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Curbs and "Ungraceful Dismounts" ;-)

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Curbs and "Ungraceful Dismounts" ;-)

Old 07-02-19, 05:54 PM
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Synack42
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Curbs and "Ungraceful Dismounts" ;-)

Just need to share my disdain for curbs today ;-).

I've taken a few spills (albeit "gentle") in the past year and a half since I started riding again. Seems like every time I have an embarrassing moment in public on the bike it's because I'm desperately trying to avoid or get out of traffic. Nerves get to me and I end up making a bad call. Happened twice in the same area, which is on my daily exercise route. Riding on the sidewalk is legal here and in my town there is a turn on a main road that is basically unavoidable with no shoulder. Unfortunately the sidewalk alongside it can double as a pump track (driveways and some really steep ramps to get up on raised concrete medians in between.) Both times I ended missing the ramp and end up banging into the straight curb, followed by a not very elegant roll to the side ;-).

...Luckily since I started riding I'm down 130 lbs. so the show is probably a little bit less entertaining for the witnesses...

Two other times I was riding in unfamiliar areas. Didn't notice loose gravel on a ramp to a sidewalk and "whoosh" bike out from under me, another time I rolled down a sidewalk ramp to cross a side street and on the other side was greeted by a 90 degree curb instead of ramp (was looking for cars and not at the sidewalk itself...)

There really is no point to this post, not trying to blame anything but myself here. I just need to work on being a bit more focused, nimble with steering, better brake control and be more willing to take the lane instead of yielding it...

*I suppose some similar experiences from people riding longer than me may help my bruised ego ;-)
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Old 07-02-19, 07:58 PM
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Around here the roads have anti-curbs, that is, a 4-to-9-inch slab of black asphalt paved over top of whatever country road has been there for 30 years, with sharp drop-offs to the sides. This will turn a pedestrian's ankle and woe unto any cyclist who tries to exit or enter the road at a shallow angle. I know this because that's why I crashed a couple years ago. I feel your pain.

(My neighborhood just got this treatment, and it looks like an oil slick flowing down off the hill. Subjectively, it seems hotter. Shouldn't we be thinking about albedo given the long-term trends in weather? Anyway.)

Being down 130 pounds is super-impressive, way to go.
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Old 07-03-19, 09:04 AM
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don't ride on sidewalks
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Old 07-03-19, 02:57 PM
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Down here drunks, dreamers, phone gabbers, texters, and oldsters (I'm retired) take out a pretty good number of riders yearly down here, so I ride the sidewalk. My right to stay alive preempts my "right" to the road.

That said, dangers exist on sidewalks too. Motorists pushing past the STOP line at lights to make a right on red or a stop sign pay no attention to the sidewalk despite the brightly lit WALK man, also they tend to zip out of driveways onto sidewalks without looking for peds.
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Old 07-04-19, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gnappi View Post
Down here drunks, dreamers, phone gabbers, texters, and oldsters (I'm retired) take out a pretty good number of riders yearly down here, so I ride the sidewalk. My right to stay alive preempts my "right" to the road.

That said, dangers exist on sidewalks too. Motorists pushing past the STOP line at lights to make a right on red or a stop sign pay no attention to the sidewalk despite the brightly lit WALK man, also they tend to zip out of driveways onto sidewalks without looking for peds.
People can correct me if I'm wrong, but I've definitely read that statistically, it's much safer to ride in the street. Sidewalk riders get hit by cars and trucks more often at intersections and driveways, and that's not even taking into account the increased risk of hitting pedestrians. Basically, you're way more likely to get killed riding on the sidewalk. You're fooling yourself if you think it offers enhanced protection from distracted drivers, it's actually the opposite. And it's not a close call.
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Old 07-04-19, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
People can correct me if I'm wrong, but I've definitely read that statistically, it's much safer to ride in the street. Sidewalk riders get hit by cars and trucks more often at intersections and driveways, and that's not even taking into account the increased risk of hitting pedestrians. Basically, you're way more likely to get killed riding on the sidewalk. You're fooling yourself if you think it offers enhanced protection from distracted drivers, it's actually the opposite. And it's not a close call.
I'll not correct you, but give anecdotal support for where I live and ride the sidewalks.

A L-O-T of riders ride on sidewalks at all hours of the day and night here in So. Flo. I meet a half dozen or more daily and "generally" see none to very few riding in the street, and have never ever read of a bicyclist being killed riding on the sidewalk. Peds seem to be very hip to bike riders, a simple "on your left (or right as it happens)" before passing them invariably gets them to hug the far side of the sidewalk.

In the street the vehicle is likely to be going at or near the speed limit, say 25 to 45 mph and from a parking lot what MAYBE 5 mph? I'll take those numbers in a heartbeat as a matter of fact I have for the last 30 odd years.
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Old 07-05-19, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gnappi View Post
I'll not correct you, but give anecdotal support for where I live and ride the sidewalks.

A L-O-T of riders ride on sidewalks at all hours of the day and night here in So. Flo. I meet a half dozen or more daily and "generally" see none to very few riding in the street, and have never ever read of a bicyclist being killed riding on the sidewalk. Peds seem to be very hip to bike riders, a simple "on your left (or right as it happens)" before passing them invariably gets them to hug the far side of the sidewalk.

In the street the vehicle is likely to be going at or near the speed limit, say 25 to 45 mph and from a parking lot what MAYBE 5 mph? I'll take those numbers in a heartbeat as a matter of fact I have for the last 30 odd years.

Turning into a driveway often occurs at faster than 5 mph, but there's no question that riders on sidewalks are disproportionately injured by driveway crashes. Where the high fatality rates come in is at the intersections, riding off the sidewalk into the intersection is far more dangerous than maintaining a consistent and high visibility position on the road.

I don't know what is cause or effect here, but Florida is generally the state with the highest fatality rates for bicyclists, and also has laws that pretty much encourage sidewalk riding. I'm not going to pretend I know better than someone who actually has to navigate such a place how to do it. If it works for you there, fine. In most states, an adult riding on the sidewalk is fairly unusual and the drivers are definitely not looking for them.
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Old 07-05-19, 05:03 AM
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Especially if they're going the wrong direction. At most intersections, when driving, I do a final "Salmon Check" before pulling out to make a right turn, just to make sure there are no wrong way "cyclists" approaching from my right. Every few months I almost hit one.
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Old 07-05-19, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Especially if they're going the wrong direction. At most intersections, when driving, I do a final "Salmon Check" before pulling out to make a right turn, just to make sure there are no wrong way "cyclists" approaching from my right. Every few months I almost hit one.
I googled about Florida and see that not only is it legal to ride on sidewalks, there is no requirement that you do so on the right side of the road or even the right side of the sidewalk. Basically, Florida has pedestrian rules for bicycles. That's a mess--I feel for you Floridian bicyclists, I wouldn't want to deal with such a legal free-for-all in a state infamous for bad drivers.
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Old 07-05-19, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Synack42 View Post
Just need to share my disdain for curbs today ;-).
What kind of bike are you sidewalk and curb hopping on?

Some bikes are better at it than others due to body position, tire width, etc.

My old mountain bike was very good at it, but would have been even better with semi-slick tires, IMO. Out of my two current bikes, a 700x37 tired commuter type and a 26x2.125 tired cruiser type, my cruiser type is better at sidewalks and curbs. The body position on my cruiser simulates a mountain bike which allows me to lighten the front end more easily even though the cruiser weighs more than the commuter. Plus the wide semi-slick tires do very well, too.
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Old 07-06-19, 04:25 PM
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I googled about Florida and see that not only is it legal to ride on sidewalks, there is no requirement that you do so on the right side of the road or even the right side of the sidewalk. Basically, Florida has pedestrian rules for bicycles. That's a mess--I feel for you Floridian bicyclists, I wouldn't want to deal with such a legal free-for-all in a state infamous for bad drivers.
Look in section 316 under the Florida statutes and read for bicycles. Same as cars, meaning you don't ride on the wrong side of the road unless you have a death wish.

I'll not correct you, but give anecdotal support for where I live and ride the sidewalks.
Riding a bicycle in the road and handling intersections properly is no more dangerous than doing the same in a car. People on bicycles at intersections in the wrong lane position create more danger for them selves. When they take that fear of cars to the extremes they go on the sidewalk and some of them endanger pedestrians. When pedaling down the sidewalk and crossing a road is where it is most dangerous. They are out of the motorists view and a large portion of deaths occur here. There are videos I have seen from store front cameras on YouTube that show some of the mayhem.
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Old 07-06-19, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Look in section 316 under the Florida statutes and read for bicycles. Same as cars, meaning you don't ride on the wrong side of the road unless you have a death wish.

.
You mean the part that says "A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances"?

Florida law basically is that a bike is a vehicle on the street, but a pedestrian on the sidewalk and in crosswalks. Nothing in there about directions on sidewalks. Local ordinances can vary however.

In my opinion, Florida law is a mess.
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Old 07-07-19, 01:42 PM
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(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter, except as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.
I meant this

(10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
Some of the people who ride a bicycle on the sidewalk are ignorant of the law. My wife was hit by some street thug texting while riding on the sidewalk. I don't ride on any sidewalks. I will walk my bicycle on a sidewalk if I need to go that way. If you ride on the sidewalk as you approach an intersection you are not spotted by traffic very easy. No matter what direction you ride on the sidewalk you are more easily ran down. And all the motorist has to say is I didn't see him, her or other.
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Old 07-07-19, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
What kind of bike are you sidewalk and curb hopping on?

Some bikes are better at it than others due to body position, tire width, etc.
Mainly an old Diamondback Outlook and an old Trek 4300, both 26ers. (WTB All Terrain 26x1.95 on one and cheap Goodyear 26x2.125 on the other. I do have a Frankenbike hybrid with old-school 27x1-1/4 .

I really need to learn to bunny hop and steering through techy stuff (mainly because I'm starting to venture onto singletrack when I'm not doing the monotonous daily exercise routine.) I figure skills like that would come in handy occasionally on the street.
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Old 07-08-19, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I meant this



Some of the people who ride a bicycle on the sidewalk are ignorant of the law. My wife was hit by some street thug texting while riding on the sidewalk. I don't ride on any sidewalks. I will walk my bicycle on a sidewalk if I need to go that way. If you ride on the sidewalk as you approach an intersection you are not spotted by traffic very easy. No matter what direction you ride on the sidewalk you are more easily ran down. And all the motorist has to say is I didn't see him, her or other.
I agree with you--I almost never ride on a sidewalk, and the couple of exceptions have some pretty unusual features and virtually no pedestrians.

Riding the wrong way on a sidewalk in Florida is not illegal, doesn't mean it's a good idea.
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Old 07-09-19, 11:24 AM
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Doesnt happen if you ride a trike.
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Old 07-09-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Doesnt happen if you ride a trike.
Yeah, cuz I wouldn't be caught dead on one of those things.

Sorry, but you teed up the softball.
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Old 07-10-19, 05:58 AM
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Dont knock it if you havent tried it.
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Old 07-10-19, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Dont knock it if you havent tried it.
I've tried riding on sidewalks, don't like it at all.
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