This entry was posted on December 30, 2010 at 1:58 am and is filed under Cycling. You can subscribe via RSS 2.0 feed to this post's comments. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
I got slammed into once by a guy zooming around the corner on a sidewalk one morning. Hit my head on the wall and tore a hole in my sleeve. He was gone before I could even register what happened. Now I *really* hate seeing people ride on the sidewalk!!!
I really want to agree in theory, but in practice when I do that I check first that the sidewalk is clear and then I pretty much ride slower than I’d walk. It’s just a bit easier to coast it out than get off and walk it. I mean, I walk my bike through crosswalks all the time, and I really don’t want to defend assholes riding on the sidewalk, but in this one tiny case I think it’s reasonably defensible. It does, however, depend greatly on the area you’re doing it in. An empty residential street might be OK, but a commercial strip never is.
I know its not “cool” to ride on the sidewalk but I do do it on a dangerous part of Lincoln where my option is to ride with cars that want to kill me or ride really slowly and really cautiously on a VERY wide sidewalk. I always yield to pedestrians, I make sure that they see that I see them and that I’m yielding to them, and I go very slow. If I’m not harming anyone, then why is it so bad?
It’s not an issue of being “cool” it’s one where it’s flat-out illegal to do so.
If you’re going that slowly you really should just get off and walk it. It’s one thing if you’re just about home and ride for a few feet on an empty sidewalk, but quite another when you just decide to ride along it for a stretch.
Take another route, ride down a parallel street, or get off and walk your bike down the area you don’t feel comfortable biking along. It might not be “cool” to walk your bike, but it’s the legal and respectful thing to do.
People will be self-entitled assholes regardless of the method of transit they’re using. I guess it’s kind of nice that at least so many of these terrible cyclists aren’t driving because they’d be equally terrible drivers and in a much greater position to hurt someone.
At the same time this behavior has become an even greater problem in that many of these same asshole drivers now expect cyclists to ignore the law. I’ve been honked at a number of times recently for coming to a full stop at signs.
My favorite was a cyclist ignoring a stop sign along the wiggle and almost running me down… as I walked my own bike across the crosswalk.