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  1. #1
    Senior Member Essex's Avatar
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    Tour De the **** You

    Sometimes I cycle NYC. Today I happened to be picking up Indian food in a ethnic area of Manhattan (28th st) and was dressed like a typical food delivery guy. Baggy pants, turtle neck with holes, helmet and a bag of hot Indian food hanging off my handlebar. I try to get to the road, but it is blocked tight with cars parked bumper to bumper. So, I decide to ride on the sidewalk at 2-3 mph so I can get onto Third Avenue. There is no one on the sidewalk except this muscle-head, bald guy wearing a polo short, Soho-type / Philip Johnson architect-style sunglasses. He stops me in the middle of the sidewalk, puts his hands on my chest and tells me I can't ride my bike on the sidewalk. Mind you, I am a good 7 feet to his side when he decides to stop me.

    His hand on my chest bugged the crap out of me which I let him know, whereupon he goes into a tirade about what jerk bike riders, and delivery people are. How I am breaking the law. His assumption is that I am a delivery guy, someone to be bullied. Basically, I tell the guy to bugger off which doesn't sit well with his testosterone-driven nature and he says he'll kick my ___. I find it funny as I am a black belt in judo and flashes of putting him in a Kimura, or Guillotine choke come my mind. I can't waste time on this, risk a trip to the police station and move off, but couldn't spare a parting shot at his 'designer' glasses. That really got him upset.

    The next weird thing is some guy on his Cannodale Ally road bike is wending his way up Third Avenue. He is genuinely ticked off that cars on the margin are blocking his way. When he is stopped he lets me know this. He is quite pleasant actually. However, he is like the rider with the pressed shirt in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgCqz3l33kU He starts slamming cars with his hands. Scaring the occupants.

    I don't know if it's the pollen in the air, karma, but NYC sure does get weird. Or is there higher levels of animosity growing between cyclists, pedestrians and drivers growing? So, at the end of all of this I had a good meal of Chicken Vindaloo, Naan and mixed vegetables.

  2. #2
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    That seems to be a pretty ordinary day here in New York city

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibsheHs53Xk

  3. #3
    Senior Member Essex's Avatar
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    Thanks! I am eating my second India dish while I am watching this!

    Cheers.

    Essex

  4. #4
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    That seems to be a pretty ordinary day here in New York city........

    I was cringing every time you split on a tight right side of traffic and a parked car. Too fast for my taste, especially after watching a few dooring/pinch videos.

  5. #5
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    I was cringing every time you split on a tight right side of traffic and a parked car. Too fast for my taste, especially after watching a few dooring/pinch videos.
    I've been bike commuting for over 6 years now. A while back, I was doing messenger work on motorcycles here
    in New York city also for about 5 years. I've learned a thing or two in that time You can split a bit faster if cars
    are still moving, folks in parked cars and pedestrians will stay put if traffic is still flowing(even crawling). BUT, if
    traffic is stopped be VERY careful, doors on parked cars and cars in traffic can open; peds will walk into traffic between parked cars. In all this time I've been splitting lanes, I got clipped once. A taxi passenger swung the door
    open just as I was passing. I was going very slow on my Honda Interceptor so I wasn't knocked over, just got a little bit of yellow Taxi paint on my gas tank. Anywhoo, I'm still learning everyday - now I ride with my lite on all the time, in this video you can see the reflection of my light bouncing off of the vehicles.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0slPl...hannel&list=UL

  6. #6
    Senior Member mymojo's Avatar
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    Is it legal to ride on the sidewalk in NYC?
    "It's the 41. If you don't have cool stuff, you suck. If you have cool stuff, you still suck" - Velo Gator

    "The 41 reminds me more of the big brawl scene near the end of Blazing Saddles." - mprelaw

  7. #7
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    @1nterceptor

    Locally, there's enough clueless tools disguised as motorists and peds to not even begin to filter in such a manner, plus there's the small faction that will trip you up for the fun/spite of it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Essex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mymojo View Post
    Is it legal to ride on the sidewalk in NYC?
    —AC 19-176 - Riding bicycles on sidewalks is prohibited. Bicycles may be confiscated.
    NOTE: Tickets for riding on the sidewalk fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Control Board (ECB). If you are given a ticket or summons that requires you to appear in criminal court instead, you should be able to get the ticket thrown out for lack of jurisdiction.

    Technically I am at fault. That said the slob that put his hands on me went out of his way to confront. NYC has a high concentration of crazies.

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    Watched about 3 minutes of the NYC traffic vid; glad it works for you (and others in NYC, I'm sure) -- looked pretty commando to me. Do that in my LITTLE city (pop 300K), and you WILL get intimate with a hood (not the thug kind, either, the shiny steel one!). Folks here are just f'n oblivious!

    The further along we go, the more convinced I am that this city was PROPERLY named to the Top Ten Dumbest Cities in the US.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post

    The further along we go, the more convinced I am that this city was PROPERLY named to the Top Ten Dumbest Cities in the US.
    That's a true shortest midget contest in this country.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    I don't get it. You were riding on the sidewalk...that's illegal. If you have to use the sidewalk, just walk.

    You want people to maybe high-five you?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Essex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
    I don't get it. You were riding on the sidewalk...that's illegal. If you have to use the sidewalk, just walk.

    You want people to maybe high-five you?
    I never ride the sidewalk unless I can absolutely help it. No one is on the block (with exception of the slob), it's 10:00 am in the morning and I am riding 2-3 mph so I can get into the road. If it were you would you walk your bike on a empty sidewalk? If some dude went out of his way to block you and put his hands on your chest you would be OK with? I call BS.

    BTW - most folks can't take NYC for too long. It's great for a few years, but after that it becomes a rat race filled with all sorts of weird stuff. And I mean weird, sick and gross. Unlike other North American mega cities.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Yes, I would walk. I walk at 5-6 km/h normally, so I don't see the issue here.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Essex View Post
    —AC 19-176 - Riding bicycles on sidewalks is prohibited. Bicycles may be confiscated.
    NOTE: Tickets for riding on the sidewalk fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Control Board (ECB). If you are given a ticket or summons that requires you to appear in criminal court instead, you should be able to get the ticket thrown out for lack of jurisdiction.

    Technically I am at fault. That said the slob that put his hands on me went out of his way to confront. NYC has a high concentration of crazies.
    Why didn't you walk your bike if you knew it was illegal? Why didn't you agree with him that you were wrong, get off the bike, and walk it? That said, I would ask him why he thought he could assault you rather than just talk to you.

    I will admit a strong, experience-based bias against sidewalk cyclists. My two kids almost got mowed down by sidewalk cyclist (going very slowly, by the way) when they abruptly stepped out of a store entrance when they were very young (like 2 and 5). I would have yelled at you, but probably wouldn't have put hands on you.
    Last edited by Camilo; 04-30-12 at 12:45 PM.

  15. #15
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Essex View Post
    riding 2-3 mph s
    That is slower than walking.

  16. #16
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    Should riding a bike at walking pace on a near-empty sidewalk in a way that respects the right-of-way of the few pedestrians present be illegal?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    ..
    I will admit a strong, experience-based bias against sidewalk cyclists. My two kids almost got mowed down by sidewalk cyclist (going very slowly, by the way) when they abruptly stepped out of a store entrance when they were very young (like 2 and 5). I would have yelled at you, but probably wouldn't have put hands on you.
    Riding close to doorways and alley entrances is bad sidewalk cycling.

    Would you yell at any sidewalk rider no matter how safely and considerately they are riding? How about in a city where sidewalk riding is legal, would you keep your mouth shut or not?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Essex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    Why didn't you walk your bike if you knew it was illegal? Why didn't you agree with him that you were wrong, get off the bike, and walk it? That said, I would ask him why he thought he could assault you rather than just talk to you.

    I will admit a strong, experience-based bias against sidewalk cyclists. My two kids almost got mowed down by sidewalk cyclist (going very slowly, by the way) when they abruptly stepped out of a store entrance when they were very young (like 2 and 5). I would have yelled at you, but probably wouldn't have put hands on you.
    I hear what you're saying. Didn't know it was illegal until I looked up the net-based statute - but will have to dig a little deeper as I haven't fully looked at real city codes. I want to see codes related to skateboards & scooters which I see on Manhattan streets all the time.

    As per kids - I would never, ever ride anything around them. In this instance being on the sidewalk was an anomaly because I couldn't fit into the roadway between the densely parked cars with Indian food hanging off my handlebar. The second anomaly (and it probably isn't) is that someone decided to play "touchy-feeley" cop on a rider who looked like a delivery man. Again, it was a completely empty street at 10:00am on Sunday Morning with me riding 2-3 mph (walking speed) nearest the roadway.

    Overall, this little NYC vignette is best appreciated by people who have lived here. NYC is a crazy-ass place. I have kept a running statistic in my head which seems to indicate that any anomalous / violent behavior occurs at a higher frequency than any other US, or North American city. I feel it's 12:1. In comparison - when I lived in San Francisco the odds of someone putting their hands on me would probably have never happened in a lifetime. Here in NYC -I have seen physical altercations almost daily (the subway) and sometimes they happen to you. I'd say four to six times a year in neutral settings. Personally, I feel bad for anyone who has small children in Manhattan. They see way too much in the way or weird and sick whereas to affect their personalities/mindsets.
    Last edited by Essex; 05-01-12 at 05:02 AM.

  19. #19
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    Essex, your stat of personal violence has convinced me to stay the hell away from NYC -- I don't do well with people putting their hands on me, at any time, for any reason. Triggers something ugly I'd rather not let loose.

  20. #20
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    1interceptor: Gotta flame you for something on that first video; Don't yell "Walk, walk, walk!". So much funnier/ more effective to calmly say " Just continue on Maam! Ive got it!" actually works better.

    Other then that me and you would do just fine riding together in the city

    EDIT: Also I would say that you have every right to ride the sidewalk if you are not endangering people. Sorry but I say common sense is a fine way to approach things. I am sorry but uintil pedestrians dont jay walk even when the street is empty then as long as the sidewalk is essentially empty then do what you will, cars split lanes while they ride, they forget blinkers, cyclists split lanes and forget hand signals. Everyone needs lee-way, we are humans, we make mistakes, we are impatient at times. Rules are there for boundaries but life isn't a road with barriers it is a trail with grass, roots and sometimes trees, learn how to navigate it and try not to derail another's path.

    </personal_philosophy>
    Last edited by dnuzzomueller; 05-01-12 at 07:11 PM.

  21. #21
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    my understanding is that the NYC cops love to cite people for riding on the sidewalk. When I was there a few months ago, nobody was doing it which surprised me. Saw plenty of wrong-way riders though.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnuzzomueller View Post
    1interceptor: Gotta flame you for something on that first video; Don't yell "Walk, walk, walk!". So much funnier/ more effective to calmly say " Just continue on Maam! Ive got it!" actually works better.

    Other then that me and you would do just fine riding together in the city

    EDIT: Also I would say that you have every right to ride the sidewalk if you are not endangering people. Sorry but I say common sense is a fine way to approach things. I am sorry but uintil pedestrians dont jay walk even when the street is empty then as long as the sidewalk is essentially empty then do what you will, cars split lanes while they ride, they forget blinkers, cyclists split lanes and forget hand signals. Everyone needs lee-way, we are humans, we make mistakes, we are impatient at times. Rules are there for boundaries but life isn't a road with barriers it is a trail with grass, roots and sometimes trees, learn how to navigate it and try not to derail another's path.

    </personal_philosophy>
    That's a nice philosophy, but...

    ...though a lot of people may be able to follow it, their example, when followed by those with less social intelligence, will not lead to smooth interaction on the streets, but to the opposite. And one should remember that there's quite a lot of socially stupid people ut there. Which is why it's better, IMO, to take the rules as a guide that should only be departed from if really necessary.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    Riding close to doorways and alley entrances is bad sidewalk cycling.

    Would you yell at any sidewalk rider no matter how safely and considerately they are riding? How about in a city where sidewalk riding is legal, would you keep your mouth shut or not?
    In an area where it's legal, if they were riding in a reasonable way, why would I yell at them. If they're riding a bicycle on a sidewalk where its illegal, yes I'd probably say something. Yell? Probably not, but I'd probably just point out that they should get off the sidewalk. If they were riding stupidly, I'd yell. Again, I have a very strong bias against sidewalk cycling - in general - so that's where I'm coming from.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    In an area where it's legal, if they were riding in a reasonable way, why would I yell at them. If they're riding a bicycle on a sidewalk where its illegal, yes I'd probably say something. Yell? Probably not, but I'd probably just point out that they should get off the sidewalk. If they were riding stupidly, I'd yell. Again, I have a very strong bias against sidewalk cycling - in general - so that's where I'm coming from.
    Yea. The problem with society is not that people doing stupid things get yelled at too much...rather just the opposite.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    That seems to be a pretty ordinary day here in New York city

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibsheHs53Xk
    Wow - that brings back memories. When I lived in NYC I used to bike to work sometimes from L.I.C. Queens to Chelsea a few times a week. I remember that nice adrenalin rush I got coming off the bridge, and tearing down 2nd Ave dodging taxis.

    Looking back, 15 years later and 43 years old, and now living in a very bike-friendly city in Japan, I can`t imagine how people could possibly enjoy riding in conditions like that

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