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Old 10-13-08, 06:27 PM   #1
Rodjs
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Bad Sidewalks

Who is responsible for the transition area of sidewalks where they cross driveways?
I crashed my new bike on the way home from work a few weeks ago due to a bad area where a private drive exits into a state highway.
I was literally tossed out into the middle of the right hand lane like a ragdoll, luckily behind a group of vehicles that had just passed going the opposite direction. Maybe I should not have been going against the flow of traffic, but there is no sidewalk and a nasty turn lane on the opposite side of the road.
I was on the sidewalk so I didn't think it mattered if I was against the flow or with it.
My ribs were bruised, and my left arm still hurts pretty good.
There are future plans by the state to rebuild and expand the intersection 30 or so yards away, my question is, can I get back a days lost wages due to poor maintenance?
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Old 10-13-08, 06:29 PM   #2
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Where I live it is NOT LEGAL to ride on a Sidewalk.
What are your regulations?
Why were you going so fast?
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Old 10-13-08, 06:32 PM   #3
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ya know, honestly I haven't even checked that out, my bad. Sorry , don't have my homework all done yet.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:34 PM   #4
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ya know, honestly I haven't even checked that out, my bad. Sorry , don't have my homework all done yet.
Sorry for your hurts. They take away the fun of riding.
You sound young. You will heal fast.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:44 PM   #5
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I'll be 40 in April, I checked the Indiana bicycle law, don't see anything about sidewalks, I did find out though that I am breaking the law riding in the dark with no powered lights, oops, I've been passed by state and local police, guess they don't look into those laws to much, figure I'm not worth the hassle.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:47 PM   #6
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You are important. They just had bigger crooks to catch. Haha.
Call your local police station and ask about sidewalk riding.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:49 PM   #7
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in another forum, you asked that I post pics of myself, bike and commute. Well my bike is a 07' Trek 820, my commute is from Mishawaka, Indiana to the east side of Elkhart, Indiana about 13 miles.
For myself, I'm 6'4" 274- lbs, I been known to break camera lenses, so I don't photo well.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:50 PM   #8
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Why were you going so fast?
He never said he was going fast. I went over the handlebars in a similar situation and I was going no faster than a walking pace. If your front wheel gets sucked down or stuck in a rut, you don't need a lot of speed to get catapulted.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:54 PM   #9
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He never said he was going fast. I went over the handlebars in a similar situation and I was going no faster than a walking pace. If your front wheel gets sucked down or stuck in a rut, you don't need a lot of speed to get catapulted.
At 274 lbs it wouldn't take much speed to crash.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:54 PM   #10
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If the OP didn't see the "big rut" in time, then they were going too fast.

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At 274 lbs it wouldn't take much speed to crash.
I don't see where weight would make much difference in the case of a big rut. A 130lb weakling can just as well succumb to a big fat pothole.

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Old 10-13-08, 06:57 PM   #11
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Might have been something breaking on the bike?
Check this story:
Submitted by this bike is a killer - 9/25/2006 5:07:15 PM</B> Pros:this bike makes all your superman dreams come trueCons:extremely dangerousTime Used:Just OnceComments:DON'T BUY THIS BIKE While I mas riding my new trek 820 for the first time it was not a good first impresion and it would be the last. While rinding I heard a snap then I tried hitting the brakes. But 2 late I got thrown over the handle bars and I was superman flying in the air straight at the cement curb. My head smashed into it (luckly wearing my helmet) and I got all scraped up, was bleeding, ruined my new tee-shirt, and bruised my rib. Then I called the company and they have heard about the problem before. This is dangerous because they kow there selling a bad bike. They said that if you pick up speed this usually happens. That means I can't ride the bike I just have to walk next to it while holding it, fun. Luckly they sent me 2 models up and a new helmet because mine broke in the superman act. Don't buy this bike and if you do wear body armor.Rating: Recommendation:No I would not recommend it to a friend
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Old 10-13-08, 07:01 PM   #12
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It is very dangerous to ride on the sidewalk. People regularly get hurt there. Bikes belong on the road. I hope you heal quickly, and well.
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Old 10-13-08, 07:14 PM   #13
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Might have been something breaking on the bike?
A review written by an absolute nincompoop that rather blame the bike for his absolutely idiotic handling skills then realize the fact that he has no idea how to control a V-brake.

EDIT:
The trash-can English used by the reviewer leaves much to be desired - it is still unclear whether it was the source of the snapping sound that caused the accident, or his overreaction by slamming the brakes on. For that matter, he doesn't indicate what the snapping sound ultimately turned out to be a result of.

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Old 10-13-08, 07:45 PM   #14
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It is very dangerous to ride on the sidewalk. People regularly get hurt there. Bikes belong on the road. I hope you heal quickly, and well.
+1

'Nuff said.
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Old 10-13-08, 08:12 PM   #15
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Well i guess i was going fast for the area, I did not have my speedo hooked up yet but I'd say 14-16 mph was more accurate. It was a new bike and I expected the front tire to hook up, I'm more careful through there now. Thanks for the well wishers!
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Old 10-13-08, 08:17 PM   #16
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I have nothing against slower riders using the sidewalk, but anything over 5mph becomes a potential hazard for both rider and anyone in the vicinity, not to mention opening up chances for nailing a vehicle at an intersection.

That said, you should NOT be on the sidewalk at a 16mph clip. If you believe yourself capable of maintaining control of your bike under such speeds, it is time that you must learn proper usage of the roadway as a cyclist.

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Old 10-13-08, 10:02 PM   #17
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I concur with Kurt. Sidewalks are for pedestrians and sometimes for cyclists at pedestrian speed. (I walk at 5mph/8kph and jog at 7.5mph/12kph -- anything faster is too fast for sidewalk cycling.)
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Old 10-14-08, 04:26 AM   #18
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1. Ride with traffic, not against it.
2. Ride on the road, not the sidewalk. Bicycles have no place on sidewalks.
3. Get lights!

I doubt if anyone would compensate you for the crash you had. Please, for your own sake, begin riding safely!
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Old 10-14-08, 06:06 AM   #19
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I'll be 40 in April, I checked the Indiana bicycle law, don't see anything about sidewalks, I did find out though that I am breaking the law riding in the dark with no powered lights, oops, I've been passed by state and local police, guess they don't look into those laws to much, figure I'm not worth the hassle.
Sidewalks are generally municipal property, so you likely won't find the rules about sidewalks on State sites. Laws regulating their use are, most frequently, by-laws. Sidewalks are not designed to accomodate speedy vehicles like bicycles and often feature obstacles, imperfections, unever surfaces, broken sections and odd bumps, steps, curbs and other hazards that don't usually appear on roads. If you ride on the sidewalk, most stats that I have read---and I've read alot---suggest cyclists have an approximately 50% greater risk of collision or fall. Just saying, is all. I'm not here to make a judgement call or be a safety nanny.
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Old 10-14-08, 09:57 AM   #20
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Indiana traffic law is contained in Title 9 of the Indiana Code, accessible on-line at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title9 .

Indiana has no statewide law concerning riding bicycles on sidewalks. Motorized bicycles, like mopeds, are specifically prohibited, however. And individual cities can enact ordinances that prohibit riding the sidewalks, usually in the downtown area or business district.

Bicycles are considered vehicles in Indiana, and so as a cyclist, you're subject to the same rules and regulations as the driver of any other vehicle. That means riding on the right side of the roadway, with the flow of traffic, and not on sidewalks. Sidewalks are for pedestrian traffic, and while bikes aren't strictly banned from Indiana's sidewalks in most places, you are technically a pedestrian when you're there, must yield to all pedestrian traffic, and ride at a speed that's safe for the conditions and traffic present there.

You're also required to have a white headlight on the front of the bicycle, and either a red tail light or a red reflector on the rear. Both should be lighted when riding during the hours of darkness, and be visibible from at least 500 feet away.

Driveways and sidewalks are usually private property, and the property or business owner is responsible for their construction and maintenance. You may have a tort against the property owner for poor maintenance, but the landowner's liability will likely be lessened in that your own negligence (riding on the sidewalk, riding against traffic, riding without lights, speed too fast for conditions, etc.) contributed a great deal toward your accident. That's an issue that you'll have to contend with in civil court to get any sort of recovery from the property owner, more likely his insurer.

I'll leave you with this quote from Robert Hurst, and The Art of Urban Cycling:

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Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it.

The time-release pain of road rash, a constant companion for a week or so after any decent tumble, serves to remind the victim of What Not to Do. Don't fight it. Listen to what the road rash is telling you: "You're not that great of a cyclist. Maybe you should try a Segway. You're dangerous to yourself and others. You need practice...." Allow the humility of road rash to enter your consciousness, where it will displace malignant pride and help keep you out of the ER through your cycling career.
Ride with humility and intelligence...

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Old 10-14-08, 01:05 PM   #21
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Just a couple of miscelaneous points to the original poster.

First, I really hope you heal well. Good luck. Keep riding.

Second, your estimated speed of 14-15 mph is WAY too fast for sidewalks. It's dangerous to you and dangerous to any pedestrians.

You appear to have very little experience cycling. I say this because you crashed in a driveway crossing which means you didn't anticipate it and didn't recognise it. I encourage you to ride more defensively and really think several steps ahead wherever and whenever you ride. With more experience, you will find that nearly all dangerous situations involving bad surfaces, cars, obstacles, etc. are predictable and avoidable through riding techniques or route changes.

One last thing, in my experience, whether riding on a sidewalk is legal or illegal is determined by local/municipal laws, not state laws. I grew up with the expectation that all bicycling was done on the street, and sidewalks were off limits - unless designated "bike paths". I'm still surprised that people think sidewalks are for cycling, but understand things change. It's just bizarre to me that people think riding on sidewalks is a good idea.

Good luck!
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Old 10-14-08, 08:44 PM   #22
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This particular area is dangerous to a biker on the street, its narrow, and cagers fight for lane position right after the stop light. I raced BMX bikes from 10 to 18yrs old and rode to work alot since. I'm no expert but I'm not new to riding either. I dont have a lot of experience being heavy, when we all were young, an area of sidewalk like that would have been no prob, but now that I carry a bit more mass, I gotta compensate for a slight balance indifference. Also, not many ppl use this section of walkway, and anytime I do come upon a walker, I always play it safe and give warning and plenty of room,usually I head for the street anytime there is a chance as the dang walks are so stinking rough!
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Old 10-14-08, 09:01 PM   #23
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Time to find out what the best strategy for riding on that street is, then. Do you have the address handy so we can see a Google Maps street view?

-Kurt
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Old 10-14-08, 09:17 PM   #24
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Get lights. Walmart has red blinkers for the rear, and yoou can get LED flashlight for $2 from a $ store. This isnt enough to see the road at speed in the night, but it will allow cars to notice you. Narrow roads are OK for bikes as motorists take care to avoid scratching the paint on their carsm and will slow down if they cant pass safely. How did the bike fare in the crash. When my daugther borrowed my bike and was hit by a car, my first reaction was "how is the bike?"
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Old 10-14-08, 09:18 PM   #25
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There are parts of town where I'm always on the road, and there are parts of town where I'm always on the sidewalk. You know your town better than any of us do. Ride safe, and don't live and die by someone else's rules.
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