Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-01-13, 07:17 PM   #1
ecnar
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Bikes: Mongoose Ledge 2.1
Posts: 4
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,
ecnar is offline  
Old 11-01-13, 07:20 PM   #2
jowilson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Mesa, AZ
Bikes: 1992 Trek 800 Antelope, 1971 Triumph
Posts: 561
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.
jowilson is offline  
Old 11-01-13, 07:32 PM   #3
spivonious
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Lancaster, PA, USA
Bikes: 2012 Trek Allant, 2016 Bianchi Volpe Disc
Posts: 1,857
Street only. Sidewalks are for walking.
spivonious is offline  
Old 11-01-13, 08:10 PM   #4
the fly
Senior Member
 
the fly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: the wall
Bikes:
Posts: 144
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.
the fly is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 10:18 AM   #5
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 12,993
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

Random parts for sale!
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 10:26 AM   #6
RaveLeTour
Junior Member
 
RaveLeTour's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Mizzou
Bikes: Schwinn Le Tour
Posts: 6
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.
RaveLeTour is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 10:30 AM   #7
Lanceoldstrong
Family, Health, Cycling
 
Lanceoldstrong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Concord, CA
Bikes: Roubaix SL4 Expert, Univega Gran Turismo
Posts: 1,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
Street only. Sidewalks are for walking.
+1
Lanceoldstrong is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 10:30 AM   #8
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,087
Depends, on the situation and location.

In England thew say the pavements are for people and dogs. [watch where you step]
fietsbob is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 10:35 AM   #9
Mr. Hairy Legs
Full Auto, Baby
 
Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Delta/Richmond, B.C.
Bikes: shiny red tricycle
Posts: 876
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.
Mr. Hairy Legs is online now  
Old 11-02-13, 10:45 AM   #10
dbikingman
Senior Member
 
dbikingman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Spokane/Tri-Cities WA
Bikes: mountain bike, road bike
Posts: 1,352
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.
__________________
WTB SPD pedals style???
"I've been dropped a lot of times, but it's never been because of my bike." DXchulo
dbikingman is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 10:59 AM   #11
xtrajack
xtrajack
 
xtrajack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Maine
Bikes: Kona fire mountain/xtracycle,Univega landrover fs,Nishiki custom sport Ross professional super gran tour Schwinn Mesa (future Xtracycle donor bike)
Posts: 2,056
Street only. If I am on the sidewalk, I am walking. I have never ridden on the sidewalk​.
xtrajack is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 10:59 AM   #12
Mr. Hairy Legs
Full Auto, Baby
 
Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Delta/Richmond, B.C.
Bikes: shiny red tricycle
Posts: 876
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...
Mr. Hairy Legs is online now  
Old 11-02-13, 11:14 AM   #13
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,087
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.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 11:46 AM   #14
wphamilton
rugged individualist
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Bikes: Nashbar Road
Posts: 9,450
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.
wphamilton is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 12:43 PM   #15
swwhite
Senior Member
 
swwhite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Minneapolis MN USA
Bikes: Trek 4300
Posts: 846
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.
swwhite is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 01:36 PM   #16
Ghost Ryder
Ghost Ryding 24/7
 
Ghost Ryder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada/604
Bikes: Giant Defy with Dura Ace group, & Ksyrium SL's,Specialized Allez Shimano mixed/mashed,2011 Opus Sentiero,2008 Kona Jake the Snake,Custom built track/fixed,Stumpy Hartail,Kuwahara/ET bike.
Posts: 2,185
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.
Ghost Ryder is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 02:24 PM   #17
rommer25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: So. Cal.
Bikes: Windsor Carrera Sport, Fuji Absolute 3.0, Cannondale H400
Posts: 141
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.
rommer25 is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 02:29 PM   #18
Ghost Ryder
Ghost Ryding 24/7
 
Ghost Ryder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada/604
Bikes: Giant Defy with Dura Ace group, & Ksyrium SL's,Specialized Allez Shimano mixed/mashed,2011 Opus Sentiero,2008 Kona Jake the Snake,Custom built track/fixed,Stumpy Hartail,Kuwahara/ET bike.
Posts: 2,185
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.
Ghost Ryder is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 02:48 PM   #19
WonderMonkey
Senior Member
 
WonderMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Vandalia OH
Bikes: 2011 Cannondale Quick 5, 2014 Raleigh Revenio 2.0
Posts: 2,923
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.
WonderMonkey is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 03:03 PM   #20
Rob22315
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: DC metro, USA
Bikes: Fuji Absolute 3.0
Posts: 30
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.
Rob22315 is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 03:16 PM   #21
Ghost Ryder
Ghost Ryding 24/7
 
Ghost Ryder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada/604
Bikes: Giant Defy with Dura Ace group, & Ksyrium SL's,Specialized Allez Shimano mixed/mashed,2011 Opus Sentiero,2008 Kona Jake the Snake,Custom built track/fixed,Stumpy Hartail,Kuwahara/ET bike.
Posts: 2,185
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"
Ghost Ryder is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 03:26 PM   #22
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 33,461
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.
caloso is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 03:38 PM   #23
dynaryder
PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes
 
dynaryder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: BicycleSPACE warehouse in SW Washington DC
Bikes:
Posts: 6,985
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 gun 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'.
__________________

C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L/S2E-X
dynaryder is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 03:57 PM   #24
Ernie_XO
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 6
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 ^
Ernie_XO is offline  
Old 11-02-13, 04:06 PM   #25
Ghost Ryder
Ghost Ryding 24/7
 
Ghost Ryder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada/604
Bikes: Giant Defy with Dura Ace group, & Ksyrium SL's,Specialized Allez Shimano mixed/mashed,2011 Opus Sentiero,2008 Kona Jake the Snake,Custom built track/fixed,Stumpy Hartail,Kuwahara/ET bike.
Posts: 2,185
"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.
Ghost Ryder is offline  
Closed Thread


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:35 AM.