Bike Forums - View Single Post - Sidewalk/sidepath riding... a different view.
Old 07-26-19, 04:53 AM
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genec
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Originally Posted by Chris0516 View Post
Spare me your Aristotle-like thinking. Riding on the sidewalk is dangerous. As is, riding on the road.

But, Riding on the sidewalk while crossing a business entrance/exit. Is a definite invitation to a pine box and six feet under. WHY, Because if a vehicle suddenly approaches. You only have the width of the sidewalk. To get out of the way. On the road, a travel lane can be as much as, three times the width of the sidewalk. So you have a lot more room to avoid a collision. Without even leaving the travel lane.
Oh, so being a few feet further out will help you when "a vehicle suddenly approaches..." and you swerve out of the way right into that motorist passing you on the left... Yeah! So much safer!

Bottom line, cycling can be dangerous anywhere you are on two wheels. I fall about every time I go on rough off road trails. Not a car in sight. Ohhhh the danger. I have fallen on well built bike paths... hit a bunch of small, dark jewelry beads... they were like ball bearings. Any cyclist on the road has to maintain 360 degree situational awareness... what's happening in front of you, at the next intersection, at the left oncoming lane, the parked car next to you, and in front of you... any any approaching traffic behind you, in your lane AND the lane next to that lane.

HOWEVER... ride on a sidepath, and all the action is in front of you... until you come to an intersection... as you approach, you look around. Of course if there is a driveway every 100 feet, well you may as well be on the road. But if you have a mile or more of sidepath... that's a mile of not staring at a mirror. Even a 1/4 mile of not watching for overtaking traffic is relaxing.

I have done plenty of long trips on long isolated country roads (of course no sidepath, and often little shoulder) and the indication of approaching traffic was being able to hear those tires from a long way back... but between those rare vehicle approaches... there were wonderful long gaps of stress free cycling. Cycling that is like heaven. You just glide along care free... seriously "Just Riding Along." I get small similar JRA "shots" when riding on good paths and some local, available sidepaths. JRA. (sorry, city folks.)

Being vehicular, on the typical non-country road, requires constant focus and vigilance. It is a totally different feeling. Sure, you get good, you stay alert, and you live.
But it isn't JRA!

Truth be told, I'll take the long, quiet, isolated, country journey anytime. (spinning for hours, up and down hill and dale ) But you gotta get to the country to have such a ride.

Last edited by genec; 07-26-19 at 04:57 AM.
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