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  1. #1
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    Sidewalks or streets

    During my ride to work, I like to use the bike lane provided on the street. However, I see a lot of people riding on the sidewalk. I know there are certain sections where it is safer to get off the street and onto the sidewalk for a second or two. What is your preference street , sidewalk, or street when a bike lane is provided?
    I have a Mongoose Ledge 2.1
    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Senior Member jowilson's Avatar
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    Street. Bike lane or no bike lane. Except morning commutes to my high school. Lots of teenage kids that don't swerve or change lanes to pass.
    The sun'll come out tomorrow.

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    Street only. Sidewalks are for walking.

  4. #4
    Senior Member the fly's Avatar
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    street for me 99.5%. i will gladly take the sidewalk at a couple iffy places/times though, even though i'll look completely ridiculous, at least i will remain upright and in one piece.

  5. #5
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Street only. Sidewalks are for walking.
    +1.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  6. #6
    Junior Member RaveLeTour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Street only. Sidewalks are for walking.
    Its called a side "walk" for a reason. In some cities/states there are rules that bar bicycles from sidewalks entirely. Especially in places that have designated bike lanes.

  7. #7
    Family, Health, Cycling Lanceoldstrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    Street only. Sidewalks are for walking.
    +1
    In Escendo Est Verum

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Depends, on the situation and location.

    In England thew say the pavements are for people and dogs. [watch where you step]

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    I can understand why people ride on sidewalks in some places, but when there is a bike lane??? Why?

    Also, the sidewalk may feel safer, but it means entering the roadway at every block from a place drivers will NOT be expecting you, and is probably more likely to get you killed by right/left turners than riding on the road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    I ride the street, but there is one area in town where the bike lane is directed onto the sidewalk. The walk in this area is extra wide and seldom used. I can think of a few other areas where you are forced on the sidewalk by rode design and you may have to ride to a point where there is a driveway to get back to the road. Some may jump down off the curb, but I don't on my commuter.

    Sidewalks are for riding if you fit the following criteria children, parents riding with children, and a few others I can't think of now.
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  11. #11
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    Street only. If I am on the sidewalk, I am walking. I have never ridden on the sidewalk​.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbikingman View Post
    Sidewalks are for riding if you fit the following criteria children, parents riding with children, and a few others I can't think of now.
    Elderly people, kids, drunks, really slow riders...

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    like I say .. depends..

    Convenience store is a long block away from my house, same side of the street.

    so rather than Salmon backwards on a 4 lane road with No room .

    I use the sidewalk.

  14. #14
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    like I say .. depends..

    Convenience store is a long block away from my house, same side of the street.

    so rather than Salmon backwards on a 4 lane road with No room .

    I use the sidewalk.
    Me too. I stay on the streets and off the sidewalks but why be a fanatic about it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member swwhite's Avatar
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    I ride on the street because it is faster and safer, and where I live officially against the law to ride on the sidewalk in a commercial area. However, I am not above riding on the sidewalk if it provides some benefit, and in one of the three cities/suburbs I pass through, sidewalk riding is allowed.
    Riding in search of the simple life.

  16. #16
    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    Streets only!
    Where I'm form cycling on the sidewalk is against the law.
    If I need to use the sidewalk, I'll dismount, or use one leg like a scooter.
    If you fear the cars/traffic, use side streets, & alleys.
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  17. #17
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    When I first returned to riding as an adult, I used the sidewalk for a short part of rides where the traffic was real heavy. However, I have found that the street was smoother than the sidewalk. Now, I ride only on the street. It was a fear of traffic for me. I got over it.

  18. #18
    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    The more you ride on the streets, the more comfortable you get with the traffic.
    I remember when I first started out, I would always try to keep up to speed with the traffic, big mistake. Just go at your own pace, & let the traffic around you adjust.
    Its easier for them to figure you out when you pace rather than if you're trying to go all out.
    I have to cycle/commute on streets without bike lanes so I got use to it real fast.

    Cycling made me a better driver, I'm so much more aware of my surroundings. You get detached trapped in a vehicle.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Street or sidewalk is entirely situational. There are times where I'll do either based on the time of day, where I am at, etc. Safety comes first for you and those around you and if you can't ride safely on either you shouldn't be there regardless of the law.

    If you do happen to be on the sidewalk you are a guest there. Everybody else gets the right of way. Ease up to intersections because vehicles are not used to the speed of an approaching bike and their quick glances don't account for it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    Street or sidewalk is entirely situational. There are times where I'll do either based on the time of day, where I am at, etc. Safety comes first for you and those around you and if you can't ride safely on either you shouldn't be there regardless of the law.

    If you do happen to be on the sidewalk you are a guest there. Everybody else gets the right of way. Ease up to intersections because vehicles are not used to the speed of an approaching bike and their quick glances don't account for it.
    This for me. I ride whatever minmizes danger to me and others. On my regular commute, there's a big hill where traffic can get bad. I ride up on the sidewalk and down on the street. When riding on the sidewalk, I yield to and am polite to pedestrians.

  21. #21
    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    If you can't make it up a hill, take the walk of shame.
    Riding on the sidewalk is a disaster waiting to happen, dismount & act like a pedestrian. Why feed the hate we cyclist take on a day to day basis?
    Side"walk"
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  22. #22
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    Street or sidewalk is entirely situational. There are times where I'll do either based on the time of day, where I am at, etc. Safety comes first for you and those around you and if you can't ride safely on either you shouldn't be there regardless of the law.

    If you do happen to be on the sidewalk you are a guest there. Everybody else gets the right of way. Ease up to intersections because vehicles are not used to the speed of an approaching bike and their quick glances don't account for it.
    Correct. It's situational. In my experience 99% of the situations call for the street.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  23. #23
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob22315 View Post
    On my regular commute, there's a big hill where traffic can get bad. I ride up on the sidewalk and down on the street.
    I did this when I took the Mass Ave route to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder View Post
    If you can't make it up a hill, take the walk of shame.
    By all means,come to DC and ride up the hill on upper Mass Ave. I'll send flowers to your funeral. The street is marked 35,but no-one does this;many folks *** it up the hill. It's a very steep hill,so keeping with traffic isn't an option unless you're a CAT I racer. In all the years I did this route,I encountered a ped 2,maybe 3 times.

    Wisc Ave between Bethesda and Friendship Heights is pretty flat,but on the rare occasions I take this road,I do the sidewalk. It's three lanes in each direction,but despite being marked 35 it's a main route into/out of the city,so it's essentially become an expressway where people do highway speeds. The couple times I rode in the street,I got buzzed close,even though I was taking the lane and there were 2 other empty lanes. That's just how it is here.

    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. DC was the area that originally coined the term 'aggressive driving'.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    Street or sidewalk is entirely situational. There are times where I'll do either based on the time of day, where I am at, etc. Safety comes first for you and those around you and if you can't ride safely on either you shouldn't be there regardless of the law.

    If you do happen to be on the sidewalk you are a guest there. Everybody else gets the right of way. Ease up to intersections because vehicles are not used to the speed of an approaching bike and their quick glances don't account for it.
    This ^

  25. #25
    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    "Walk of shame" is a figure of speech.
    Just cause the sign says 35mph doesn't mean you need to do 35mph either. If you can't keep up just walk on the sidewalk like a pedestrian. Where's the shame in that?
    You don't think I have hills to deal with where I'm from?
    Try world class mountains. We like to climb these for fun.
    Can we keep up with the surrounding traffic? Heck no!
    But we don't let that discourage us, we just keep trucking.
    Hills are a part of cycling/commuting, you either embrace them, or avoid them.

    At the end of the day, riding on the sidewalk is against the law in many countries.
    I hate that society look @ cyclists as villains. Encroaching on an area deemed safe to pedestrians just feeds the hate.
    I don't encourage adding to the growing prejudice we as cyclist take on cause of a few bad apples.
    What's wrong with walking with your bike on the sidewalk?

    Cycling is made to be fun, & a form of exercise.
    If we keep pushing the borders, we'll find our borders receding.
    You are not doing anything wrong going @ a pace you can handle going up a hill. If drivers have complaints, let them air them to congress. Make our roads more bike friendly, improve our infrastructure to allow cyclists, vehicles, & pedestrians to live in a happy medium.
    Giant Defy Dura Ace : Rip/Hammer-Specialized Allez Ultegra/105 : Recovery/Spinner-Specialized Allez Red : Trainer-Kona Major(Rad) Jake : Down & Dirty

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