Judicious use of the sidewalk is okay, but I liked the term "guest" applied to bike riders there, deferring to others.
Being an old fart, I just don't understand this tattoo fad, I think it distracts from the beauty of a person and ruins it. I see women with this stuff and I just shake my head, and the crazy part is, when a person reaches 40's or so they're going to look at themselves in the mirror and ask why they got that particular tattoo, not to mention as they get older than that it fads and become wrinkled and looks really bad. I know, it's personal expression of art, all I see is graffiti on a human instead of on a building and it's ugly and destroys the property on which it's on! The same is true with all the piercings.
Don't shoot me, it's just my opinion.
Sidewalks are NOT the safest place to ride much to your disappointment and disbelief, in fact it's the most dangerous place to ride unless you're a small child. First you have to deal with pedestrians that are able to all sorts of unexpected things and their not expecting a faster object nor looking for them; you have old folks who can't hear or walk well, wheelchairs, people with baby strollers, pets, and children; then you have to deal with crosswalks; then you have deal with driveways where motorists are zipping in and out of and not looking for nor expecting a 15 mph plus object to suddenly be where it wasn't and smacko the motorist won't have time to stop from hitting you. You are at a greater chance of being hit by a car on a sidewalk then the street and this is common knowledge.
The only time I ever use a sidewalk is where it is a designated bike path and then I very careful and ride slowly; or if traffic is too busy and I need to make my way across an intersection to turn left I will pull over the side of a road, dismount the bike and use the crosswalks to get to the other side so I can continue on the street. One the things I hated about riding a bike in California along the coast in places like Santa Barbara was that the bike path, which was designated a bike path, instead became a pedestrian path at which point it was too dangerous to ride on due to the crowds so onto the street I went.
Narrowly avoided disaster today. Walking down the sidewalk to the grocer with the SO and our dog, a kid on a BMX bike books it past us at around 20MPH (downhill and all). He actually brushed the sleeve of my jacket, he was so close. Now, I've got these kinda cripple legs so I don't always walk in the straightest of lines, so had it been a moment sooner or later, it might have ended pretty badly for all of us.
Your points are dead wrong for the sidewalks I'm talking about. I have one rule. Love thyself. I'm not hurting anybody.
I should say I certainly agree with your points most of the time. Let me be clear about that. There are select places where I'm quite glad I have a sidewalk available. But usually I avoid them. I'm only saying they can be the safest option. You can't make absolute rules if safety is your primary concern.
Simple as that.
MUP's are dangerous enough, & pedestrians know to expect cyclists.
Just as there are many variables to riding on the road, there are equal if not more variables when you choose to ride on the sidewalk.
Its funny that you call out rekmeyata, all his/her points are credible, yet you claim one reason, & its for your "own" safety.
The "Me 1st" attitude is what's wrong with our society, not only with cyclist, drivers, & pedestrians. Its not surprising why they pit us against each other in the media.
How can we live in harmony when we often choose to cross borders/live on the edge.
If it takes such an effort to ride up a hill for you on your bike, how much more if an effort does it take for you dismount, & walk up the sidewalk like the rest of the pedestrains.
Again not trying to sway your choice, I just don't see where you guys are coming from.
Not singling you out Walter S, this is geared to the people who ride on sidewalks.
Like I say, when I ride on a clear and EMPTY OF ANY PEDESTRIANS/OTHER sidewalk I'm not impacting ANYBODY. There is not an issue here where I'm failing to "live in harmony" with others. The concept of harmony involves more than one entity. In the cases where I get on the "sidewalk" the only entity involved is me.
Several people here are hung up by the term "sidewalk" like the name itself dictates some invariant purpose to it. To me it's a flat slab of concrete that I can ride my bicycle on without being in the road with the cars. I refuse to let the term "walk" in the name force me into compliance with norms that go against my better judgment of appropriate behavior at that moment in time.
In my daily commute I ride several miles of busy roads out there with the cars and abstain from riding on the available sidewalks because of reasons stated on this thread that I accept as valid. But where the sidewalk is safer than the road I do ride on it. The sidewalk amounts to about 5% of my ride each day.
"If a tree falls in a forest, & no one is around does it make a sound?" ;)
If the road is busy, how does this make you the only "entity"?
Concrete slabs are also present in the foundations of many buildings, would you consider riding your bike in the supermarket, or the mall perhaps?
No need to get your panties in a bunch, I stated I wasn't singling you out, & am clearly not trying to change your "view". Its clearly not going to happen along with the many that share your opinion.
I'm just sharing my "view"/voicing my opinion on a public forum.
This topic is part of an open discussion, that's what we're here to do.
There no need for me the "get over it", I ride in compliance with our laws, so do you.
The street is what I favor unless there is a reason that the street is especially unsafe. The only place I have used sidewalks is for a few block stretches in Clearwater, Florida where the bike lane disappeared and the street was busy with crazy Florida drivers. Clearwater did not have many back streets that went through to where you wanted to go. It probably is the worst place I have ever ridden a bicycle despite the fact that it had a couple of lovely bike paths. It was illegal but I did it anyway because it was the only somewhat safe thing to do. Or I took the bus. Which I also did quite a bit to get to bike paths.
So I'm not dead wrong in regards to sidewalks in general, and like I said earlier the path in our town goes onto sidewalks in the downtown section and there it is legal for people over 12 years old to ride on the sidewalk, but not on any other sidewalk UNLESS it's part of the bike path system. I would assume, though you need to check with your local government, that the 500 feet that you ride on the sidewalk if it's not designated as a bike path then you are breaking the law, but check with your local authorities before getting mad at me for mentioning that.
Like you say, you don't know where I ride on the sidewalk. You're not qualified to judge. But feel free to judge away. I know safety from danger and I'll keep doing what I do. And I really could not care less about the law.
You do realize laws are put in place as a form of safety for all.
If you feel unsafe, contact your local authorities, or find another route to travel.
If I find a route I take to dangerous, I simply just find another.