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  1. #1
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Why I dislike sidewalks...

    For me, there are three reasons why I don't like sidewalks. First, obviously, is that sidewalks are too narrow as I tend to stay in the center, but not to the right, due to my visual impairment.Because of the obvious, I don't have to discuss this in detail, but I can tell you this: I think the width of sidewalks are 3 feet, but it'd be nice if it's 4.5 feet in width. Second is about the cyclists and third is about motorists who don't yield the right of way to pedestrians. Just to let you know where I live, I live in Orlando, FL 32825. Currently, because I don't have a bike, I've been walking in the sidewalk.

    I don't like sidewalks because of cyclists who travel through the bridge in N. Chickasaw Trail in Orlando, FL (the bridge where East/West Expressway travels through the underpass). I was quite hard pressed to know why cyclists ride in sidewalks instead of the road. Well, I [b]do[/u] wish cyclists use a bell instead of their voice for early warning, so that I can be prepared to either slow down or stop. But if early warnings are not possible because of only using loud voice, I will have trouble preparing myself to stay to the right of the sidewalk depending on the direction I go. Cyclists could use AirZound (or a similar device that could sound like a high-pitched horn), but I could be a bit freaked out. I mean, I could ask myself "is that coming from a bicycle" and I can be a bit confused. I understand if this does not seem clear to anyone here in the Bike Forum, but I can tell you one thing: I'll feel much better if cyclists use a bell instead of their voice or horn. I do want to be well prepared to stay to the right and either stop or slow down depending on how many cyclists are coming through using the sidewalk. Or better yet (man, I don't like to tell cyclists to stay off the sidewalk as it's their right to use the sidewalk if they want to), stay in the road.

    Okay, I've finished with discussing my second reason for not liking sidewalks. Now here's my last reason that does not belong in the Sidewalk Bicycling thread: motorists that block the right of way for pedestrians to pass. While it may be obvious to some, let me explain:

    I have provided an image of what it's like. Try to pay attention to the markings:


    The Google Satellite view is outdated, so pretend there's no car coming from S. Chickasaw Trail, but I want you all to pretend there's a car blocking the crosswalk while waiting for the light to turn green. So during Wednesday of 18th of this month, I came from the grocery store and the cars in S. Chickasaw Trail gets a green light. Before I wait a minute for cars in the left and right get a green light, there was a truck blocking in the middle of the crosswalk.

    Well, that is quite an embarrassment, so I waited for the next green light for S. Chickasaw Trail and I just moved in. Then a couple of cyclists come through in the sidewalk and then when I get to Valencia College Lane, when the N. Chickasaw Trail gets a red light and Valencia College Lane gets a green light, I cross the N. Chickasaw Trail street with no problem. Then, when the Valencia College Lane gets a red light and N. Chickasaw Street gets a green light, a car from eastbound of Valencia College Lane blocks the crosswalk. So because the cars in N. Chickasaw Trail gets a green light, I walked behind a car, quickly looked ahead to see if there're any cars turning right (there were none), and I quickly get back in the crosswalk and I made it safely across Valencia College Lane. Yes, I know it's dangerous and I can be patient as much as I can, but I can be annoyed by motorists who don't yield the right of way to pedestrians.

    Okay, perhaps the reason to not like sidewalks due to motorists blocking crosswalks may not be so severe, as it rarely happened in Orlando, but I like to walk in sidewalk. I like to lose weight. That's what sidewalks are for, right? But when cyclists get into sidewalks, I like to walk and ignore cyclists passing me. That requires a sidewalk that is wider than 3 feet long, because like I mentioned, I had trouble staying to the right of the sidewalk. Midway to my apartment, I "half-slipped" my right foot into the grass, but I got back into the sidewalk very quickly without a fall and stayed in the middle of the sidewalk just to get back to my apartment safely. But in a 4.5' wide sidewalk, I can easily stay to the right.

    But the problem is, I don't think any cities have enough resources to widen the sidewalks -- even in Orlando or Tallahassee, for that matter. In Tallahassee, if a visual impaired were to travel west in Pensacola Street to get to their apartment in Appleyard Drive, there are some places with steep downhill to the parking lots with small apartment buildings (it may look like a motel, but I didn't pay attention to the detail while traveling either east or west in the Pensacola street. Anyway, if a visually impaired travel were to stay to the right, traveling west, to let the incoming bicyclist to pass by, a visually impaired traveler may have a tendency to slip and fall to the right, into the parking lot. But for me, I know of the surroundings very well, so I'm not the one to slip off from the sidewalk.

    With all the fuss I've made, I've started to feel the need to ride a bike and break free of any hassles. So, for Christmas, I'm planning to get a single-speed cruiser bike with coaster brake (as not to worry about maintaining multi-speed gears and brake cables. I can't afford to get a bike from a bike shop even though I plan to commute to Valencia Community College East or grocery store south of my apartment. Well, my budget is within $120 to $200 and I do have trouble finding a single-speed bike with coaster brake at Craigslist.com and I don't use eBay anymore. So I'm left with no choice but to buy a bike from a big department store. I don't care about bragging rights when buying a bike or having a high-quality bike for that matter, as I only care for a bike that lets me get to where I want to go, while following the Florida traffic laws and regulations that I've learned so far about a couple of months ago.

    I don't want to get the wrong impression about not expecting to know the prices of bikes just by visiting bike shops as I've never visited any bike shops before and I don't have a car. I've been used to visiting the websites of department stores, but that's because I've only been looking at cheap quality bikes. I once mentioned about getting a tricycle in my introduction thread a couple of months ago, but I live in second floor of the apartment building and I won't be able to hug the trike upstairs, so I'm getting a bike instead. Plus, no tandem bikes, because I like to explore in my own. I will not let visual impairment get in my way.

    Once I buy the bicycle, I plan to ride the bike in the road so I can forget about the sidewalk.

    PS: I hope I don't mean to offend or hurt cyclists' feelings when I mention "bragging rights" when I talk about getting a bike from a bike shop and my thread is not my intent to hurt anyone's feelings about using sidewalks for cycling.

    Update: Some say I've been using a bicycle in the sidewalk. Next time, please take all your time to read my post and break it by little by little if you have to. The last two paragraphs is about buying a bicycle so that I don't have to use the sidewalk anymore.
    Last edited by GraysonPeddie; 11-20-09 at 12:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with that area of Orlando, and the post is way too long for my attention deficit desorder. However, greetings from the 32750 zip code

  3. #3
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Sorry for my post being way too long.

  4. #4
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Just to throw a little wrench in your thinking, but handbrakes and a derailer aren't that much extra maintenance.
    Shameless plug (my sites):
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    I don't know about that, but I like having a bicycle that is simple to maintain without extra parts like derailleur and brake cables, plus I only want to go with a single speed. It's all a matter of trying to keep it simple for a beginner like me. In other words, "keep it uncomplicated."

    If I want to add brake cable and derailleur to a bicycle, I can do that as I become more experienced in maintaining a bike.
    Last edited by GraysonPeddie; 11-19-09 at 06:43 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    For me, there are three reasons why I don't like sidewalks. First, obviously, is that sidewalks are too narrow as I tend to stay in the center, but not to the right, due to my visual impairment.Because of the obvious, I don't have to discuss this in detail, but I can tell you this: I think the width of sidewalks are 3 feet, but it'd be nice if it's 4.5 feet in width. Second is about the cyclists and third is about motorists who don't yield the right of way to pedestrians. Just to let you know where I live, I live in Orlando, FL 32825.

    I don't like sidewalks because of cyclists who travel through the bridge in N. Chickasaw Trail in Orlando, FL (the bridge where East/West Expressway travels through the underpass). I was quite hard pressed to know why cyclists ride in sidewalks instead of the road. Well, I [b]do[/u] wish cyclists use a bell instead of their voice for early warning, so that I can be prepared to either slow down or stop. But if early warnings are not possible because of only using loud voice, I will have trouble preparing myself to stay to the right of the sidewalk depending on the direction I go. Cyclists could use AirZound (or a similar device that could sound like a high-pitched horn), but I could be a bit freaked out. I mean, I could ask myself "is that coming from a bicycle" and I can be a bit confused. I understand if this does not seem clear to anyone here in the Bike Forum, but I can tell you one thing: I'll feel much better if cyclists use a bell instead of their voice or horn. I do want to be well prepared to stay to the right and either stop or slow down depending on how many cyclists are coming through using the sidewalk. Or better yet (man, I don't like to tell cyclists to stay off the sidewalk as it's their right to use the sidewalk if they want to), stay in the road.

    Okay, I've finished with discussing my second reason for not liking sidewalks. Now here's my last reason that does not belong in the Sidewalk Bicycling thread: motorists that block the right of way for pedestrians to pass. While it may be obvious to some, let me explain:

    I have provided an image of what it's like. Try to pay attention to the markings:


    The Google Satellite view is outdated, so pretend there's no car coming from S. Chickasaw Trail, but I want you all to pretend there's a car blocking the crosswalk while waiting for the light to turn green. So during Wednesday of 18th of this month, I came from the grocery store and the cars in S. Chickasaw Trail gets a green light. Before I wait a minute for cars in the left and right get a green light, there was a truck blocking in the middle of the crosswalk.

    Well, that is quite an embarrassment, so I waited for the next green light for S. Chickasaw Trail and I just moved in. Then a couple of cyclists come through in the sidewalk and then when I get to Valencia College Lane, when the N. Chickasaw Trail gets a red light and Valencia College Lane gets a green light, I cross the N. Chickasaw Trail street with no problem. Then, when the Valencia College Lane gets a red light and N. Chickasaw Street gets a green light, a car from eastbound of Valencia College Lane blocks the crosswalk. So because the cars in N. Chickasaw Trail gets a green light, I walked behind a car, quickly looked ahead to see if there're any cars turning right (there were none), and I quickly get back in the crosswalk and I made it safely across Valencia College Lane. Yes, I know it's dangerous and I can be patient as much as I can, but I can be annoyed by motorists who don't yield the right of way to pedestrians.

    Okay, perhaps the reason to not like sidewalks due to motorists blocking crosswalks may not be so severe, as it rarely happened in Orlando, but I like to walk in sidewalk. I like to lose weight. That's what sidewalks are for, right? But when cyclists get into sidewalks, I like to walk and ignore cyclists passing me. That requires a sidewalk that is wider than 3 feet long, because like I mentioned, I had trouble staying to the right of the sidewalk. Midway to my apartment, I "half-slipped" my right foot into the grass, but I got back into the sidewalk very quickly without a fall and stayed in the middle of the sidewalk just to get back to my apartment safely. But in a 4.5' wide sidewalk, I can easily stay to the right.

    But the problem is, I don't think any cities have enough resources to widen the sidewalks -- even in Orlando or Tallahassee, for that matter. In Tallahassee, if a visual impaired were to travel west in Pensacola Street to get to their apartment in Appleyard Drive, there are some places with steep downhill to the parking lots with small apartment buildings (it may look like a motel, but I didn't pay attention to the detail while traveling either east or west in the Pensacola street. Anyway, if a visually impaired travel were to stay to the right, traveling west, to let the incoming bicyclist to pass by, a visually impaired traveler may have a tendency to slip and fall to the right, into the parking lot. But for me, I know of the surroundings very well, so I'm not the one to slip off from the sidewalk.

    With all the fuss I've made, I've started to feel the need to ride a bike and break free of any hassles. So, for Christmas, I'm planning to get a single-speed cruiser bike with coaster brake (as not to worry about maintaining multi-speed gears and brake cables. I can't afford to get a bike from a bike shop even though I plan to commute to Valencia Community College East or grocery store south of my apartment. Well, my budget is within $120 to $200 and I do have trouble finding a single-speed bike with coaster brake at Craigslist.com and I don't use eBay anymore. So I'm left with no choice but to buy a bike from a big department store. I don't care about bragging rights when buying a bike or having a high-quality bike for that matter, as I only care for a bike that lets me get to where I want to go, while following the Florida traffic laws and regulations that I've learned so far about a couple of months ago.

    I don't want to get the wrong impression about not expecting to know the prices of bikes just by visiting bike shops as I've never visited any bike shops before and I don't have a car. I've been used to visiting the websites of department stores, but that's because I've only been looking at cheap quality bikes. I once mentioned about getting a tricycle in my introduction thread a couple of months ago, but I live in second floor of the apartment building and I won't be able to hug the trike upstairs, so I'm getting a bike instead. Plus, no tandem bikes, because I like to explore in my own. I will not let visual impairment get in my way.

    PS: I hope I don't mean to offend or hurt cyclists' feelings when I mention "bragging rights" when I talk about getting a bike from a bike shop and my thread is not my intent to hurt anyone's feelings about using sidewalks for cycling.
    GraysonPeddle, I think you forgot to mention that sidewalks are basically designed to be used for PEDESTRIANS, not bicyclists? I'm both a pedestrian and a bicyclist and don't use the sidewalks to ride on to avoid hitting pedestrians who are using the sidewalks.

  7. #7
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    According to the IBC, all sidewalks must be 48" wide. A good designer will make them wider (60 or 72) for multi-directional traffic. The IBC is all but universal now.

    I stopped reading after that, but I get the feeling your riding on a sideWALK. Most places, that's illegal - and unsafe. It's not called a side-bicycle-area, it's a side walk. Your not a pedestrian on a bike, your a human powered vehicle.

  8. #8
    Mrs. DataJunkie Luddite's Avatar
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    What Scorpio said. Get the fudge off the sidewalk!

  9. #9
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    I did not say I plan to ride a bicycle in the sidewalk. I once said that cyclists should use the ROAD instead of sideWALK.

    I'm planning to buy a bicycle to ride in the ROAD, not the sideWALK.

    Currently, because I don't have a bike, I've been walking in the sidewalk. I'm sorry I have not stated this in my first post.

    The reason why I say this is because I thought you all could infer that I've been walking in the sidewalk (it's "inference" when it comes to reading).

    In my future posts, I will try to minimize readers' ability to infer from my posts as much as I can, just to make it 100% clear for everyone.

    No inference, no implied main ideas, nothing.
    Last edited by GraysonPeddie; 11-20-09 at 12:36 AM.

  10. #10
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    I did not say I plan to ride a bicycle in the sidewalk. I once said that cyclists should use the ROAD instead of sideWALK.

    I'm planning to buy a bicycle to ride in the ROAD, not the sideWALK.

    Currently, because I don't have a bike, I've been walking in the sidewalk. I'm sorry I have not stated this in my first post.

    The reason why I say this is because I thought you all could infer that I've been walking in the sidewalk (it's "inference" when it comes to reading).

    In my future posts, I will try to minimize readers' ability to infer from my posts as much as I can, just to make it 100% clear for everyone.

    No inference, no implied main ideas, nothing.
    This does happen to be a cycling website so the common inference is that you are talking about riding a bike. Sorry we weren't more clear on that. Maybe we should change the name of the forums from AmbiguousMeansofTravelingUnderOne'sOwnPower.net to something like... oh... I dunno.. Bikeforums.net or something...

    Also, get a brake. The "maintenance" required is practically nil and the stopping distance is dramatically decreased with a front brake. You may need to change a cable every year or so, but the ability to stop quickly in a panic situation could save your hide.

  11. #11
    beast mode bluevelo's Avatar
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    UA is right. I know people with fixies that poo-poo brakes, but even if you don't use it that much, its one of those things in a panic situation that could save you much injury. You pick your poison, anyway, I see fixie riders using their tire rubber to stop, which means they're burning up tires which are more expensive than brake pads to replace. Versus a derailleur system, a single front brake is extremely simple to maintain. Yes, the cable, if you use the brake a lot, is going to stretch eventually but you're more likely to wear out the pads than you are the cable.

    I rode a single speed - not fixed - for almost a year here in Sacramento as a commuter as I live in the flattest part of town, and I'm back on gears because as a man in his late 40s, I found out that my left knee did not like pushing a single gear (the ratio was way too high - 48x18) and I've struggled with an injury/leg issues since I sold the damn thing earlier this year. You can easily change everything involved with a geared bike, its not so simple to get approvals for knee surgery or replace parts in there LOL.

    I'm glad to hear that you are going to ride despite your visual issues. We have a guy here in town that's done an Ironman that's visually impaired. Good for you on getting on a bike!

    (In fact, I don't think here in California its 'legal' to sell a single/fixie w/o a hand brake (or ride one, but that's enforced like lights after dark, which means, not at all). I'd have to check the law on that one).

  12. #12
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't plan on riding a fixed-gear bike (I did not compare that to a single speed bike because I did some research in the Internet).

    I'm going to do some more research in those brakes in the Internet. Is it possible to change the ratio in a single-speed bike? I'd like to exercise my knees in a bike.

  13. #13
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    Yeah, I don't plan on riding a fixed-gear bike (I did not compare that to a single speed bike because I did some research in the Internet).

    I'm going to do some more research in those brakes in the Internet. Thanks for your advice.
    Single speed coaster brakes are as poor as fixed gear stopping. Having one brake in the rear is not a good idea. Bikes with both front and rear brakes tend to generate almost all of their stopping power from the front brakes. Take that option away, and very little stopping power is left. Brakes are cheap but the options all depend on what bike you're planning on putting them on.

  14. #14
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Okay, I guess a 3-speed hand-brake type cruiser bike wouldn't hurt to maintain for me -- I mean, as long as the maintenance is minimal compared to a single-speed bike with a coaster brake. I just don't want to have too many unnecessary parts in a bike when it comes to commuting.

  15. #15
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    Okay, I guess a 3-speed hand-brake type cruiser bike wouldn't hurt to maintain for me -- I mean, as long as the maintenance is minimal compared to a single-speed bike with a coaster brake. I just don't want to have too many unnecessary parts in a bike when it comes to commuting.
    Totally understandable. The less crap to deal with, the better the ride. You can get a single speed and just slap a front brake on it, if the front fork takes one. Makes it simple and safe.

    Whatever you do, enjoy the ride. Bike commuting is great. I miss having a job simply for the commute.

  16. #16
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Thanks!

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