This morning on my way in I had to deal with a guy that was riding on the sidewalks, getting off the sidewalk if there was none and then riding the wrong way down the road. I watched him run two lights both with cars coming and get almost hit at the second light. When I caught him a little later he was back on the sidewalk so I told I thought he was stupid for riding like that. I just kept going at that point but clearly I had pissed him off. So I pull in to the shopping center to buy my lunch for the day and he comes looking for me and a fight because I said he was being stupid. This guy just wants to fight I can see it but we have a conversation I listen and I am patient while he tells me how I am going to be hit and killed before he ever is because I ride in the road.
So then I get him to listen to one little bit of information about riding against traffic and I can see it in his eyes that he understands now. I tell him about simple physics. He is riding down the road at say 20mph and a car coming up behind him is doing 40mph. If that car hits him it will be a 20mph accident for closing speeds. But if you take the same speeds and have him riding against traffic he is now going to be hit at 60mph.
He later came up to me in the store and thanked me for that information. I believe he listened to me about that at least. Because it was 10 minutes later and he had time to actually think about what I said. Maybe there will be one less wrong way cyclist now.
Does anyone have a real good argument against sidewalk cycling? The standard more cyclists on sidewalks get hit then in the road does not seem plausible to the average person riding on the sidewalk. Telling them about statistics does not help because they are already set in their mind that it is safer.