Advocacy & Safety - Fear of Traffic
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08-05-05, 04:26 PM
So I had to jump up on the sidewalk this morning to get to my favorite hardware store and when I went to cross the street and get back on the road it was like the floodgates had opened up with each direction jammed packed with autos. No big deal, I thought, I'll just cruise on the sidewalk and cross at the next light, but I felt like a nervous cat riding at anything above ped speed on the sidewalk. I was even passed by your basic junkie garage-store bicyclist going the wrong way at speed on the sidewalk. I should add this isn't a rant against sidewalk cycling, most of these folks are already hooked on something illicit so I don't think traffic laws are a pressing concern. My point was that I rarely ever feel spooked riding in traffic anymore, close passing 18-wheelers not withstanding, and I was just wondering if that spooked feeling I was experiencing is what newbies are talking about when they're scared to ride in regular traffic. Sorry if I'm rambling, my blood sugar is low.
08-05-05, 04:29 PM
Always slow and spooky on the sidewalk. Too many variables—people coming out of shops, folks with strollers, dog-walkers, peds who can't navigate properly, joggers, and cetera. Go at pedestrian pace and get back on the road ASAP. That's my motto. As I think of it, that's a pretty crappy motto, isn't it?
08-05-05, 04:33 PM
Completely agree with you KonaGeezer, but it is a bit of a crappy motto.
08-05-05, 04:42 PM
Completely agree with you KonaGeezer, but it is a bit of a crappy motto.Fair enough. I'll have something better by next week.
08-05-05, 05:55 PM
Fear of or discomfort with the unknown or unaccustomed is a natural human experience. I'm sure it's a significant factor in newbies' lack of comfort riding on the street in traffic, just as it is for those of us riding on sidewalks when we haven't done it for a while.
It took me a while to ride in traffic too. I too choose to ride a certain section of sidewalk however as long as I keep reminding myself that the sidewalk is only slightly safer than that section of road but not as safe as everyone thinks it is, I stay on my toes.
The roadway is a narrow two laner with no shoulders. A few years ago this little road was used almost exclusively by the local residents (minor small vehicular traffic). But since, there has been an increase in commercial traffic (nice wide buses and semi's) due to the increased commerce at the port area and the installation of a new W@L-M@RT. So the northbound side has nice soft bumpy, grassy edge about 3 feet wide which slopes down to a watery, alligator infested, swamp type area. The entire stretch is a no passing zone. The southbound side has a sidewalk. During this 3 - 4 mile northbound trek, I ride the side walk. The dangers of manuevering through buses and boat trailers and accidently feeding the alligators is a safety level below what it is on the sidewalk. I understand this and ride accordingly due to the hazards and nature of the traffic found on the sidewalks. But as soon as the road is navigatible again, adios sidewalk.
08-05-05, 08:56 PM
There was a 100 yard sectiion of sidewalk near my work that I used to take, becuase of the poor condition of the road suface. They then changed the side walk so there was no ramp to ride up onto it, and created a commuter train station, which produced a lot of pedestrians. The crappy road is still full of cracks and pot-holes but I now have to ride on it.
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