I think riding on the sidewalk is fine if you are paying attention and show courtesy. I've observed as a pedestrian though some cyclists who decide that once they are on the sidewalk they will stay on their straight path ring their bells incessantly at pedestrians to get out of the way rather than bypass them. Not the majority though.
Aside from the fact that it's illegal, I don't ride on sidewalks for these additional reasons:
1) too many pedestrians in your way;
2) too bumpy
3) too many obstructions
Let me point out the obvious:
This is biased and merely a survey, not a study, as pointed out in the '05 post by poster John C. Ratliff which you can find a link to here.(which I found since it was quote above) There is a difference between getting into a sidewalk accident and one with a motor vehicle weighing over 2,000 pounds and likely hauling it, so you cannot compare the two.
But most important, even on this cycling forum most people use their bicycle as a toy often carried on a car carrier and are dilettantes who cycle to nowhere, or are wannabe racers. Now the minority of cyclists in the Anglosphere who actually use cycling for actual day to day activities like commuting, grocery hauling or getting to appointments, have a very different reality. The wannabe roadies just stick to their "routes" by which mean they mean rides to nowhere under the most optimal roads they can find in their area for cycling. For people that get things done, however, if you have an option to pretend to take a lane on a motorway with a speed limit of 45 mph or more(meaning cars will actually be going about 50-60 mph) or a sidewalk, what would you do? Pretend that you can cycle at 50 mph, assume that every driver will see you in time to avoid you?
Cycling is not a happy family, infact in many ways cycling is an exercise in restrained terror in the Anglosphere because of the "car first" laws and urban planning. It is easy for all the toy recreational cyclists and pro roadie wannabes to point their hypocrite fingers -- because they are motorists to the core as they get behind an automobile to actually get to wherever they have to in life and not on a bicycle. They tend to use the bicycle only for recreation or training, thus they can cherry pick suitable routes and make their disgusting condemnations against sidewalk riding. But when you want to get things done in a country hostile to cycling, riding on the sidewalk is often the only sensible choice.Quote:
Originally Posted by Transportation Alternatives
Get lost toy cyclists and get off your car seats, too. That is all, I am sick of you.
Unkindly as possible,
No, I don't have issues in the case you are describing. What we have here is yet another thread in an English language cycling forum where yet another group of alleged cyclists are condemning real cyclists for riding on the sidewalk when there are perhaps good reasons(like the fact that you cannot pretend to be automobile when you cannot compete for that space in terms of mass or speed vis a vis cars). In contextualizing such patterns of condemnation we must understand that most cyclists in our part of the world are toy cyclists, people who actually use the motor vehicle for everything related to their actual life and daily activities. For them cycling is just for joy rides, exercise, acting like a Lance Armstrong wannabe, etc. Since this is the case, the two groups are like oil and water. The motorists who also happen to cycle when they feel like it, can often easily piece together routes where they can pretend to be a motor vehicle on lightly used surface roads or roads with ample shoulder lanes. Those who actually cycle for transport find themselves having to *gasp* cycle on the sidewalk for intervals instead of competing with cars going at 45+ mph or if there is only one shoulder in one direction, *gasp* riding against traffic! It is amazing the different realities for the motorists-cyclists of convenience and those who cycle as a means of transport.
Now I get the sense you were offended because you are perhaps an arch-escapist and people who don't want to live in reality, work hard to escape from it. Thus when I pointed out a depressing fact about the actual state of cycling in the USA, you got offended. My advice: solicit advice on a Victoria's Secret forum for pantyhose, so you can at least take your offense in a more appropriate attire. I don't care where you fit into this dichotomy which exists and I like to often draw attention to.
While I do not agree with Thrasymachus's tone, he (and I make that assumption based on the user-name) does make some valid points. Here in the US, and especially where I live here in N. Ga., cyclists have absolutely been disenfranchised as far as cycling infrastructure improvements go. Our entire efforts are represented by a few yellow caution signs with a picture of a cyclist, and the words, "SHARE THE ROAD". We don't even have any sidewalks, so that option is not available here.
I see absolutely no reason why a network of cycle and walking roads could not be built that traverse the country, other than politics and stupidity. The cost would be a pittance compared to what our government wastes on a daily basis, and could be an invaluable resource in times of emergency.They could even make them toll-roads, and offset the cost somewhat, and provide some support facilities such as bathrooms and water fountains every 10 miles, and maybe even some campgrounds and rest stops. Why can't we have a bicycle and pedestrian interstate? We pay the same taxes as everyone else.
If you doubt that bicycles are a viable transportation system, I call your attention to Vietnam, I am a Vietnam Vet, and I can personally testify that we failed to prevail in the conflict because of 60 year-old men and women on bicycles. We could strafe convoys, bomb roads, put up roadblocks, etc,...but we could not stop these peasants on cruiser bikes, carrying as much as 100 pounds of supplies each, riding at night through jungle paths. Between that, and that infernal system of tunnels they had, they were almost impossible to completely defeat. We were sent packing by a bunch of old men and women....on bicycles.
"Every person riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk or crosswalk must be granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to a pedestrian by this chapter."
I ride on the sidewalk all day, every day. The people in cars are too nuts around here and I'd rather slow down and ride on the sidewalk than get rear ended at 30 mph. The law states that bicycles are permitted on sidewalks except for the downtown business district. Everything else is fair game.
Interesting discussions in this thread. I take the approach of Robert Hurst in "The Art of Cycling." The bicycle gives us a great advantage in that it can go almost anywhere. We need to take advantage of the safest infrastructure available when we ride. This will vary by location, and by the skill and confidence of the rider. I tend to be more of a VC guy...my personal evidence has shown me that in most circumstances it's safest for me. But I will jump onto a sidewalk, a bike lane, even a separated bike path for a period where VC riding introduces what I see as unacceptable risk or traffic intensity. Riding on the sidewalk or a trail requires a much different set of skills and awareness than riding in the traffic lane. Not better or even easier, but different.
While I haven't taken the time to fully read the entire thread, I might add that you'll need at bare minimum a rugged HT mountain bike to traverse the sidewalks in my area, and also have mastered the technique of bunny-hopping over curbs.
Legality or safety matters aside, it amazes me that the roadways are so smooth with 16-ton trucks driving on them all day long, yet sidewalks which typically don't bear much more than a few hundred pounds of pedestrian, are dilapidated beyond recognition. Sometimes I see six inch or more ruts of concrete sticking up out of the pavement. Drunks and homeless bums break tire-slashing liquor and beer bottles on the sidewalk pretty much on a daily basis. Wheelchair ramps are hit and miss; about 50% of crossings have them and 50% don't. You had better have memorized the exact locations of these. If you ride a roadbike down a wheelchair ramp on one side of the crosswalk and just assume that there will be another ramp to ride up on the other side, you're liable to slam your front wheel head-on into an 8-inch curb and endo yourself face-first into the pavement. Even if you manage to get back up, congrats, you've successfully tacoed your front wheel and will likely be limping the bike home.
Best to stick to the roads IMO. But then you have to plan your route. Do I ride on the edge of a 45mph 5-lane highway in rush hour traffic when everyone's driving 60, and risk getting hit by a distracted driver, or ride through the ghettos and risk getting shot?:injured:
Here in Utah, I get the Mormons riding by trying to convert me, instead I give them a preaching on Bicycle Safety.
I watched 2 LDS Missionarys cause a serious 2 car collision last year, riding the wong way on the side walk.
Thats a double bad...
Yes, I'm having a difficult time imagining what happened here.
The spead of a bicycle puts a bicycle in a place on a sidewalk that an auto driver does not expect.
The other crash I saw this year was a bicycle on the sidewalk headed East crossing the freeway ramp, drivers are looking to the left, not expecting fast traffic from the right.
I would say, if you wanna go fast, take the roadway or bike lane. If you choose the sidewalk, move slow, you're the dangerous vehicle to pedestrians now and motorists won't be watching the sidewalks for fast moving objects. I have been riding the sidewalks in urban areas for a long time now, I always travel at a slower pace and never expect a driver to see me first when I come to a driveway or other such intersection.
I have heard of cyclists killing pedestrians on the local paths here, at least one incident in the past. It all comes to the dominant vehicles having to share the medium on which they're operating on as appropriate and being aware.
Japan has millions of everyday cyclists, mothers, fathers, businessmen, housewives, the elderly and children, yet cycling lanes and other infrastructure are practically nonexistent. As a result sidewalk cycling has become the socially accepted norm in Japan and will remain so until sufficient cycling infrastructure is provided. The article below examines the current situation in Japan:
Metropolis - News & Features | Sidewalk Circus
In a polite and structured society like Japan, there is a greater than average chance of being able to cycle on the sidewalks without being selfish about it. There is no mention of incidents of rude or dangerous cyclists.
It just sounds like a matter of foreigners attempting to enforce their ideology upon the japanese. Why fix something that isn't broken?
I always thought riding on the sidewalk was illegal in Illinois. I recently discovered that Illinois actually permits cyclists to freely use the sidewalk as long as it is not otherwise posted.
625 ILCS 5/11-1512
Sec. 11-1512. Bicycles on sidewalks. (a) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
(b) A person shall not ride a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, where such use of bicycles is prohibited by official traffic-control devices.
(c) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
I always get yelled at by walkers to get on the road when I go on the sidewalk here. I usually only go on sidewalks when I'm biking into in extremely strong headwinds (40+km/h) and can't maintain a good speed.