they get crowded right off the roadway.
Consequently they ride near to the centre line to force autos to fully take
the other lane to pass.


The motorcyclist way of treating the lane as being three--the middle being
"verboten" because of the oil drippage--works great around here in
Nashville, where folks often refuse to acknowledge a bike as a vehicle
[vs. a toy] I occupy the right side of the lane in the city here and have
have much better interaction with traffic because of it. I also make sure
to smile at folks and wink at the cute ladies... Sometimes I'll ride far
far right when I know somebody really has to pass and the going's tight,
but for the most part "occupying" the lane when I'm going withing 5-10mph
of traffic calms people that feel this burning desire to pass
otherwise--even if it's not going to really be in anybody's best
interest--since they simply can't.

The classic "pass" around here is the guy that MUST get past you because
you are a cyclist (!), then slows down and cuts you off making a right
turn. [slaps forehead and says duh...] I get a couple of these per day
even with my "assertive" style.

Oh well.



  #8  
Old June 9th 04, 04:43 PM
Terry Morse
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Default Road or Sidewalk?

K-Man wrote:

My question is, should I be riding on the road when sidewalks are
available? I prefer riding on the road, and the sidewalks, while not
crammed with pedestrians, are never free of them either. What are ya'lls
thoughts?


Sidewalk riding is a no-no in virtually all situations. Here's John
Forester's ("Effective Cycling" author's) recommendations:

http://kba.tripod.com/ecbasic.htm

--
terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://bike.terrymorse.com/
  #9  
Old June 9th 04, 04:47 PM
CapeCodCyclist
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Default Road or Sidewalk?

My question is, should I be riding on the road when sidewalks ar
available? I prefer riding on the road, and the sidewalks, while no
crammed with pedestrians, are never free of them either. What are ya'll
thoughts? TIA

Ke

As cyclists we have every right to the road that motorized vehicles do
Unfortunately, we sometimes have run ins with the occasional ignoran
driver that disregards this fact. Most sidewalks are actually dangerou
to us as cyclists. When a sidewalk crosses driveways and side roads, fo
example, there is a far greater chance of the cyclist not being seen b
motorists. There are instances such as crossing bridges and along som
narrow highways that the sidewalk may be safer (and may be mandated b
law). In these instances, especially when intersected by side roads i
is safer to walk your bike than ride it on the sidewalk. There are als
cities, towns, and states that strictly prohibit bicyclists fro
sidewalks (often a fineable offense). So, in my humble opinion... sta
on the road whenever possible
http://www.capecodcyclist.8k.comwww....dcyclist.8k.co


-


  #10  
Old June 9th 04, 05:07 PM
Badger_South
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Default Road or Sidewalk?

On Wed, 09 Jun 2004 15:27:42 GMT, maxo wrote:

Oh, and I hate to mention this, but over 25% of cyclists around here do it
(!) so, make sure you're riding on the correct side of the road--with
traffic. ;D

Happy travels!


Ya know, I intend to follow all the rules and regs and be a responsible
rider, but mebbe b/c I'm new to road riding - I find myself violating the
rules fairly frequently, all the while going 'wtf are you doing!'.

I think it's a fear factor thing.

We have a couple scary intersections with like five lanes leading into it,
all going different directions. I try to wait for the light, but worry
about having to de-toeclip, and stuff, so I end up seeing a 'prime time'
opening and jetting through it.

I hope it's a passing thing. Gotta practice that track standing more...

Maybe it's the slight anoxia - leading to questionable judgement.

Am I the only one who does this, almost involuntarily - spur of the moment?
Yikes!

-B


 




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