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  1. #726
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danarnold View Post
    And that's why you should stay off the sidewalk; unless you're going their speed you're dangerous to them and especially to old folk and children who are going even slower. Get some balls and some legs and ride in the street like a cyclist, not the sidewalk like a kid.
    Geez!!! You seem to have this image set in cement that pictures every sidewalk chock full of kids and old folk. I'm sure some sidewalk are like that but not where I live.

    However, as I have said, over and over and over again on this thread and others, I encounter more cyclist on the freakin sidewalk where I live in Florida than pedesterians. Therefore, you really can't make sweeping statements or assumptions re sidewalk cycling. "One size does not fit all."

    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    It takes neither 'balls' nor 'legs' to ride in the street. With basic physical ability all it takes is a brain and the ability to use it to learn and develop the skills to comfortably ride with traffic.
    So true but I also think that the level of comfort a cyclist feels greatly determines the route he/she takes. That level of comfort is largely influenced by skill, experience and even local conditions.

    For example, some don't think twice about riding with traffic. Others mainly use the sidewalk, side streets, available bike paths or lanes. However, I would think that most cyclists are pretty flexible and use a mixture of all the above when needed.

  2. #727
    Senior Member Shadowex3's Avatar
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    Sunnymiami you're trying to argue that people should make a decision based on logic and reason and the local conditions with a group of people who are either plain forum trolls or so deep into the VC culture that they would rather not have people cycling at all than cycling in a way they don't agree with.

  3. #728
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Shadowex3 - Yep, I think you're right. I'm wasting too much energy on this. Time to move on.

  4. #729
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowex3 View Post
    Sunnymiami you're trying to argue that people should make a decision based on logic and reason and the local conditions with a group of people who are either plain forum trolls or so deep into the VC culture that they would rather not have people cycling at all than cycling in a way they don't agree with.
    You just summed up A&S in such a brilliant, concise and insightful way that I can do nothing except tip my cap.

    Kudos!

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  5. #730
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowex3 View Post
    ... Then again a lot of people in A&S are equally certain that crosses, garlic, and salt circles can keep VCers away so maybe it's not so crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by danarnold View Post
    And that's why you should stay off the sidewalk; unless you're going their speed you're dangerous to them and especially to old folk and children who are going even slower. Get some balls and some legs and ride in the street like a cyclist, not the sidewalk like a kid.
    Perhaps a silver bullet or wooden stake driven through a VC Demon's Real Balls™ would slow it down; but it is doubtful.

  6. #731
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowex3 View Post
    Sunnymiami you're trying to argue that people should make a decision based on logic and reason and the local conditions with a group of people who are either plain forum trolls or so deep into the VC culture that they would rather not have people cycling at all than cycling in a way they don't agree with.
    Well ... "they" often claim that the sidewalk cycling advocates are ignoring logic and reason. Personally, I think that there is evidence that is consistent with a VC perspective, but one needs to be Bayesian -- one should make these priors/assumptions clear -- to get to the finish line. More generally, one should also consider that most regression and ANOVA type of models are about averages and will be most robust where there is a lot of data. If you consider your situation to be further and further in the tail, you might want to place more weight on your personal priors.

    I just noticed that there is a 25-page limit to the thread. At least this is true when I checked five minutes ago. So the beginning of the thread starts at post #11 or so.

    There were some links to research there. It is worthwhile, IMO, to look at the different ideas out there and think about the appropriate strategy for dealing with your environment. Nonetheless, if you ride slow and have a good idea of what to look for, I'm pretty sure that on an absolute scale you're pretty safe.

  7. #732
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    I'll admit that I haven't read every post in this thread, but it seems to me the point is generally being missed. Those who ride on the sidewalk (with the exception of mentally/physically handicapped or young children) are a**holes. It is illegal (at least in most places I know of) for a good reason. As a pedestrian, I won't give a second thought to a elbowing a cyclist right out of my way. Sure, I could be considered an a**hole (just ask my wife), but not for doing something so rude as riding a bike on the sidewalk.

    There are myriad reasons NOT to ride a bike on a sidewalk. Other than pure youth or handicap, I don't see a reason to ride a bike in an area designated for pedestrian use only. When you do, you are in the way.
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  8. #733
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    I don't know about every state, but in Pennsylvania and many others, sidewalk cycling is legal everywhere except where it is prohibited. This generally means downtown business zones. Probably best to watch the elbows in any case.

  9. #734
    Senior Member Shadowex3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I don't know about every state, but in Pennsylvania and many others, sidewalk cycling is legal everywhere except where it is prohibited. This generally means downtown business zones. Probably best to watch the elbows in any case.
    In Florida we generally consider pushing people into traffic on purpose to be an attempt at murdering someone, and when any person is in a place they have a right to be they have no duty to retreat and may "meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another to prevent the commission of a forcible felony".

  10. #735
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowex3 View Post
    In Florida we generally consider pushing people into traffic on purpose to be an attempt at murdering someone, and when any person is in a place they have a right to be they have no duty to retreat and may "meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another to prevent the commission of a forcible felony".
    While I have elbowed cyclists in crowded sidewalk areas where they had no right to be (Chicago, Louisville) and were literally riding into me I never wrote that I did or would push a person into traffic and it is irresponsible for you turn my statement into such, Shadowex3.

    Point taken, unterhausen.

    Cyclists who ride on sidewalks make it harder (in regard to motorists) on those of us who have sense enough to use the road.
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  11. #736
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    I've long ago stopped worrying too much about how the behavior of other cyclists affects people's attitude towards me. Generally I find that is just an excuse for people looking to act in an uncivil manner. And they don't like it when you are riding legally either.

  12. #737
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I've long ago stopped worrying too much about how the behavior of other cyclists affects people's attitude towards me. Generally I find that is just an excuse for people looking to act in an uncivil manner. And they don't like it when you are riding legally either.
    I can relate. That said, I'm still pretty young and consider improving the environment for cyclists in my city worthwhile.
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  13. #738
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    advocacy is good, but I find it difficult to believe that you can do anything effective with your elbows. People certainly need education, but it has to be delivered properly, not through confrontation. People have been bullied onto sidewalks, bullying them back off the sidewalk seems more likely to put them behind the wheel of a car.

  14. #739
    Kaffee Nazi danarnold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    .... And they don't like it when you are riding legally either.
    =o) That's the truth.

    The other day I was riding up a short hill that ended in a stop sign for a busy arterial where I was going to make a left turn after stopping. There was no one behind me. A guy in a pickup was coming down the hill. We were separated by a double yellow. There was no way either of us could turn, or would want to. We could only go straight, passing each other going opposite directions. No way either of us could interfere with the other without illegally crossing the double yellow.

    So... no problem right? Wrong. This moron yelled at me to 'get on the bike path.' It was so absurd I assumed it had to be a friend of mine, just being silly so I ignored him. He actually moved over toward me as if to cross the double yellow to threaten me. There is no accounting for such ignorance, stupidity and unprovoked anger.

    Maybe there are strange forces in this particular area. Two days in a row, while riding the opposite direction, in a bike path along the right side of the arterial, I encountered adult cyclists riding the wrong way, on the bike path (there's a bike path on each side of the road). They were all wearing their nice little helmets, but oblivious to other factors of safe riding.

  15. #740
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    Just lightening up the mood.


  16. #741
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    My ride to work takes me through a couple of heavily industrialized areas - I ride on the sidewalk if there are big trucks loading, as its safer (they can't see me on the street) and there is rarely anyone one on the sidewalk.

    For anyone who has ever been to Midtown Manhattan you will know how many people are on the sidewalks at any given time - you can easily walk into people when you are on foot - to me that's when cycling on the sidewalk is not just dangerous but borderline insane!

  17. #742
    Senior Member Laserman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    I'll admit that I haven't read every post in this thread, but it seems to me the point is generally being missed. Those who ride on the sidewalk (with the exception of mentally/physically handicapped or young children) are a**holes. It is illegal (at least in most places I know of) for a good reason. As a pedestrian, I won't give a second thought to a elbowing a cyclist right out of my way. Sure, I could be considered an a**hole (just ask my wife), but not for doing something so rude as riding a bike on the sidewalk.

    There are myriad reasons NOT to ride a bike on a sidewalk. Other than pure youth or handicap, I don't see a reason to ride a bike in an area designated for pedestrian use only. When you do, you are in the way.
    We have here a case of local myopia, a person who looks about at the circumstances around them and assumes that they apply everywhere, from Austin to Boston from Maine to Spain.

    Sidewalk cycling is not illegal anywhere that I ride and never has been. I ride the roads when I can but when the road is too narrow or potholed or heavily trafficed to be safe I will take to the sidewalks, alleys, parking lots or dirt paths to get where I'm going. I could often ride 10 miles and not meet 3 pedestrians. When I do encounter pedestrians I always yield to them and not impede them in any way nor pass them at a speed that would be dangerous if I had to avoid a sudden move.

    Cycling on crowded sidewalks is stupid and dangerous, cycling on open sidewalks is just another way to reach your destination in one piece.
    Set phasers to butt-whup!

  18. #743
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laserman View Post
    We have here a case of local myopia, a person who looks about at the circumstances around them and assumes that they apply everywhere, from Austin to Boston from Maine to Spain.

    Sidewalk cycling is not illegal anywhere that I ride and never has been. I ride the roads when I can but when the road is too narrow or potholed or heavily trafficed to be safe I will take to the sidewalks, alleys, parking lots or dirt paths to get where I'm going. I could often ride 10 miles and not meet 3 pedestrians. When I do encounter pedestrians I always yield to them and not impede them in any way nor pass them at a speed that would be dangerous if I had to avoid a sudden move.

    Cycling on crowded sidewalks is stupid and dangerous, cycling on open sidewalks is just another way to reach your destination in one piece.

    ^^^ This. Colonel needs to take a chill pill.
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  19. #744
    Kaffee Nazi danarnold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    I'll admit that I haven't read every post in this thread, but it seems to me the point is generally being missed. Those who ride on the sidewalk (with the exception of mentally/physically handicapped or young children) are a**holes. It is illegal (at least in most places I know of) for a good reason. As a pedestrian, I won't give a second thought to a elbowing a cyclist right out of my way. Sure, I could be considered an a**hole (just ask my wife), but not for doing something so rude as riding a bike on the sidewalk.

    There are myriad reasons NOT to ride a bike on a sidewalk. Other than pure youth or handicap, I don't see a reason to ride a bike in an area designated for pedestrian use only. When you do, you are in the way.
    Col, what you fail to recognize is that a high percentage of the folk who subscribe to a bicycle list see themselves as cyclists first, humans second. They have no ability or inclination to see things from the point of view of a pedestrian, or for that matter to see life from any angle other than that of a cyclist. Don't you understand that since cyclists are morally superior to those sub humans who get themselves from place to place by motor vehicle or [gasp!] no vehicle at all.

    Because of their moral superiority cyclists are the lords of their domains, whether those venues are designed for motor vehicles or for pedestrians. If god had meant people to walk on sidewalks free from marauding cyclists, skate borders, inline skaters, and dog walkers people would have been been born with without wheels, skate boards, inline skates and leashes... and... and... never mind.
    DISCLAIMER: Nothing here should be taken as legal advice, even if it seems silly enough to have been written by a legislator, and especially not if it appears (by remote chance) to display any evidence of erudition.

  20. #745
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    I duck onto/off the occasional sidewalk if it works for me.

    I'm on the road 95% of the time, but it is all just a matter of evaluating the situation.

    If it's safer than crazy traffic, if it's a road where the edge has tons of debris, if traffic is backed up, if I'm just going a block down before turning again, etc - why not?

    My goal is to filter through any congestion or obstacles and get back to open road again. If a short detour onto the sidewalk fits, I'm game for that.

  21. #746
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    Sidewalk or death?

    The only side walk I ride on regularly is adjacent to a major 4 and 6 lane thoroughfare that has no shoulder, and has cars that drive from 40 to 60 mph (limit is 45).
    Whether or not I am more likely to get in an accident on the sidewalk is irrelevant in light of the fact that I would probably be killed at some point on that road.
    As it is, there is little pedestrian traffic as this is in sprawling suburban hell.
    Last edited by Stig O'Tracy; 07-13-10 at 01:28 PM. Reason: grammar

  22. #747
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Jesus H Christ, we sometimes ride on sidewalks that are devoid of Peds, where it is legal to do so, provides a great alternative to the 40-60 MPH Mad Max roadways, yet we are horrible, horrible people? I don't get it.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

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  23. #748
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    OMG, has this thread really been going on for years? Sidewalks for bikes should be the exception, never the rule. If you're mistakenly in the camp that thinks all bikes should be on the sidewalk, there is only one safe way for that to happen. Cyclists need to approximate the speed of pedestrians, yield to all pedestrians, stop or reduce speed greatly at every driveway or business entrance, and absolutely STOP at every cross street. This is quite obviously not practical for any commuting or training cyclist averaging 13-20+mph. My opinion is that sidewalks are special bail options for special situations. I'll gladly jump up to an empty sidewalk at speed to give more room to a large vehicle (with large mirrors!) overtaking me, and promptly jump back down to the roadway. In winter with my studded tires, I'll gladly ride on an icy rutted sidewalk to give room to drivers challenged by a narrowed roadway due to plowing (I even find it fun). For a double-parked truck I'll carefully slow and use the sidewalk as an alternative if I think it'll help overall traffic flow maintain a higher level of safety. Other than these and perhaps a handful of other special situations I'm fully in the street as a vehicle of equal standing.

  24. #749
    Kaffee Nazi danarnold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Observer View Post
    Nobody can possibly do 50+ mph on a bicycle. Even if it were possible, a flimsy vehicle like a bicycle going at those speeds would almost immediately wobble and shake out of control and send the cyclist flying right off the seat. From my experience, it's even quite impossible to do 30 even on level ground; in fact, the highest speed I ever reached on my 24 speed mountain bike is 27 miles per hour, and that was on a rural road going straight up and down about a 25 degree, nearly 800 foot slope, and I was going straight downhill.
    You might try 1) riding a good road bike, 2) learn to use Google. Cyclists have, in special circumstances gone over 100 mph, and in the Tour de France reach speeds over 70 mph down hill. Up to a point bicycles actually get more stable as they go faster due to the gyroscopic effect of spinning wheels.

    Although I usually ride on the flats at around 20 mph, I routinely hit 30 in a short sprint. . . a VERY short sprint. Tour riders routinely sprint around 40 mph on the flats.

    It is humbling to realize that these guys can go in mph, faster than I can in kph.

  25. #750
    Senior Member liquefied's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Observer View Post
    Nobody can possibly do 50+ mph on a bicycle. Even if it were possible, a flimsy vehicle like a bicycle going at those speeds would almost immediately wobble and shake out of control and send the cyclist flying right off the seat. From my experience, it's even quite impossible to do 30 even on level ground; in fact, the highest speed I ever reached on my 24 speed mountain bike is 27 miles per hour, and that was on a rural road going straight up and down about a 25 degree, nearly 800 foot slope, and I was going straight downhill.
    You're right. The fastest I could ever get up to on a downhill was 49.7mph. 50 is impossible!

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