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Old 05-20-08, 06:19 AM   #1
accorn
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adult trike on sidewalk vs road

I know this seems to be a highly debated topic.
I will be riding an adult tricycle with a built in child seat - and for most part riding on the road.
Near the main section of my small city however there is one particularly heavy intersection I will have to cross to get to a grocery store (almost always 4-6 cars in each lane during the day). One hazard of this intersection is that where you have to merge with the left hand turn lane, there is another small road merging with the intersection to the left. In addition there is a large building at the entrance of the intersection blocking the view of the cars that are merging from that small road.
Normally when I drive by car I am very cautious merging into that left hand lane as there is often someone trying to get into the intersection from that other small road and I know they can't see me.

Anyways.. I'm just trying to figure out what is safer in this case, since I will be transporting a child with me.
As I see it I have 3 choices.
(1) Ride like a vehicle in this intersection, just being extra extra careful.
(2) I can go an alternative rout altogether, but that would require me to go through more busy intersections (but none of them have extra roads merging with blocked views)
(3) I can use the sidewalk - going really slow or dismounting and walking across.

Just wondering what people would pick if you where transporting a child on a fairly large tricycle?
The conventional dogma seems to suggest that sidewalks have more danger since cars are not expecting you, but being new to biking i'm not sure.
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Old 05-20-08, 06:41 AM   #2
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A few Questions????

Do you already have the trike. I transport a child daily on my Bikes using a TAB and a trailer.

What is an address of the intersections so we can look at a goolge map of the intersection.

Riding a bike on a sidewalk is HARD riding a trike on a sidewalk will be VERY HARD as the widht of the trike will not allow you to navigate pedestrians and other bit on the sidewalk..

Fire Hydrents,
New paper machines,
telephone poles with guide wires.

I have ridden on the sidewalk and i prefer it in on area as thre is almost no pedestrain traffic. and the wiidth of the sidewalk is greater the 6 ft and the road is 40mph with now shodler or lane.
Wheni wam with the kids i use the sidewalk if i am by myself i take the lane.
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Old 05-20-08, 08:09 PM   #3
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Hi - I'm still waiting for the trike to be delivered (it's custom built) but the order is final so it's what I have .

Here is the google map link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie...to&iwloc=A&f=d

The intersection I was talking about was going church street, taking a left onto memorial drive (rt 2). You can see on the map how church street and eagle street merge into one before the intersection, and there is this large V between them (that is the large building). And then center street merges into that from the left side.

Since you prefer the sidewalk with your child, that would indicate you feel it's safer.
I've read the dominant opinion seems to be that the road is the safest for a bike - even though it might not feel that way.
Not sure if I buy it or not though.
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Old 05-20-08, 09:30 PM   #4
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get a very bright triangle and load each rear wheel with reflectors on the sides and rear people driving cant see a trike ive had a few close calls on mine. that definetly have no place on a sidewalk
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Old 05-20-08, 10:06 PM   #5
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Hi Sledbikes,

Thanks for the tips.
I'm somewhat surprised you said people can't see your trike from the rear - since they are bigger I would think they would be more visible than a standard bike? (Unless it is one of the low to the ground ones?)
Anyways just curious if you wanted to share more .
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Old 05-21-08, 08:06 AM   #6
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Riding on the road is generally safer than riding on the sidewalk, but I have encountered occasional exceptions, typically short links which either bypass a nasty intersection, avoid sequential difficult left turns, etc.
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Old 05-21-08, 06:17 PM   #7
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I would dismount and cross. If you ride your bike to the crosswalk (on the right side) you will only be taking your trike on the xwalk. Take the two part left turn, and then continue riding on the road.

Am I understanding your manouver correctly?

Geez - the whole town looks to be less than two miles across. Why are people driving to the mall? They have lost the ability to walk one mile?
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Old 05-22-08, 07:57 AM   #8
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the ONLY time I am on the sidewalk with my kids is on roads where i am WITH traffice and the sidewalk is wide enough for PEDtirans and my bike AND free of hazards.
on the road i am on the sidewalk i mets ALL those criteria plus the speed of the cages is 50mph.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:07 AM   #9
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FWIW, my wife rides a trike, in the road, and the autos actually give her more courtesy than they do me on my road bikes.
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Old 05-22-08, 09:10 AM   #10
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they fear that the axles will scratch the paint.
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Old 05-22-08, 11:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
FWIW, my wife rides a trike, in the road, and the autos actually give her more courtesy than they do me on my road bikes.
I've read drastically different reaction to trikes on this forum.. from being stared at, screamed at, and treated better. Got to wonder what other variables are involved Is your wife really hot? That might explain it.

At any rate - thanks everyone for your perspective. I've just ordered the book "Effective Cycling" which I guess has a lot to say about the topic. I'm also at the moment planning to drive it alone on the road to see how I feel and will decide from that.
I've notice many people ride the roads in my area in some parts of town, but near downtown they tend to use sidewalks. Maybe a large trike on the road will tip the scales!
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Old 05-24-08, 05:43 AM   #12
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What sort of trike is it? One of those recumbent types or a more upright type? Just curious. I always wonder how safe one feels on those very low to the ground trikes. I think I would love riding one, not certain how visible a rider is to overtaking traffic, however.

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Old 05-24-08, 06:03 AM   #13
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I regularly ride a tricycle and I've never had any problems with riding in traffic. Because it's wider drivers tend to treat a tricycle like another car on the road and give me a lot more room when it comes to passing and the like. As Tom has reported about his wife's tricycle I've also been treated with nothing but courtesy by drivers - and that includes the drivers of the big rig logging trucks we get passing through town.
Being visible does help quite a bit and since I sit very high on my retro-Edwardian tricycle I'm very much in plain view.
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Old 05-24-08, 07:06 AM   #14
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Riding on the road is generally safer than riding on the sidewalk, but I have encountered occasional exceptions, typically short links which either bypass a nasty intersection, avoid sequential difficult left turns, etc.

+1. It is hard to imagine that riding on the road could be safer than riding on the sidewalk, but my experience evidences this phenom.

USA automobile drivers just are not accustomed to people or bicycles on sidewalks. The sidewalk traffic is too light.

As a result, many/most drivers make turns without looking at sidewalk traffic. This, I think will be your greatest risk and is one of the greatest contributors to auto-pedestrian and auto-bicycle accidents.

If you can ride a sidewalk without crossing streets, then sidewalks would be safer, of course.
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Old 05-24-08, 07:07 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sianelle View Post
I regularly ride a tricycle and I've never had any problems with riding in traffic. Because it's wider drivers tend to treat a tricycle like another car on the road and give me a lot more room when it comes to passing and the like. As Tom has reported about his wife's tricycle I've also been treated with nothing but courtesy by drivers - and that includes the drivers of the big rig logging trucks we get passing through town.
Being visible does help quite a bit and since I sit very high on my retro-Edwardian tricycle I'm very much in plain view.
Wow, Sianelle, that is a handsome machine. Where did you get it? It almost looks like one of the better-made Flying Pigeon bicycles made in China for the local market or for African/Indian export (heavy duty). Ironically, the Chinese bicycles made for the China/Africa/Tansania markets are much better made than the Chinese cycles we see in the USA or other developed countries.

I think the leather saddle-bag really adds a lot of class! Very nice.

Last edited by mike; 05-24-08 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 05-24-08, 04:07 PM   #16
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It's actually an 2005 Indian built Hercules Mike and it's a very soundly constructed traditional roadster bicycle. I own an 1953 English Hercules as well and the two bicycles are as alike as peas in a pod. I converted it to a tricycle myself using an axle intended for the custom bicycle market and it's proved to be very much a trouble free ride
I own a home market Chinese 'Wu-Yang' roadster bicycle as well and as you have commented they are robustly made as compared with bicycles intended for Western markets.
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Old 05-24-08, 05:10 PM   #17
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It's actually an 2005 Indian built Hercules Mike and it's a very soundly constructed traditional roadster bicycle. I own an 1953 English Hercules as well and the two bicycles are as alike as peas in a pod. I converted it to a tricycle myself using an axle intended for the custom bicycle market and it's proved to be very much a trouble free ride
I own a home market Chinese 'Wu-Yang' roadster bicycle as well and as you have commented they are robustly made as compared with bicycles intended for Western markets.
Well, my very best compliments to you, Sianelle!
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Old 05-27-08, 01:40 AM   #18
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What sort of trike is it?
It's an upright type.
See this page to see a picture of it if your curious:
http://www.industrialbicycles.com/Pa...ld_Chariot.htm
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