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Sidewalk riding exposes stoopid biker

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Sidewalk riding exposes stoopid biker

Old 11-01-09, 08:42 PM
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Wake
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Sidewalk riding exposes stoopid biker

I've got several K miles of biking under my belt over the last 60-some years, but I got caught doing something dumb Thursday am. On the way to a marriage counselling appt (no, that's not the stoopid part!), I avoided an uphill left turn at a light on a 4-lane rd by taking to the left sidewalk a 1/4 mile before.

Enjoying the lack of pedestrians, and the feeling of wind in my ears, I coasted down the hill. Just before a little "chicane" at the bottom I tried to avoid some wet leaves and wound up leaving the sidewalk, but still under control. Then a culvert loomed into view - getting back on the sidewalk was a must. I'm really too old to bunny-hop, especially with 10lbs of lunch and clothes in the rear panniers. The front wheel made it ok, but not the rear. THUD went I, on the concrete.

Nothing important damaged - just a rubbing brake which I quickly adjusted. Well, I did rash up my hand (bleeding and swelled up good later), bruised my hip pretty bad, and probably bruised a rib (can't take a deep breath or cough very well, but it's getting better). I did manage to ride to work afterword, and home at the end of the day.

If I'd been a good commuter/cyclist I would never have been on the sidewalk. STOOPID.
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Old 11-01-09, 10:48 PM
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Yeah, the only crash I've ever had while commuting was something similar. Tried to hop up a kerb at the wrong angle, and with too little planning.

I don't see a big problem with riding on the footpath occasionally if it makes your life easier and doesn't inconvenience anyone else...
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Old 11-01-09, 10:49 PM
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I'm confused about the culvert and getting back onto the sidewalk. Could you not make it over to the right lane after entering the street?

But hey, at least the leaves didn't get you.
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Old 11-02-09, 06:59 AM
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Ain't nothing wrong with jumping on the sidewalk to avoid a tricky piece of road...it's one of the advantages of riding a bike. BUT, when you do it, you gotta slow down and be more careful. I'd think someone who has been riding 60 years (which is 20 years more than I) would have figured this out by now.
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Old 11-02-09, 08:17 PM
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Glad you weren't hurt more seriously than you were. This yarn points out one of the easy-to-miss pleasures of cycling, at least for me. We're constantly solving problems. How to deal with the weather, traffic, mechanical breakdowns, aging bodies, wet leaves, clueless drivers, new cycling technologies...
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Old 11-02-09, 09:39 PM
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I ride the sidewalk all the time here to avoid traffic. I know one of these Texans will run me over sooner or later otherwise. I've got a whole block and a half commute and still get honked and buzzed by the rednecks if I'm going too slow uphill.
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Old 11-03-09, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Wake View Post
I've got several K miles of biking under my belt over the last 60-some years, but I got caught doing something dumb Thursday am. On the way to a marriage counselling appt (no, that's not the stoopid part!), I avoided an uphill left turn at a light on a 4-lane rd by taking to the left sidewalk a 1/4 mile before.

Enjoying the lack of pedestrians, and the feeling of wind in my ears, I coasted down the hill. Just before a little "chicane" at the bottom I tried to avoid some wet leaves and wound up leaving the sidewalk, but still under control. Then a culvert loomed into view - getting back on the sidewalk was a must. I'm really too old to bunny-hop, especially with 10lbs of lunch and clothes in the rear panniers. The front wheel made it ok, but not the rear. THUD went I, on the concrete.

Nothing important damaged - just a rubbing brake which I quickly adjusted. Well, I did rash up my hand (bleeding and swelled up good later), bruised my hip pretty bad, and probably bruised a rib (can't take a deep breath or cough very well, but it's getting better). I did manage to ride to work afterword, and home at the end of the day.

If I'd been a good commuter/cyclist I would never have been on the sidewalk. STOOPID.
I sure hope your wife set aside any differences she has with you, long enough to show some compassion towards you, about what happened?
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Old 11-03-09, 07:18 AM
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I, too, jump on the sidewalk to avoid certain obstacles. You must go slower and be more aware and ride like you don't have the right of way(even when you technically do). The leaves should be gone soon.
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Old 11-03-09, 07:44 AM
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I'm also guilty of jumping on sidewalks for short stretches to avoid busy roads or bad intersections. You just have to get into a different mindset when riding sidewalks and remind yourself to go slower and watch for drivers pulling out of sidestreets, driveways, etc.
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Old 11-03-09, 08:19 AM
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I cross the Trinity River on the sidewalk of the bridge, because it makes vastly more sense to do so than the hijinks I'd have to employ otherwise.

Glad you survived.
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Old 11-03-09, 09:10 PM
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Thanks for all the sympathy. I still have to remember to use more brainpower than legpower sometimes. I'll probably be using the same sidewalk this Thu.
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Old 11-03-09, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dipy911 View Post
I, too, jump on the sidewalk to avoid certain obstacles. You must go slower and be more aware and ride like you don't have the right of way(even when you technically do). The leaves should be gone soon.
That is the truth. However, knowing that you should go slower and actually going slow enough seem to be two different things. You tend to start out slow on the sidewalk, but are soon going 20mph.

That's why sidewalks are dangerous.
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