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-   -   Sidewalks or streets (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/920507-sidewalks-streets.html)

urban rider 11-05-13 08:57 PM

I prefer to ride in the streets except when the cars are too crazy! The most recent bike lane i rode was in the middle of of a narrow street with cars:(. Thats crazy.

MEversbergII 11-06-13 08:39 AM

As I've said before, it perplexes me how mad someone in a Magic Go Box capable of a mile a minute for no physical effort can be over a one second delay caused by passing.

Hell, today on the way into base I had someone get danger close for no discernible reason (no traffic backup, no one in the other lane). Probably should have told one of the guards, but there isn't much they could have done I think.

M.

GaryinLA 11-07-13 11:09 PM

in the city of los angeles it is legal to ride on sidewalks. many people do, especially on busy streets without bike lanes. some adjacent cities dont permit riding on sidewalks ie santa monica.

i avoid biking on sidewalks as i know the dangers. some streets are dangerous too however so the best thing to do is try to bike on the safer streets. ive taken some falls on sidewalks earlier ie tree roots uplifting sidewalks, large cracks, debris, weird changes in sidewalk heights or unexpected curbs or barriers, projections from storefronts ie a concrete block holding a door open, or landscaping retaining walls of a few inches high, skateboards from people waiting for a bus, cars darting out from driveways, etc. street is more predictable. i find the biggest challenge is when im tired ie on way home from long ride or tired from work or not feeling well. then i might think i cant or dont want to ride in street, too taxing but in that situation ive learned sidewalk is worse.

Ghost Ryder 11-07-13 11:30 PM

To make thing worse for cyclists in our city...
We are now considered to have the busiest/most congested roads I'm North America. We rival some European cities.
More cars on the roads than California, & its illegal to ride on sidewalks.

I don't complain cause I don't have to ride in India, or China!
That's what you can consider dangerous! Our North American roads are tamed compared to them.

Sharpshin 11-08-13 03:14 PM

Please don't try to shame people into doing things that they don't feel comfortable with,or that are actually dangerous. You don't live here,so you don't know what our traffic conditions are like.

Well said.

On my daily commute I ride the edge of the pavement of an access road in the morning going with traffic, coming back in the evening I ride about a half-mile of sidewalk against the direction of traffic. Pedestrians are few, especially at night, and I give them the right of way.

Another 50 yard section at the very top of a steep hill in the morning I get onto the sidewalk, stop in a driveway to look back, and then cross four lanes of traffic to get to the sidewalk on the other side and ride against traffic on that sidewalk through a busy intersection and then 70 yards across a major highway overpass. After the busy intersection on the other side of the overpass I stay on the sidewalk against traffic a short distance further before turning left into a quieter area and resuming riding on the street again.

Works for me. If I were to stay on pavement I'd have to contend with right-turning traffic at that intersection while laboring uphill, then ride across a busy overpass with narrow lanes, once past the overpass I'd have to get over to a left lane across two lanes of traffic in a busy commercial area.

Coming back on that same stretch I ride the pavement, with a fast downhill roll on the steep hill.

Traffic law enforcement re: bicycles in my area is essentially non-existent, hardly anyone is on a bike. But neither do I ride like an idiot.

Mike

LiteraryChic 11-08-13 06:23 PM

Well, I shall shame myself with this post. Yesterday, when dropping Lola off at the LBS, so that they could install her new Brooks saddle/grips, and do some other minor stuff, I will admit that I rode on the sidewalk some of the time. I did so, because some of the route was hilly, and I am still working to get myself into shape, so I tend to get winded easily (partially due to me being a 3 mo. early premie & having some breathing issues throughout my life). I took to the sidewalks, just to be safer, although, I generally take the bike lanes 90% of my riding time.

Greasybike 11-08-13 07:49 PM

Mostly street but as another poster stated, I too suck at riding up hills and don't wish to slow up traffic behind me, so onto the sidewalk I go.
BTW, my bike weighs well over 40lbs with panniers and a boat anchor of a Ulock.

rekmeyata 11-08-13 10:24 PM

Add to the already overwhelming majority, streets or bike lanes because sidewalks are for walking. However, in the silly little town where I live there are portions of the downtown bike path that are on the sidewalk, I think this is stupid but it is what it is if you want to remain on the bike path.

Engineer 11-08-13 10:30 PM

I ride on the street, sidewalks, alleys, bike trails, driveways, parkways and dirt trails, across grass and gravel, through parking lots and small bodies of water on occasion, whatever makes the most sense at the time. While I probably ride 98% of the time on the street or bike path, sometimes the safest (or convenient) way is to take a detour off the street. If you are not getting in anyone's way, I don't see what the problem is. My commute goes through industrial areas and past cemeteries where there are almost no people on the sidewalks and very little chance of cars pulling out of driveways. If I do resort to a sidewalk with people on it I will slow down to walking speed, but usually stay on the bike.

daihard 11-08-13 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rekmeyata (Post 16232061)
Add to the already overwhelming majority, streets or bike lanes because sidewalks are for walking. However, in the silly little town where I live there are portions of the downtown bike path that are on the sidewalk, I think this is stupid but it is what it is if you want to remain on the bike path.

You reminded me... there are a few places in Seattle where an MUP runs directly on the sidewalk. For the Seattle-area riders, it's the Interurban Trail running north-south near Shoreline City Hall...

Ghost Ryder 11-08-13 10:49 PM

I forgot to mention I live in the middle of 2 steep hills on a busy 2 lane street... Cars fly down these hills, most of the time I wish they would slow down. Its not safe for the children in the neighborhood.
This doesn't give me an excuse to take the sidewalk, I learned to love hill really quick! :D
I'm sort of a hero to the neighborhood, I make cars conform to the speed limits when I coming home. ;)
:lol:


I walked(with my bike) behind guy riding his bike in the sidewalk today after work. Right past a popular/busy bus stop, through the line up.
You could clearly see the people appreciate my choice over his.
He didn't get much farther quicker. As soon as I mounted my steed I dropped him in a sec.
Goes to show it doesn't always save time.
He was tailgating a pedestrian which was a dumb move IMO.
Taking the alley would've been faster/safer to ride to be honest.

Again I'm not suggesting anyone take my opinions as a threat against anyone who enjoys riding on the sidewalk. I just don't do it, & don't agree with it. No more PM's :rolleyes:

IMO riding on the sidewalk is like speeding.
We all do it once in a while, & get away with it.
When you get caught, you come back down to earth for a bit, & then start the evil "cycle" again. :giver:


BTW: I love Daihard's SIG!
So much truth to that quote.

MEversbergII 11-09-13 12:52 PM

Today I was on foot at a crosswalk. I saw a cyclist coming towards me on the street, which is unusual in the area as only my SO and I do this. I pointed out to my travelling partner that "Hey, that guy's doing it right!"

Immediately after I said this, it dawned on me that something was wrong. He was going against traffic. In the street.

He continued to do this until he got up the hill just down the street.

Crap like that makes it hard for the rest of us.

M.

Sharpshin 11-12-13 09:16 PM

I'm sort of a hero to the neighborhood, I make cars conform to the speed limits when I coming home

...until the one arrives thats too busy texting to notice you, at which time the awful and entirely indifferent destructive power of a 2,000 lb+ automobile relative to the fragile human body is likely to make itself felt.


I figure any time I'm using my own body to regulate traffic speed I'm doing something seriously foolish.

YMMV,
Mike

Sharpshin 11-12-13 09:27 PM

it dawned on me that something was wrong. He was going against traffic. In the street.

Not intending to validate that guy but..... The best way for me to get out of town involves a seven mile section of narrow winding two-lane highway, surprisingly rural in character for being so close to the city.

What has happened not far south of town here in San Antonio is the Eagle Ford oil boom, the burning gas flares of the thousands of new wells drilled literally visible from space as a swathe of light across nighttime Texas. Thousands of trucks, massive infrastructure problems on formerly quiet country roads, exceedingly high moving vehicle accident rate.

On that seven mile section I ride on the edge of pavement against traffic, moving as far off-pavement into the grass as necessary when oncoming cars are present. I've tried riding with traffic, almost been hit a few times that way by wide vehicles.

Mike

Ghost Ryder 11-12-13 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sharpshin (Post 16241991)
I'm sort of a hero to the neighborhood, I make cars conform to the speed limits when I coming home

...until the one arrives thats too busy texting to notice you, at which time the awful and entirely indifferent destructive power of a 2,000 lb+ automobile relative to the fragile human body is likely to make itself felt.


I figure any time I'm using my own body to regulate traffic speed I'm doing something seriously foolish.

YMMV,
Mike

My hills are quite steep, & they're rollers. If your not paying attention odds are you'll sideswipe a car before a cyclist.
If they can't see my myriad of blinkers than I guess I have I coming to me. Better me on a bike, than me smoking a child or a pet on a narrow sidewalk.

I don't use my body to regulate traffic, I just follow the rules of the road in my area.

This is the Commuting forums isn't it?

Sharpshin 11-13-13 06:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16242076)
My hills are quite steep, & they're rollers. If your not paying attention odds are you'll sideswipe a car before a cyclist.
If they can't see my myriad of blinkers than I guess I have I coming to me.

I gonna float a WAG that we lose about a cyclist every other year that way in my city. Last one was a couple on a tandem who were actually over on the shoulder, guy in pickup wasn't paying attention, radio or phone or something. IIRC he was acquitted of negligent homicide.

Quote:

Better me on a bike, than me smoking a child or a pet on a narrow sidewalk.
Sounds unlikely, and you getting your pelvis shattered along with broke legs and permanent brain injury would be an entirely separate event from anything that happened on the sidewalk, it ain't an either/or concept we are discussing here.

Quote:

I don't use my body to regulate traffic, I just follow the rules of the road in my area.
You have clearly stated that traffic has to slow down to avoid hitting your body on your bike in the roadway. Sooner or later for whatever reason someone wont, and any "local hero" status you may have will be quickly forgotten. Most people out there would probably put the blame on you.

Quote:

Commuting forums isn't it?
I commute every day while consciously avoiding such situations, I would imagine most bicycle commuters do, pretty much a given if they've survived any length of time.

JMHO,
Mike

cobrabyte 11-13-13 07:32 AM

I live in FL where both are legal. I stick to the street 95% of the time, and ride as a vehicle. When there is a one way road that I need to travel in the opposite direction of though, I will get on the sidewalk, slow to a moderate pace, yeild to pedestrians...etc. I'll also get on the sidewalk if I need to use a road that is obviously dangerous to share with cars (no shoulder, fast speeds, or an area where motorists are completely unused to bicycles on that particular stretch of roadway) common sense stuff

I ride to stay alive, using common sense and courtesy to get where I'm going. I'm not a representative of anything, I don't live by any cycling ideology. I ride for fun, and I like to keep it that way.

Ghost Ryder 11-13-13 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sharpshin (Post 16242557)
I gonna float a WAG that we lose about a cyclist every other year that way in my city. Last one was a couple on a tandem who were actually over on the shoulder, guy in pickup wasn't paying attention, radio or phone or something. IIRC he was acquitted of negligent homicide.



Sounds unlikely, and you getting your pelvis shattered along with broke legs and permanent brain injury would be an entirely separate event from anything that happened on the sidewalk, it ain't an either/or concept we are discussing here.



You have clearly stated that traffic has to slow down to avoid hitting your body on your bike in the roadway. Sooner or later for whatever reason someone wont, and any "local hero" status you may have will be quickly forgotten. Most people out there would probably put the blame on you.



I commute every day while consciously avoiding such situations, I would imagine most bicycle commuters do, pretty much a given if they've survived any length of time.

JMHO,
Mike

If you could picture a 2 lane street, you can imagine how narrow the sidewalk would be.
Factor in the renters who don't clean the leaves like your supposed to make this a very sketchy situation. I leave before sunrise, & get home just before sunset. There's about 10'-12' of sidewalk from your front door to the boulevard.
You tell me if coming down a hill @ around 15-20kms on the brakes is a good idea over a leaf covered sidewalk rather than taking the road that clean, & follows our laws.

If you live in fear, you miss out on too much.
We have a fair amount of cycling related deaths, same for vehicular deaths.
What if we all stopped driving, or cycling because it just wasn't safe? It just wouldn't happen.

I don't get why there is so many bike Nazis here.
Clearly I don't agree with riding on sidewalks, I'm not trying to convince you to follow me, but merely trying to explain my situation. People seem to think hills are a sign to take it to the sidewalk. I happen to like climbing so I stay on the road.

If you want to take to the sidewalk, have @ it.
Never knew one had to be so "manly" to ride on the road?
To me its just common sense, second nature.

I shoulder check just like I do in my truck, if I'm in the way I'll pull over. Does this kill me momentum, yes. But it also keeps me from getting killed. I don't drive or ride like an idiot, & I tend to ride defensively.
I'm following the rules of the road, not in the wrong.
Again there's nothing heroic about it, its just common sense.
What is there to blame me for doing?
Making you pull over a bit to pass me? What might take a second or 2 out of your day? If time was an issue you could always take a street not marked for bike use.(even though most people don't) I don't see your point here Mike.

P.S: Not every truck owner is a cyclist hater, if fact most deaths here are from cars.
I love my truck, & car, but not nearly as much as my bikes.
Commute to your hearts content, leave this whole debate behind.
You do, or you don't, it a part of life.

When you live in the most congested city in North America you learn to live with traffic. Especially when riding on sidewalks is prohibited.

Cheers.

Standalone 11-13-13 09:05 AM

Street.

http://images.thesartorialist.com/th...g_3669Web1.jpg

gpolly1 11-13-13 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Engineer (Post 16232069)
I ride on the street, sidewalks, alleys, bike trails, driveways, parkways and dirt trails, across grass and gravel, through parking lots and small bodies of water on occasion, whatever makes the most sense at the time. While I probably ride 98% of the time on the street or bike path, sometimes the safest (or convenient) way is to take a detour off the street. If you are not getting in anyone's way, I don't see what the problem is. My commute goes through industrial areas and past cemeteries where there are almost no people on the sidewalks and very little chance of cars pulling out of driveways. If I do resort to a sidewalk with people on it I will slow down to walking speed, but usually stay on the bike.

+1

Dwayne 11-13-13 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Engineer (Post 16232069)
I ride on the street, sidewalks, alleys, bike trails, driveways, parkways and dirt trails, across grass and gravel, through parking lots and small bodies of water on occasion, whatever makes the most sense at the time. While I probably ride 98% of the time on the street or bike path, sometimes the safest (or convenient) way is to take a detour off the street. If you are not getting in anyone's way, I don't see what the problem is. My commute goes through industrial areas and past cemeteries where there are almost no people on the sidewalks and very little chance of cars pulling out of driveways. If I do resort to a sidewalk with people on it I will slow down to walking speed, but usually stay on the bike.

Well said. I ride street 98% of the time, too (73% of all statistics are made up by the way), but there are two sections on my commute where I use the sidewalk. One is on the uphill of a 45mph four-lane road (so traffic is actually 55-65mph); I ride on the street until the hill starts, then switch to the sidewalk up the hill, then back on the street at the top. It's right before the interstate on-ramps, and a fair amount of 18-wheeler traffic, too. I think I might see a pedestrian once a month there.

enigmaT120 11-13-13 03:12 PM

Doesn't the fringe on your boots get caught in the chain/sprocket, Standalone?

dynaryder 11-13-13 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16242911)
I don't get why there is so many bike Nazis here.

My Grandfather fought the Nazis in WWII. I'm pretty sure no-one on here is like them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16242911)
Clearly I don't agree with riding on sidewalks, I'm not trying to convince you to follow me, but merely trying to explain my situation. People seem to think hills are a sign to take it to the sidewalk. I happen to like climbing so I stay on the road.

And folks are telling you,they don't feel safe riding in the street on some hills. In the example I gave,the road itself has no hazards,and I can manage climbing the hill without having to walk. But many drivers ignore the law,and this makes it unsafe. I'm not going to risk my life unnecessarily just to prove a point. If I ride in the street on that hill,I might get hit. If I use the sidewalk,I have a slim chance of getting hit. Same goes for the other example I gave that was a flat street;many drivers use it as a speedway. If people obeyed the laws,I wouldn't have a problem riding in the street on that road.

There's a saying we have here on BF about being right vs being dead right.

Ghost Ryder 11-13-13 05:36 PM

My reference to Nazis is only in humour, I'm more or less commenting on how people get so offended when I obey the rules of my local laws.
Just as you say "if people obeyed laws"...
I happed to do just that, & ride on the road.
Here its against the law to ride on sidewalks, where as many place you guys are from its not. Which is why I explained my situation, & stated you don't have to follow as a say. Just cause I don't agree with it doesn't make it wrong for the rest of you.

I'll continue to "roll the dice/take my chances" on the road...
If my neighbour(who is 75) can do it, then I surely can @ less than half his age.
:lol:

Ghost Ryder 11-13-13 06:27 PM

https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.n...00933743_o.jpg

If these tough guys can do it... ;)

https://fbcdn-photos-b-a.akamaihd.ne...37487976_n.jpg


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