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Do you ever use your road bike on the sidewalk?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Do you ever use your road bike on the sidewalk?

Old 02-17-15, 09:55 AM
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Do you ever use your road bike on the sidewalk?

I'm visiting my parents in Corpus Christi and there are very few provisions for cyclists so the sidewalk is usually the only viable option. Anyone here live in an area with inadequate bike infrastructure?
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Old 02-17-15, 09:56 AM
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If you have to, for a few blocks, to get to an area WITH infrastructure, that's reasonable.

Otherwise, I say more trouble/risk than it's worth.
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Old 02-17-15, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas
If you have to, for a few blocks, to get to an area WITH infrastructure, that's reasonable.

Otherwise, I say more trouble/risk than it's worth.
+1. Freeways & near freeways - I'll take the sidewalk. Of course, it depends on the sidewalk - I rode on one Saturday that was very large, very wide and totally pedestrian free to escape from the 50 mph traffic in the road. Other than that, sidewalks present their own hazards.
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Old 02-17-15, 10:05 AM
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No, riding on the sidewalk is not road bike riding, that is fooling around. And it isn't safe for you or anyone else on the sidewalk. I don't understand what infrastructure has to do with riding on the street. Surely there are multi-lane roads that have low traffic during off hours (non rush-hour). Or backroads that may be two-lane undivided, but still low traffic. You don't need a bike lane or MUP for safe road riding.
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Old 02-17-15, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
No, riding on the sidewalk is not road bike riding, that is fooling around. And it isn't safe for you or anyone else on the sidewalk. I don't understand what infrastructure has to do with riding on the street. Surely there are multi-lane roads that have low traffic during off hours (non rush-hour). Or backroads that may be two-lane undivided, but still low traffic. You don't need a bike lane or MUP for safe road riding.
+1 although people keep arguing. Yes maybe a commuter or someone cruising for transportation but cruising at 20 mph on a sidewalk with pedestrians, dogs on leashes and cars pulling out of driveways is in no way safe
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Old 02-17-15, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by rms13
+1 although people keep arguing. Yes maybe a commuter or someone cruising for transportation but cruising at 20 mph on a sidewalk with pedestrians, dogs on leashes and cars pulling out of driveways is in no way safe
+2

Cyclists are the least safe at intersections and sidewalks make cyclists less visible and less safe at intersections.
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Old 02-17-15, 10:48 AM
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Never. Plus, here once your wheels are above a certain size, you can get ticketed for riding on the sidewalk.
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Old 02-17-15, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sneakyflute
I'm visiting my parents in Corpus Christi and there are very few provisions for cyclists so the sidewalk is usually the only viable option.
Anyone here live in an area with inadequate bike infrastructure?
No. That's a good way to get hit by a car at a driveway or intersection, especially if you're riding in the opposite direction from traffic. Car drivers don't watch for vehicle speed traffic off the roadway, especially in the wrong direction. Sidewalk traffic may also be hidden by things like trees, signs, and lamp posts.

Collisions from behind are rare, it's the people turning into you that are a problem.

Just use the road. Even without a shoulder it's safer than a sidewalk or bike-path with cross-streets.
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Old 02-17-15, 11:00 AM
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Who said anything about riding a bike on a sidewalk at 20mph?
I guess if you are all fancy-boyed out in your kit you don't want to be seen riding on a sidewalk at walking speed!
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Old 02-17-15, 11:04 AM
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No. Riding on the sidewalk undermines all the work we do to try and convince the motorists we also belong on the road and sharing the road and all that. Get out to Mustang or Padre Island Nat'l Seashore, or some of the back roads
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Old 02-17-15, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas
If you have to, for a few blocks, to get to an area WITH infrastructure, that's reasonable.

Otherwise, I say more trouble/risk than it's worth.
This

Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
No. That's a good way to get hit by a car at a driveway or intersection, especially if you're riding in the opposite direction from traffic. Car drivers don't watch for vehicle speed traffic off the roadway, especially in the wrong direction. Sidewalk traffic may also be hidden by things like trees, signs, and lamp posts.

Collisions from behind are rare, it's the people turning into you that are a problem.

Just use the road. Even without a shoulder it's safer than a sidewalk or bike-path with cross-streets.
And this.

So, even though riding on the sidewalk is generally a very bad idea,

I'll ride on the sidewalk for limited distances to connect a ride and avoid a dangerous piece of road.

Number one example is I can ride one block of sidewalk, and avoid crossing a 5 lane highway twice, to get into my neighborhood.

But you have to realize that sidewalks are made for pedestrians; drivers don't expect you to be going 20 mph, and aren't looking your direction when making right turns, half of the time.

So if I do ride on a sidewalk, I'm going not much faster than walking speed, and aware drivers don't see me at intersections, driveways.
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Old 02-17-15, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
So if I do ride on a sidewalk, I'm going not much faster than walking speed, and aware drivers don't see me at intersections, driveways.
Same, I have used my bike on a sidewalk - but more commonly, I dismount and walk my bike on a sidewalk. If you are looking to get a 'road bike ride'; you have no business being on the sidewalks. If you are getting from here-to-there, it's acceptable with limitations and know the local laws - bikes on sidewalks are illegal in many cities.

Last year, I was in Chicago for a trade show, I used a Divvy bike to get between the show and my hotel (less than 3 miles) - I did avoid the roads and used some sidewalks. I was a guy in a suit riding a Divvy at 7 mph (runner passed me), so this was not really the 'road bike ride', if you see my point. On the other hand, it was fun and I got to the show faster than the people stuck in traffic on the shuttle buses.
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Old 02-17-15, 11:32 AM
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Never. It's illegal. Statistics demonstrate that you are more likely to be hit by a motor vehicle during sidewalk cycling, including riding through crosswalks. If I was 5, different story.
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Old 02-17-15, 11:35 AM
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Old 02-17-15, 12:41 PM
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Just be careful with the snot rockets around the little old ladies with walkers. You know, they might not wave back.
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Old 02-17-15, 01:04 PM
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If I have to use the sidewalk, I do so at walking speed.
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Old 02-17-15, 01:19 PM
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Does pulling up to the front of the coffee shop count? Because I do that at least 4x a week.

Other than that, I've found that sidewalk riding is pretty much always more dangerous than road riding around here.
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Old 02-17-15, 01:22 PM
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It's called a "road bike" because it's supposed to be ridden on the _______________. (Fill in the blank)

It takes a little guts and getting used-to, but learn top ride properly, i.e take the lane, where there are no shoulders or bike lanes; and ride with a mirror. THAT'S the safest practice for all concerned. The only difference between your bike and a slow-moving vehicle, like a piece of farm equipment, is that your bike is very narrow. Ride it like it's any other kind of slow-moving vehicle: Take the lane, and move over to let faster traffic by when the opportunity presents itself. Since your vehicle is narrower, the only difference is that you'll want to position yourself so that other road users aren't tempted to try and squeeze by you where/when it is unsafe to do so.
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Old 02-17-15, 01:26 PM
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No. Once you are old enough to have a drivers license, even if you don't drive, you are too old to ride your bike on the sidewalk. Plus all the reasons the people above me listed.
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Old 02-17-15, 01:37 PM
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99% of the time, no. I'm always on the road, but I'll pull over on the sidewalk if I want to access my bag, change songs, send a text or make a call.

There is one particular intersection on my commute from the gym to work where I sometimes take the sidewalk. I have to travel down a busy 4 lane main road where traffic can sometimes be backed up for a solid mile between destinations. I can save a few minutes by just hopping to the oncoming traffic side sidewalk and cruising down it for the last mile or so. Never any pedestrians and it ends in the plaza where I work, so its convenient.

Other than that I never ride on the sidewalk.
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Old 02-17-15, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Stucky
It's called a "road bike" because it's supposed to be ridden on the _______________. (Fill in the blank)

It takes a little guts and getting used-to, but learn top ride properly, i.e take the lane, where there are no shoulders or bike lanes; and ride with a mirror. THAT'S the safest practice for all concerned. The only difference between your bike and a slow-moving vehicle, like a piece of farm equipment, is that your bike is very narrow. Ride it like it's any other kind of slow-moving vehicle: Take the lane, and move over to let faster traffic by when the opportunity presents itself. Since your vehicle is narrower, the only difference is that you'll want to position yourself so that other road users aren't tempted to try and squeeze by you where/when it is unsafe to do so.
Well said.
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Old 02-17-15, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sneakyflute
I'm visiting my parents in Corpus Christi and there are very few provisions for cyclists so the sidewalk is usually the only viable option. Anyone here live in an area with inadequate bike infrastructure?
Are there roads?

Then there is cycling infrastructure.

Bicycles are vehicles of the road.



That said, I will, on occasion, use a sidewalk (where it is legal) as a shortcut or for convenience. Short distances. Slow speeds.
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Old 02-17-15, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel
Who said anything about riding a bike on a sidewalk at 20mph?
I guess if you are all fancy-boyed out in your kit you don't want to be seen riding on a sidewalk at walking speed!
I saw four riders the other day in full matching kit riding on the sidewalk....it was a bit strange.
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Old 02-17-15, 05:18 PM
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Where I live, you can't ride on the sidewalks....they are full of tweakers cruising around on BMX bikes.
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Old 02-17-15, 05:24 PM
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No, I like to keep my average MPH above 18mph
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