Join Date: Feb 2011
Bikes: I own N+1 bikes, where N=0.
Originally Posted by joejeweler
So the sidewalk is where i ride most, and where on an average 5 mile trip i might encounter 2-5 pedestrians, (and i yield to every one of them). It's a no brainer when compared to a 40-45 mph 5 lane highway in the city where there is no designed in bicycle lane with a series of recessed storm drains of about 2 every block. Typically hundreds of cars, truck, and buses will pass during the same time period. I got buzzed several times when i actually tried the road here several years ago,......that told me all i needed to know. "Take your lane my a$$"!
I do the overwhelming majority of my riding in the lane. I also go out of my way to avoid roads with speed limits that exceed 30-35 mph. Most of my typical routes are on streets with speed limits of about 25-30 mph. I believe good route planning is among the three most important bicycle commuting skills, and good route planning means avoiding high speed streets whenever possible, even if it adds some distance to the ride.
While I feel that, in general, the lane is the safest place to ride (absent well implemented bike infrastructure), I recognize that there are circumstances that make it less safe than other options. When high speed streets are unavoidable, especially streets with speed limits of 40 or more, if there is no bike lane, I ride on the sidewalk (or shoulder). If there's no sidewalk (or shoulder), I'll ride in parking lots or on the grass where a sidewalk would be.
Sure, I have a right to the lane, but I don't feel that the increased closing speeds allow me to assert my right safely. I've had some close calls in the lane on such roads, including one time where I heard the chirping of tires on a swerving SUV just before it screamed by, his paint only 2-3 inches away from my bar. I have no idea how my head escaped his passenger side mirror.
I usually ride where the closing speeds are lowest. On most roads I ride, that means in the lane, but when closing speeds are lower on the sidewalk, I make no apologies for pedaling there.
Last edited by Jaywalk3r; 06-23-13 at 11:35 PM.