Commuting - Glad I rode on the sidewalk today.
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10-28-06, 09:07 PM
Yeah, you read that right. I rode the sidewalk today.
For 7 miles I rode headstrong into a 25-30mph wind, the first time I've had to use my 22T chainring since I've been commuting (other than climbing steep hills in the trails). There were points where the gusts felt like 40-50mph and I was stopped dead in my tracks and if I hadn't pulled out of the clips to brace myself I'd have definately gone over. After my 7 miles of pure hell my route turned and I had a crosswind which was pushing me into traffic. I don't care who you are, you can not hold a straight line with 40mph gusts hitting your right side. So to make myself safer I hit the sidewalk and fought hard to go the last 3-4 miles. After about a mile, which took 15-20 minutes, BOOM!! A car in the travel lane had a blow out, went sideways on the slippery wet road, and headed right into the ditch to my left. The car ended up less than 40 inches from me. This is a 50mph road where people travel at 60mph. If I had been riding the shoulder like I do every day then I'd not be here right now.
So ironically, doing something I never do because I consider it mostly dangerous, saved my life.
Fate, it not without a sense of irony.
10-28-06, 09:24 PM
Yeah sometimes you just gotta swallow ya' pride and ride on 'dat sidewalk.
10-28-06, 10:12 PM
Glad to hear following your instinct paid off.
10-29-06, 12:33 AM
Nothing wrong with acclimating yourself to the situation. When I cut down sidewalk riders, it's mainly the ones who ride them all the time, and take for granted that cars see them at intersections.
We have a few meandering sidewalks that are actually kind of pleasant to ride, and there are quite a few riders that use them.
10-29-06, 02:05 AM
I'm glad you followed your gut...or your instinct, at least. :)
10-29-06, 02:06 AM
There have been days where I just don't feel good and decide to take it slow on the way to school. on those days I will ride on the sidewalk because I am travelling at a slow enough rate of speed that I feel it becomes safer there than the road. I always watch like a hawk at every intersection when I do so however.
The problem with most sidewalk riders is that they don't even think to look for traffic at intersections, especially if it's a driveway. My roomate has been hit by cars TWICE at one driveway and still doesn't think he should have to slow down and check for cars there.
10-29-06, 06:45 AM
Given lousy conditions, I don't mind cyclists on the sidewalks as generally there are fewer people about actually using them. As long as the cyclist's speed is under control and give way to pedestrians it is not an issue in my opinion.
Sounds like you did absolutely the right thing. If the conditions make riding on the road feel uncomfortable/unsafe, absolutely do ride on the sidewalk. Must have given you quite a scare, though!
10-29-06, 08:18 AM
Sounds like the proper thing to do would have been to stay in bed. :D
jesus, i get irked when the wind is like 10mph.
10-29-06, 01:03 PM
Yeah, scared the hell out of me, almost soiled my tights.
Today I feel it though, my legs are killing me from all the mashing and standing on the pedals yesterday.
Maybe they'll feel better once I get back on the bike and pedaling. Good thing I work today.
Did ya buy a lotto ticket on the way home?
10-29-06, 05:01 PM
Did ya buy a lotto ticket on the way home?
nope, only gamble with my life, never my money
I spent a little bit of time riding on the sidewalk today as well. The wind was quite something! I saw several municipal crews out removing fallen trees off streets.
But the gusts seemed to die down pretty quickly, at least. There were only a couple of sketchy minutes while I was out.
10-29-06, 06:34 PM
I like the fact you didn't let the weather stop you from riding your bike. Riding a bike on the sidewalk is not like a car driving on a mup. :)
10-29-06, 07:21 PM
We rode today and the wind really made it interesting. We got blown off track many times and cars just don't seem to understand how dangerous it is to drive by so close. Lucky you had a sidewalk to ride on. My commute doesn't have sidewalks.
10-30-06, 10:39 AM
I love wind. I'm still waiting for the wind to pick up in my area...
10-30-06, 11:23 AM
Glad you followed your instinct!
We had some heavy gust warnings throughout the city yesterday - I was out riding just doing a few local errands, on the way back home on a small residential street I forced myself out basically into the middle of the road (I was making a left in ~200 yards anyway) because the side-buffeting the wind was doing made me scared that I'd hit the curb - man it was windy...
That wind makes me fear the ride home on those types of days - I routinely head into wind coming off the lake when I ride on the MUP along Lakeshore toward Woodbine - it was brutal on some of hte nicer summer days, let alone autumn/winter.
I ride on the sidewalk when I feel that the difference in speed between me (like on a big hill, or in this case big wind) and the cars on the road is too high, and there's no place to ride other than the travel lanes. There are lots of things that affect your safety on a bike, good job staying in tune with those things.
It's time like that, when I'm glad I ride a recumbent trike. Sidewinds? What are those?
I'm glad you followed your gut in this case and avoided a potentially dangerous situation!
10-30-06, 03:34 PM
Under those conditions, totally the right thing. Well, you could have raised a sail and gotten there really fast.
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