Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bicycle Safety

Yesterday, I heard about an accident where a cyclist was riding on the sidewalk (allegedly due to some road construction barrels and other debris in the street) and a car turning into a business hit the cyclist. That just drove the point home that sidewalks are for pedestrians not bikes. When I said this to a friend (who hasn't been on a bike since she was a kid) she said, "I always used to ride on the sidewalk or against traffic". My heart almost stopped. These are two sure ways to get hit especially riding against traffic. I proceeded to explain to her why this was so dangerous and she said if she was riding against traffic, she could see what was coming at her. "But cars aren't looking for you to be coming that way. Particularly, cars pulling out from a business or intersection", I explained to her.

Occasionally, I have been known to use a sidewalk but always slowly and watching for cars pulling in and out of parking lots, driveways etc. I don't like to do it but it's the lesser of two evils in some cases. I also told her about my handy rear view mirror that fits into the handlebars (I have one on my helmet but I'm not too thrilled about it).

So we've all seen bike riders pedaling the wrong way down a street on the sidewalk. Does anyone else ever get the urge to give them a bicycle safety lesson, right there on the street? It's not a superiority thing...it's just that I can picture them getting hit and quite frankly, it's gives all cyclists a bad name when they are the cause of an accident. What's the answer?
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1 comment:

sara said...

I see this all the time in my city, and while I am tempted to chide other cyclists for not following the rules & giving all cyclists' bad reps w/ drivers, I tend to keep my mouth shut (which is rare for me). I don't know~ I guess since I am so new to bike commuting, I want a positive kinship with all cyclists with the hope that this city becomes more & more bike friendly. It is a chicken & egg thing though: more riders- more bike friendly city? or more cyclists following THE rules-- more bike friendly? or more renegade cyclist, more pissed off drivers, less bike friendly city?