Don't ride bikes on sidewalks

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Replies

  • Vladimirnapkin
    Vladimirnapkin Posts: 299 Member
    I shoulder checked a vagrant riding his bike down the sidewalk, to prevent him from running down the elderly woman walking out the door of a business. I say never ride your bike on the sidewalk, unless you are maybe 10 or so, and if you just have to (reasons), be super deferential to the pedestrians. If I'm walking down the sidewalk, I shouldn't have to be looking over my shoulder to see if someone is barreling down on me.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    I'm buying a bike for my birthday this weekend and you guys are making me nervous.

    Most car vs bike accidents happen in a few specific ways. Don't ride though close to parked cars because you don't want the door prize. Be wary at intersections, a right hook is when a cyclist going straight ahead is hit by a car making a right turn. Know that drivers will room red lights, it isn't safe the moment it turns green. Be aware of your surroundings.

    I really appreciate this info. Every time I read about a cycling accident it makes me wonder if I'm doing the right thing to take up road biking. It's rarely stated HOW the accident occurred so it is hard to learn from. You also rarely hear if cyclist error was involved so the rest of us can learn what NOT to do (aside from the general rules). Not to blame the cyclist, but to figure out the most critical preventive steps to take.

    I saw a cyclist on the street early this morning, black helmet, black bike, black shirt and black pants, etc. Not a dot of any other color. He "looked cool," but I feel this is setting oneself up for invisibility to motorists, especially during hours of partial light.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    @lorrpb I almost got right hooked twice today on my lunch ride, in less than an hour. They were both predictable, so I went down and cautiously and everything worked out. You seem pretty smart, just don't get complacent and you'll be fine. :smile:
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,070 Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    I'm buying a bike for my birthday this weekend and you guys are making me nervous.

    Most car vs bike accidents happen in a few specific ways. Don't ride though close to parked cars because you don't want the door prize. Be wary at intersections, a right hook is when a cyclist going straight ahead is hit by a car making a right turn. Know that drivers will room red lights, it isn't safe the moment it turns green. Be aware of your surroundings.

    I really appreciate this info. Every time I read about a cycling accident it makes me wonder if I'm doing the right thing to take up road biking. It's rarely stated HOW the accident occurred so it is hard to learn from. You also rarely hear if cyclist error was involved so the rest of us can learn what NOT to do (aside from the general rules). Not to blame the cyclist, but to figure out the most critical preventive steps to take.

    I saw a cyclist on the street early this morning, black helmet, black bike, black shirt and black pants, etc. Not a dot of any other color. He "looked cool," but I feel this is setting oneself up for invisibility to motorists, especially during hours of partial light.

    When I was hit it was partly my fault and partly the drivers. I started crossing a 5 lane intersection on a stale green light. It turned yellow almost immediately once I was in the intersection and by the time I got to the last lane it was red and the guy in the last lane started going. He should have been paying attention to anyone crossing the walkway and waited for it to be clear before accelerating, but I'm sure he was playing on his phone or something. I never try to beat the lights anymore.
  • FireOpalCO
    FireOpalCO Posts: 641 Member
    edited April 2019
    Hey, I bought my bike! (link here: https://electrabike.com/bikes/townie-commute/townie-commute-27d?g=stepthru)

    I will say I have a hard time telling "paved bike path" from "sidewalk". The rules seem to change from area to area. Some roads have a bike lane and a narrow traditional sidewalk, so that's pretty clear. Some roads have no shoulder and then a few feet back in the grass there is this super wide sidewalk big enough for three massive strollers abreast that sorta curves around trees, etc. But it's not marked in any way (but I can find some of them marked as "bike paths" on websites). The only pavement ones I've seen marked are ones with high traffic and they have set two lane flow for bikes and another lane for pedestrians. Those are rare.

    So I did some digging and it looks like in Colorado that unless a local ordinance bans sidewalk riding (Denver), I'm fine. It would be nice if they spray-painted some bike symbols on these paved areas so at least people would know the design is taking bike speeds/turning into account vs. pedestrians. I won't be comfortable on the super busy roads for a long time.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    For what it's worth, I personally have met and know of children who ride on the roads in the US and did so before they were 13. These, however, are children who were taught how to do so in as safe a manner as possible. My professor's son has been riding to and from cycling practice multiple days a week with his friend since he was 10 or 11. It's also not especially unusual for me to see parents out with their kids on the road. It's not super common, but it's not shockingly unusual either.
  • RGv2
    RGv2 Posts: 5,789 Member
    If you're cycling on the sidewalk and pop out onto a road to cross, you can get hit even if a motorist obeys all the rules of the road and looks around. The fact is at pedestrian crossings motorists are looking for things that move like pedestrians. In the time it takes me to turn my head one way and the other and see nothing, a bike can appear and be directly in my path. Also cycling up to such and screeching to a stop just before doesn't help either, how motorists supposed to know you are aware and stopping? Both of these things have happened to me multiple times. It's not necessarily safer on the sidewalk because you're not always on the sidewalk.

    Agreed....I'm a runner and used to cycle quite often and I almost hit a guy on a bike in the crosswalk once. I was making a left hand turn across two busy lanes of traffic. I was checking the crosswalk and on-coming traffic back and forth. Unbeknownst to me, a bicycle was coming up the sidewalk on the other side of the street from behind me (against traffic). I checked the crosswalk one last time, verified the on-coming cars were far enough away that I could cross.

    I got about 1/3 of the way into crossing the lanes when then guy on the bike shot into crosswalk from what would have been behind me.
  • Dragonwolf
    Dragonwolf Posts: 5,600 Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I personally have met and know of children who ride on the roads in the US and did so before they were 13. These, however, are children who were taught how to do so in as safe a manner as possible. My professor's son has been riding to and from cycling practice multiple days a week with his friend since he was 10 or 11. It's also not especially unusual for me to see parents out with their kids on the road. It's not super common, but it's not shockingly unusual either.

    The US is a big place and there are many places where riding on the road (even as an adult) is suicidal. Just because it's possible in your area doesn't mean it's possible everywhere in the country.
    RGv2 wrote: »
    If you're cycling on the sidewalk and pop out onto a road to cross, you can get hit even if a motorist obeys all the rules of the road and looks around. The fact is at pedestrian crossings motorists are looking for things that move like pedestrians. In the time it takes me to turn my head one way and the other and see nothing, a bike can appear and be directly in my path. Also cycling up to such and screeching to a stop just before doesn't help either, how motorists supposed to know you are aware and stopping? Both of these things have happened to me multiple times. It's not necessarily safer on the sidewalk because you're not always on the sidewalk.

    Agreed....I'm a runner and used to cycle quite often and I almost hit a guy on a bike in the crosswalk once. I was making a left hand turn across two busy lanes of traffic. I was checking the crosswalk and on-coming traffic back and forth. Unbeknownst to me, a bicycle was coming up the sidewalk on the other side of the street from behind me (against traffic). I checked the crosswalk one last time, verified the on-coming cars were far enough away that I could cross.

    I got about 1/3 of the way into crossing the lanes when then guy on the bike shot into crosswalk from what would have been behind me.

    I had a similar thing happen, except it was a right turn, the guy was in a blind spot (obstructed by the combination of a pole and part of the framing of my car), and the light had turned green as I was in the process of making a (legal) right on red. The dude then proceeded to stand in the middle of the crosswalk and *kitten* me out for nearly hitting him.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    edited April 2019
    Dragonwolf wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I personally have met and know of children who ride on the roads in the US and did so before they were 13. These, however, are children who were taught how to do so in as safe a manner as possible. My professor's son has been riding to and from cycling practice multiple days a week with his friend since he was 10 or 11. It's also not especially unusual for me to see parents out with their kids on the road. It's not super common, but it's not shockingly unusual either.

    The US is a big place and there are many places where riding on the road (even as an adult) is suicidal. Just because it's possible in your area doesn't mean it's possible everywhere in the country.

    I'm well aware that the US is a large country. Heck the state I live in is larger than multiple European countries (and various US states). I wasn't implying that what I've seen and heard is applicable to the rest of the country. My only point of pointing out that I've seen this in the US is that I wasn't talking about a country like the Netherlands where that's far from out of the ordinary.

    Also note where the kid was riding - cycling practice. Given that most children in the US aren't on cycling teams, it seems clear that this isn't a common practice.
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,967 Member
    hesn92 wrote: »
    Sorry. I ride on the sidewalk through my neighborhood because I ride up to the park with my three year old. My three year old is not riding his bike in the street. I go around pedestrians if there are any. What else should I do

    I think that your situation is pretty much the only acceptable excuse for riding on the sidewalk given that little kids tend to ride very slowly at the best of times. I'd certainly suggest being extra cautious at intersections as drivers aren't expecting bikes crossing the road especially if they're turning right and you're approaching from their right (hell, most of them don't even look for pedestrians....)

    Right, he rides a strider (no pedals) so... it's a very slow trip up to the park (although downhill he gets going pretty fast lol), and we always stop at intersections to look for cars.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    hesn92 wrote: »
    hesn92 wrote: »
    Sorry. I ride on the sidewalk through my neighborhood because I ride up to the park with my three year old. My three year old is not riding his bike in the street. I go around pedestrians if there are any. What else should I do

    I think that your situation is pretty much the only acceptable excuse for riding on the sidewalk given that little kids tend to ride very slowly at the best of times. I'd certainly suggest being extra cautious at intersections as drivers aren't expecting bikes crossing the road especially if they're turning right and you're approaching from their right (hell, most of them don't even look for pedestrians....)

    Right, he rides a strider (no pedals) so... it's a very slow trip up to the park (although downhill he gets going pretty fast lol), and we always stop at intersections to look for cars.

    Seeing kids on Striders (and other non pedal bikes) seriously makes my day :)