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  1. #1
    Senior Member kb0tnv's Avatar
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    Teenager is killed in bike-truck crash - Example of why cyclists are safer on roads

    Teenager is killed in bike-truck crash

    http://tinyurl.com/5vugv

    Sad but just another example of why sidewalks are not safer for cyclists. My favorite quote was the end, O'Fallon Police Capt. Mike Skeen said, "As far as I can see, there is probably no blame on the driver; I don't think either one saw the other one until the last minute, and it was just too late for everybody to stop."

    Truck 1, Cyclist (ped) 0

    I state ped because he wasn't on the road where he should have been. Also nowhere do they recommend cyclists to get on the road and to stay off the sidewalks. Cars rule and everyone else stay off the sidewalks and the streets!

    Sad...

    Keep Cycling!

    kb0tnv
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  2. #2
    Junior Member miyooo's Avatar
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    that's really sad. i'm just starting out, and i ride on the sidewalk a lot when i commute around....it's kinda hard in the suburbs because there's NO shoulder to busy streets and drivers can be pretty rude. you're right, though, cars probably don't look for bikes on sidewalks...but i don't blame the kid for not riding on the street because cars can be intimidating especially when you don't know what kind of dummies are driving them. got any tips to riding with traffic? it's probably just something i'll get with experience.

  3. #3
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    miyoo,
    google "John Forester" or "vehicular cycling" and read some of those sites. I think that I speak for most forum members in strongly recommending that you do not ride on the sidewalk. In seems safer, but isn't!

  4. #4
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Take the entire lane if you need to (no shoulders) but do NOT ride on sidewalk.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  5. #5
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    Miyoo: in a nutshell: take the lane when you need to. Obey traffic signs and lights. Signal clearly. Ride like a vehicle and you get treated like a vehicle.

    It's hard work for a newbie not to be intimidated into the gutter or off the road but play tough, hold your ground and you'll be surprised how smoothly things go.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kb0tnv's Avatar
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    Yes it can be tough riding on the road and easier to "stay out of the way" by riding on the sideWALK. But you can ride on the road with confidence. It takes time, education and skill. You may even try finding a better route. If not then try riding it when there is less traffic to build experience and confidence. Also if you can find a League of American Bicyclists Road I coarse in your area take it. I am scheduled for mine in March. You can never have enough education or experience. The more time and experience you get the less likelyhood you will ever have to deal with a major crash. I ride on some narrow roads and make sure that when it is too narrow for a car to pass me to take the whole lane. Most cars just follow. I will move over when I know they can pass me safely. Some honk but rarely. Of course they don't get a clue or don't think I should be there. They don't understand that it safer for me to be in front of them than for them to be at my side where they will most likely either A.) sideswip me or B.) turn into me. That is why I believe we need to teach cycling education and motor education at the same time in schools. Another suggestion is to ride your area on a Saturday and have someone follow you in a vehicle. Or even try riding it with a more experienced cyclist.

    Keep Cycling!
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  7. #7
    Cyclocrosser.
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    I take my entire damn lane. Why? because if you don't, people will pass you in the same lane making it even MORE dangerous. About the only times I don't take my lane is if there is a wide shoulder (on say, a fast road?) and if I can safely stick to the side and be passed.
    Woot: 'bLog

  8. #8
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    I taught my 7 year old niece to ride a bicycle last month. She rides on the sidewalk and dismounts to cross streets. I told her to be very careful about cars pulling out of driveways. Should she be riding in the street?

    Most cyclists who get killed by cars are riding in the street. A lot of motorists and passengers are killed in accidents in the street every day. Streets are dangerous, sidewalks and driveways are less dangerous. If you want to believe sidewalks are more dangerous, go ahead. Just be careful where ever you ride. I ride in the street but not because it is safer. For recreational cycling I prefer single track trail, fire road or bike path. Yes, I prefer to ride where cars aren't allowed.

    I have been a bike messenger for 18yrs, and I don't own a functioning car. I use a bicycle for work and any time I need to go some where. I'm not telling anybody to ride on the sidewalk, but to hold up this poor child as an example of how not to ride seems cold hearted and the conclusion that riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous is just plain wrong. Shame on you!

  9. #9
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15
    Streets are dangerous, sidewalks and driveways are less dangerous. If you want to believe sidewalks are more dangerous, go ahead.
    from: http://bikesense.bc.ca/ch4.htm

    Several studies have proven that cyclists on sidewalks face a far greater collision risk than cyclists on the roadway. The main danger points are driveways and street crossings where sidewalk cyclists surprise motorists and pedestrians by appearing from unexpected directions.

    from: http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/accident.htm

    How to Avoid Traffic Accidents...there are five general ways to avoid traffic accidents: 1) obey the traffic laws,...Group II crashes (54.3%) are all intersection collisions...There are four kinds of collisions in which the motor vehicle was turning.. The solutions for these accidents are 1) to not bicycle on the sidewalk,
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker
    from: http://bikesense.bc.ca/ch4.htm

    Several studies have proven that cyclists on sidewalks face a far greater collision risk than cyclists on the roadway. The main danger points are driveways and street crossings where sidewalk cyclists surprise motorists and pedestrians by appearing from unexpected directions.

    from: http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/traffic/accident.htm

    How to Avoid Traffic Accidents...there are five general ways to avoid traffic accidents: 1) obey the traffic laws,...Group II crashes (54.3%) are all intersection collisions...There are four kinds of collisions in which the motor vehicle was turning.. The solutions for these accidents are 1) to not bicycle on the sidewalk,
    I only asked one question in my post. Is this the answer? Clarify.

  11. #11
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15
    Clarify.
    With proper guidance, supervision, on an appropriate street, she can learn skills to be safe just as we all do. Don't throw her out somewhere she can't handle. Just because she can "balance" doesn't mean she can ride a bike. It's good that you taught her to dismount when crossing an intersection. Maybe you should also have her do the same at driveways if you insist on her riding on sidewalks, since they are intersections too.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 12-31-04 at 09:50 AM.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15
    I guess it is important for advocates of cyclists' right to the road to play up sidewalks as a dangerous alternative.
    Accidents are studied to see the causes that led to them and to avoid future collisions.

    Sidewalk riding results in many collisions. That's why it is not recommended.

    It's pretty simple.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
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  13. #13
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    7 year old should ride in the street or wait until she is grown up to ride a bike? She goes about as fast as a jogger, she already knows how to walk on a sidewalk safely. I think she can bike like a pedestrian, looking out for cars in driveways, walking bike across the street, etc. I think it is safer that way.

    You link to Ken Kifer. He was a great advocate of safe riding in traffic, but he did get run over by a car.

    Advocates for bikers' right to the road want to make sidewalk riding sound like a dangerous alternative. People with common sense may dismiss your entire argument when they hear this point. When advocating for cyclists please stay off the sidewalk. Don't even go there, it makes you look like a kook.

  14. #14
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15
    7 year old should ride in the street or wait until she is grown up to ride a bike?

    Is she an adult at 7? Can she make decisions like an adult? I mentioned a compromise for sidewalk riding (if she gets off the bike at all driveways and intersections) and mentioned supervised riding (would you let a 7 year old go down the street alone anyway?) but hey, it's a free world. I'm sure she isn't going to hurt anyone (except for herself).


    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15
    You link to Ken Kifer. He was a great advocate of safe riding in traffic, but he did get run over by a car.
    Oh dear. I don't think you want to say that. Ken was killed by a drunk driver who came from the other side of the street. Are you saying he would not have been killed had he been riding on the sidewalk?


    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15
    Advocates for bikers' right to the road want to make sidewalk riding sound like a dangerous alternative.
    It's been the conclusion of accident investigations that sidewalk riding sounding like a dangerous alternative, is exactly that.


    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15
    People with common sense may dismiss your entire argument when they hear this point. When advocating for cyclists please stay off the sidewalk. Don't even go there, it makes you look like a kook.
    If your experiance with people shows my links are the opinions of kooks, I guess that's the way you see things but I'm still riding, unlike the unfortunate fellow in the story at the top of this thread who might have been with the people's thoughts who dismiss my entire argument that want to make sidewalk riding sound like a dangerous alternative and isn't riding anymore.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 12-31-04 at 11:43 AM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    I taught my children to ride on the streets when they were 4 yrs old, because that is the way to travel by bike. I rode behind them so I could watch how they were riding and tell them what to do, and what to watch for. I also rode further out from the edge of the road, so passing cars wouldn't go too close to them. It took a while for them to learn how to look behind for the traffic and maintain a straight line, and about who has to yield when, but I didnt let them out by themselves until they knew how to handle the traffic on the neighborhood streets.

    I sometimes ride on sidewalks, but I do so very cautiously because I know motorists and peds are not expecting a bike in that area. Cars turning into driveways look for people going at walking pace on the sidewalks.

  16. #16
    Junior Member miyooo's Avatar
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    thanks for the suggesstions...since i was afraid of getting sidewiped it's good to know i can take up the WHOLE lane if i have to! i actually wasn't even sure if that was legal... seriously, there aren't many other cyclists in my town (chicago suburbs/nw IN)and i think i just see occasional sidewalk cyclist because they've been drinking. it would be nice to have someone to ride with, but i'll get used to the street on my own. as far as the sidewalks--they're pretty bumpy and icy anyway...it sounds stupid but last time i ended up having to go across A LOT of grass (on my road bike) because it ended really abruptly.

  17. #17
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by miyooo
    thanks for the suggesstions...since i was afraid of getting sidewiped it's good to know i can take up the WHOLE lane if i have to! i actually wasn't even sure if that was legal
    Where I live, in most instances if I were to dare to take the whole lane, I would be patching potholes with my torso. There is absolutely no question about it. I ride where it's safe for me to ride. Sometimes that means riding where it's not legal. I don't need to be a legal-rider in a casket.

  18. #18
    demon speeder soda's Avatar
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    miyooo: ride in the street, it's safer

    As for 7 year olds riding their bikes in the street, correct me if I'm wrong but if we all consider ourselves as "cars" on the road, doesn't that also imply we need to have a driver's license? How can any child without a driver's license legally be on the road?
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  19. #19
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but 2 things could've happened.

    1. The truck was pulling in AFTER the kid entered its path and proceeded to run the kid over with the front of the truck, he went under, the back tires ran him over again, and he died. Or the kid and truck both reached the same space at the same time, then the kid fell over, and the truck kept turning, running over the kid, THEN stopped. In this case, it's the driver's fault for a) not looking to see if there was a fast moving vehicle on the sidewalk before making the turn and b) not stopping immediately after the initial impact.

    2. The truck was pulling in BEFORE the kid slammed into it. In which case, the kid either couldn't stop in time or wasn't looking and slammed into the middle of the truck and went under the back wheel, in that case, it really isn't the driver's fault. I was drafting too close once and the car in front of me slammed on the brakes. I ran up over the back of a minivan, ripped the bumper off, and dented the rear door, then I kept going. Hit n' run on a bike. Not proud of it.

  20. #20
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Fortunately, most of my immediate neighborhood is sidewalk-free, so my boys grew up having to know how to ride their bikes in the street. However, I did restrict them to slower streets with lots of pedestrian and bicycle traffic until they got a bit older. I don't advocate putting 4-year-old bicyclists in the streets, but teenagers are generally safer in the street than on the sidewalk, just as adults are.
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  21. #21
    misses the city
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    If you are on a sidewalk, you should be walking. Period. Not just because it's safer for YOU, but because you are (unless you are say, under 16 or so) capable of going many times the speed of pedestrians. You DO have the option, if you don't feel safe riding in the street for a section, of getting OFF of your bike and walking it.

    Sidewalks are for walking.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    For vacation, I am visiting/riding in Raliegh NC. It is sooo yuppie suburb cliche. No white line, just curb and sidewalks connecting up to the zillions of malls and paths.
    Most cyclists who get killed by cars are riding in the street
    Where are the cars?
    I am familiar with the ordinances and such restricting sidewalk use, but I believe as a whole for safe city riding one has to look at the full equation. To interfere with traffic in a rush hour scenario is a recipe for disaster, and to ride sidewalks airheadedly is as well. One must be fully aware at all times when there are cars about. They WILL cut in front for turns if you let them. They WILL NOT see you from a sidewalk usually. So, if you are on a sidewalk, assume you are in a round of frogger, don't expect them to stop or care.
    In most cases I will take to the blacktop without reserve, but here the soccer-mom-SUV-cell phone using drivers are another world. As such, I will drive however keeps me out from under their bumpers. That means using any combination of the options in a sane manner.
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  23. #23
    demon speeder soda's Avatar
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    Understood, but I'm still unclear as to the LAW regarding biking on the street without a driver's license. As I said above, if a cyclist is considered a car in the eyes of the law, then it's easy to conclude that you need to be of driving age to ride your bike on the street.

    true? false?
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  24. #24
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soda
    Understood, but I'm still unclear as to the LAW regarding biking on the street without a driver's license.
    Generally speaking, licences are required for things that have a serious potential to harm others. Cars do, bikes don't. You are still required to follow traffic law though, and can be ticketed by the police if you don't.
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  25. #25
    demon speeder soda's Avatar
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    Okay, that makes sense but isn't a license required to get moving violation ticket?
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