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Sidewalk/sidepath riding... a different view.

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Sidewalk/sidepath riding... a different view.

Old 07-20-19, 02:01 PM
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genec
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Sidewalk/sidepath riding... a different view.

OK, for so so long so many here have declared this as a No No. Well folks... I think your reasoning is full of poop. ("motorists won't look for you on the sidewalk") Got news for you... motorists won't look for you ANYWHERE. Oh they might see you out in traffic, in front of them, but there is NO guarantee, NO 100% sure way to know that you actually register as "something" to their feeble minds.

So the solution... oh yeah, get a mirror. Right, so you can "dodge" the idiots.

So you are 100 percent in charge of not only not being seen, but for watching out for those that don't see you. Hey, guess what, it works the same way when you use a sidepath/sidewalk. You are 100% in charge of seeing them... only the big difference... it is harder for them to run you over when they have to cross curbs, grassy knolls, telephone poles and maybe even a parked car or two.

Now please understand I am not saying this out of ignorance or lack of experience or skill... I bike commuted in So Cal, on the road, as part of traffic, for well over 35 years... often I was flat out "invisible." This, in spite of bright clothing, flashy lights and lane positioning. I called it "Casper Mode," as just like Casper the ghost, the only folks that could see me were the rare ones that believed in cycling and really looked. Otherwise, I could go right in front of a car, which is stopped at a red light, and see the GASP on a motorist's face as they suddenly realized there was a human in front of them and they could NOT make a right on that red. I saw this and similar situations on a weekly basis. On top of having to be 360 degrees situationally aware, I also had to avoid the "roads are for cars" mentality.

Well, 35+ years of this and I somewhat retired... and left work, and took to paths. BTW I am not really any good "off road..." but that is neither here nor there.

I am now doing a semi-retired (fill the nestegg) contract stint in the "kill the cyclist" state of Florida... and, I am biking. Where I am right now, there are loads of paths and wide sidewalks... and I got news for you... between the driveways, and the street corners... I get a second or two of relaxing cycling. And in the often occurring case where said path is uninterrupted for a long distance... I am NOT constantly staring at a mirror looking for "distracted idiots" about to run me over.... I am riding a bike and enjoying the heck out of it.

Folks, there is a strong case for sidepath/sidewalk riding. Sure, it doesn't work everywhere... like in a dense downtown environment where there are driveways and cross streets that occur every 100 feet. (God help the bike messenger...) But it does work in some places... and it can be vastly more relaxing than the best situation of "bike lane" (oh paint will save you...) or "act and be treated like the driver of a vehicle..." (which rarely included being treated like an equal)

BTW I have been cycling to school and/or work since I was 9 years old... I am now 64... I know of what I speak. I have also taken both Road 1 and Road 2 cycling classes and have had copious training driving both motorcycle and car. So please don't dismiss this as "well, you don't know what you're doing..."

I just want to share this and dispel the myth that one should "never ride on a sidewalk/sidepath."
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Old 07-20-19, 02:34 PM
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Sidewalks are for pedestrians, bicycles being vehicles belong in the roadway or on a MUP.

-Bandera
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Old 07-20-19, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Sidewalks are for pedestrians, bicycles being vehicles belong in the roadway or on a MUP.

-Bandera
Yup, there is that myth again... as some sidewalks ARE MUPs. Get over it.
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Old 07-20-19, 03:57 PM
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I lived in Florida for 17 years. You riding on the sidewalk will still attract some drunk red neck wannabee. A family riding there bicycles was recently ran down on the sidewalk there. The baby died and dad is still in a coma.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:08 PM
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I listen to both sides and can acknowledge the pros and cons. I've also read an enlightening (and forgotten url) on the evolution of bicycling law in the USA. Explains why the state of Georgia treats cyclist like traffic, then uses the outmoded (pre-lane division by line) to the far right expectation while making exceptions for the inevitable re-laning if debris, etc., is in the way (yeah, a motorists is supposed to know when that is happening). That is why it is suicidal not to ride like a motorcyclist while on the road. Then there is the part that says (and I am not making this up) that "I didn't see the cyclist(s)" is defensible as a motorist's excuse....

Some cycle wag wrote a pragamatic book on staying alive while cycling. Even though it is against the law (complete with BS reasoning about accidents and safety) in this state to be on the sidewalk, judicious use is his call and mine. Most of the time I actually am in the streets and taking the lane; at the most discretionary times, I am on the sidewalk. I am very courteous to pedestrians, they are slower and should be protected.... Gasholes in this city... are another matter.

I agree with the Maine(?) lawyer biking advocate that land navigation should follow naval navigation: if you hit a slower craft (vehicle/pedestrian) you are at fault, unless you can elfin' well prove the slower one did something REALLY stupid to cause the situation....
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Old 07-20-19, 04:19 PM
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If I am on the sidewalk or MUP, and approach a ped, then I slow down and call out the side... or use the Airzound if I can see they have ear phones in. Sometimes I even roll to a stop, or get off the sidewalk, to let them by. As I said, they have the right and should be protected.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Yup, there is that myth again... as some sidewalks ARE MUPs. Get over it.
Noting to get over here, I ride as a cyclist and leave the sidewalk to pedestrian traffic as designed.
Nothing odd about that.

Is this just to show your solidarity with the rampant narcissistic E-scooter traffic in our downtown who also operate inappropriately on the sidewalk?
Do you also "salmon" down the sidewalk going the wrong way against the walkers, joggers, dog-walkers and baby joggers as well?

-Bandera
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Old 07-20-19, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
I listen to both sides and can acknowledge the pros and cons. I've also read an enlightening (and forgotten url) on the evolution of bicycling law in the USA. Explains why the state of Georgia treats cyclist like traffic, then uses the outmoded (pre-lane division by line) to the far right expectation while making exceptions for the inevitable re-laning if debris, etc., is in the way (yeah, a motorists is supposed to know when that is happening). That is why it is suicidal not to ride like a motorcyclist while on the road. Then there is the part that says (and I am not making this up) that "I didn't see the cyclist(s)" is defensible as a motorist's excuse....

Some cycle wag wrote a pragamatic book on staying alive while cycling. Even though it is against the law (complete with BS reasoning about accidents and safety) in this state to be on the sidewalk, judicious use is his call and mine. Most of the time I actually am in the streets and taking the lane; at the most discretionary times, I am on the sidewalk. I am very courteous to pedestrians, they are slower and should be protected.... Gasholes in this city... are another matter.

I agree with the Maine(?) lawyer biking advocate that land navigation should follow naval navigation: if you hit a slower craft (vehicle/pedestrian) you are at fault, unless you can elfin' well prove the slower one did something REALLY stupid to cause the situation....
Marine law is a bit more complicated than that... there is a "rule 9" that states that vessels limited in ability to manoeuvre, while still required to make every attempt to avoid collision, are not required to give way to "lessor" vessels. (BTW that is a crude interpretation.)

I do somewhat agree however with the sentiment... as does the law, somewhat... in many states a motorist is required to "give way" to pedestrians. And motorists ARE required to prove a certain level of skill before using public roads... cyclists have no such requirements.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I lived in Florida for 17 years. You riding on the sidewalk will still attract some drunk red neck wannabee. A family riding there bicycles was recently ran down on the sidewalk there. The baby died and dad is still in a coma.
Truly amazing... and yet further proof that there is no safe place for cyclists... do you think they would have fared any better on the road?
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Old 07-20-19, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Yup, there is that myth again... as some sidewalks ARE MUPs. Get over it.
What myth? It's the law where I live. And BTW, I've been riding since I was 12 and am 58 now. So I too know of what I speak. So, as you said, if sidewalk riding doesn't everywhere, don't state it as if it were.

And I think there are many similar posts about running red lights and stop signs or riding without a helmet or salmoning or riding ninja.

It's all the same discussion.

Last edited by Daniel4; 07-20-19 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Noting to get over here, I ride as a cyclist and leave the sidewalk to pedestrian traffic as designed.
Nothing odd about that.

Is this just to show your solidarity with the rampant narcissistic E-scooter traffic in our downtown who also operate inappropriately on the sidewalk?
Do you also "salmon" down the sidewalk going the wrong way against the walkers, joggers, dog-walkers and baby joggers as well?

-Bandera
NOPE none of the above... and I did clearly stated this does not work everywhere. The sidewalks I am using are empty, and the paths and MUPs are wide and meant for use by peds and cyclists. I actually cycle past a geriatric home and find no issue sharing the path with aged walkers and dogs.

BUT, the flip side is it DOES WORK HERE, and in other areas, and insisting that cyclists should ALWAYS ride in the street and even take a lane is just dogmatic foolishness.

I will agree, there are times when that is the ONLY choice. (I have bike toured across the states... I know conditions vary quite a bit from area to area.) I will also clearly state that cyclists and motorists can easily share the road when the speed differential between them is small.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
What myth? It's the law where I live. And BTW, I've been riding since I was 12 and am 58 now. So I too know of what I speak. So, as you said, if sidewalk riding doesn't everywhere, don't state it as if it were.

And I think there are many similar posts about running red lights and stop signs or riding without a helmet or salmoning or riding ninja.

It's all the same discussion.
I never did say it works everywhere. I DID state that to say to NEVER ride on a sidewalk was wrong.

There is a complete difference in those two statements.
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Old 07-20-19, 06:27 PM
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In my view, there are no absolutes, and every situation is situational. Every street and every sidewalk is its own beast, and it's a judgment call based on the specific conditions.

How assiduously you obey "the rules" or "the laws" or claim to obey them, depends on how authoritarian you are, in reality or in your online persona, accepting that the two things may be different. Yet no rules are a substitute for improving our situational awareness and bike handling skills.
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Old 07-20-19, 07:43 PM
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The thing is, if you're going to ride amongst pedestrians, you need to ride accordingly. Cadence goes out the window. Sit upright, slow down, be sociable.

There's no good being all like ''Well the law says I can ride here'' and to hell with the spirit of the order intended.
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Old 07-20-19, 09:16 PM
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I ride on sidewalks in certain places where the street is simply too hazardous. You do need to be mindful that you're in the pedestrians' space, and they always have right of way; and of course slow down to near walking speed.

It's illegal for adults to ride on the sidewalk in my city, but not enforced at all. I'm pretty conscientious about following laws generally, but when faced with the choice between putting my life at risk on poorly designed roads, or breaking the law in a manner that harms no one, I choose to break the law.
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Old 07-20-19, 09:59 PM
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As a driver, sidewalk cyclists annoy me. But if it works for the cyclist, I'll get over it. The guys from the work release facility near my office always ride sidewalks.

There are occasions when I'll do it for a block or two, but if I had to do it regularly I think I'd give up riding.
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Old 07-21-19, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
The thing is, if you're going to ride amongst pedestrians, you need to ride accordingly. Cadence goes out the window. Sit upright, slow down, be sociable.

There's no good being all like ''Well the law says I can ride here'' and to hell with the spirit of the order intended.
What if there are NO pedestrians, and the sidewalks are designed extra wide... and connect to MUPs and side paths?

Rather defies the typical description of sideWALK, eh?

Lake Havasu City in Arizona is like this too. There is one main fast highway that runs through town. Highway 95. Has speed limits of 45 and 55 MPH, (may be 40 for a short 4 block stretch) and not a single bike lane in sight. But paralling this road is a MUP... a sidepath. Quite suitable for cycling... and the occasional pedestrian.

Bike down 95, and you will be taking the lane, and have to watch every intersection, and driveway, maintain control of the lane, and be aware of who is behind you, whether they see you and are slowing, and who is beside you, and whether they are drifting into you or are flat out unaware that you are there, as the motor traffic merges and mingles. Or, you take the sidepath... and watch the intersections and driveways. Your choice.

Sure, you are NOT going to ride sidewalks in any major city dowtown core, where they might be filled with people, bus benches, fire plugs, lamp posts and all manner of other stuff. I would never attempt to cycle in that... which indeed was the case near my home in the Clairemont Mesa area of San Diego. (Or downtown, or Northpark) But that situation DOES NOT EXIST EVERYWHERE. So the admonition to NEVER ride sidwalks is false. There are situations where sidewalks work quite well...

It really DOES depend on the situation. And where I am, the situation is such that sidewalks and side paths, connect with MUPs and I maintain a wonderful cadence, relieved of the burden of dealing with that 360 view situational awareness that is required while riding on a motor vehicle filled street. I still have to watch every crossing, every drive, and intersection... but I would do that just the same if I were riding in the street.

To be sure... no, I am not moving at 28 MPH... as some of you might do... but I also found that about 17 MPH was my typical speed when commuting those aforementioned crowded San Diego streets... where motor traffic moved at speeds closer to 50 MPH. Yeah, I could sprint to 25... but not maintain it for too many miles... and with traffic lights and merging traffic, I sure as heck wasn't watching "everything" while doing those speeds.

Keep in mind, I am not dismissing riding in the street here... I AM saying, at times, that blanket "don't ride sidewalks" dogma is really nonsense.
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Old 07-21-19, 12:12 AM
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Oh, gotta share this too... there are quite a few residential areas here, with very long blocks that have 25MPH speed limits, and signs that say, "Slow, watch for golfcarts."

I gleefully ride in the streets in those areas... and "watch for golfcarts."
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Old 07-21-19, 04:30 AM
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Sidewalk/sidepath riding... a different view.
Originally Posted by genec View Post
...Folks, there is a strong case for sidepath/sidewalk riding. Sure, it doesn't work everywhere... like in a dense downtown environment where there are driveways and cross streets that occur every 100 feet. (God help the bike messenger...)

But it does work in some places... and it can be vastly more relaxing than the best situation of "bike lane" (oh paint will save you...) or "act and be treated like the driver of a vehicle..." (which rarely included being treated like an equal).
Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Sidewalks are for pedestrians, bicycles being vehicles belong in the roadway or on a MUP.
Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
I ride on sidewalks in certain places where the street is simply too hazardous. You do need to be mindful that you're in the pedestrians' space, and they always have right of way; and of course slow down to near walking speed.

It's illegal for adults to ride on the sidewalk in my city, but not enforced at all. I'm pretty conscientious about following laws generally, but when faced with the choice between putting my life at risk on poorly designed roads, or breaking the law in a manner that harms no one, I choose to break the law.
For me I don’t think of sidewalk riding so dramatically as an act of defiance, but utility and safety, with all deference to pedestrians. I have previously posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…Last week I visited the family in Macomb County. IMO, that is some of the nastiest road riding I have ever encountered. The main roads, to get anywhere, are six lane concrete slabs with bumps about every 20 feet, and many cracks and potholes especially on the right, with no shoulders, and heavy, zooming traffic with little patience for (slow) cyclists. Sidewalks alongside are frequently discontinuous, and often non-existent.

Even as an experienced urban commuter, I will often flee to the sidewalks, little used by pedestrians out in suburbia. Some major roads though, like Schoenherr and Gratiot do have continuous sidewalks for long distances.

I have developed a technique for riding under such circumstances I call ”bolus riding. (Bolus = “a small rounded mass of a substance, especially of chewed food at the moment of swallowing”; think of swallowed food as it passes down the esophagus.)

Since the flow of traffic is coordinated by traffic signals, traffic usually flows as a bolus. So using my rearview mirror, when I see a bolus of cars behind me, I go onto a driveway or intersecting street (all with sidewalk curb cuts) and on to the sidewalk.

After the bolus passes as seen in the mirror I go back onto the street where I can ride much faster, until the next bolus of cars arrives. I estimate that more than one-half of the distance can be ridden comfortably on these otherwise hazardous roads.

Now actually those suburban counties like Macomb and Oakland have developed some nice, long MUPS, but the prevailing attitude seems to be that bikes are not real transportation, so one usually drives to a MUP to ride the bike; and the MUPS are though rural countryside, with no defined, or non-recreational [utilitarian "useful"] destination...
Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
Are you kidding me??

Where else [besides this Metro Boston bike thread] can we learn about Centre Street and the esophagus? You kids are my heros and inspiration for winter miles and musings! Taking the lane, FRAP and bolus! Ride on!
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Old 07-21-19, 07:04 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
OK, for so so long so many here have declared this as a No No. Well folks... I think your reasoning is full of poop. ("motorists won't look for you on the sidewalk") Got news for you... motorists won't look for you ANYWHERE. Oh they might see you out in traffic, in front of them, but there is NO guarantee, NO 100% sure way to know that you actually register as "something" to their feeble minds.

So the solution... oh yeah, get a mirror. Right, so you can "dodge" the idiots.

So you are 100 percent in charge of not only not being seen, but for watching out for those that don't see you. Hey, guess what, it works the same way when you use a sidepath/sidewalk. You are 100% in charge of seeing them... only the big difference... it is harder for them to run you over when they have to cross curbs, grassy knolls, telephone poles and maybe even a parked car or two.

Now please understand I am not saying this out of ignorance or lack of experience or skill... I bike commuted in So Cal, on the road, as part of traffic, for well over 35 years... often I was flat out "invisible." This, in spite of bright clothing, flashy lights and lane positioning. I called it "Casper Mode," as just like Casper the ghost, the only folks that could see me were the rare ones that believed in cycling and really looked. Otherwise, I could go right in front of a car, which is stopped at a red light, and see the GASP on a motorist's face as they suddenly realized there was a human in front of them and they could NOT make a right on that red. I saw this and similar situations on a weekly basis. On top of having to be 360 degrees situationally aware, I also had to avoid the "roads are for cars" mentality.

Well, 35+ years of this and I somewhat retired... and left work, and took to paths. BTW I am not really any good "off road..." but that is neither here nor there.

I am now doing a semi-retired (fill the nestegg) contract stint in the "kill the cyclist" state of Florida... and, I am biking. Where I am right now, there are loads of paths and wide sidewalks... and I got news for you... between the driveways, and the street corners... I get a second or two of relaxing cycling. And in the often occurring case where said path is uninterrupted for a long distance... I am NOT constantly staring at a mirror looking for "distracted idiots" about to run me over.... I am riding a bike and enjoying the heck out of it.

Folks, there is a strong case for sidepath/sidewalk riding. Sure, it doesn't work everywhere... like in a dense downtown environment where there are driveways and cross streets that occur every 100 feet. (God help the bike messenger...) But it does work in some places... and it can be vastly more relaxing than the best situation of "bike lane" (oh paint will save you...) or "act and be treated like the driver of a vehicle..." (which rarely included being treated like an equal)

BTW I have been cycling to school and/or work since I was 9 years old... I am now 64... I know of what I speak. I have also taken both Road 1 and Road 2 cycling classes and have had copious training driving both motorcycle and car. So please don't dismiss this as "well, you don't know what you're doing..."

I just want to share this and dispel the myth that one should "never ride on a sidewalk/sidepath."
+100
"Casper Mode"...brilliant!
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Old 07-21-19, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
OK, for so so long so many here have declared this as a No No. Well folks... I think your reasoning is full of poop. ("motorists won't look for you on the sidewalk") Got news for you... motorists won't look for you ANYWHERE. Oh they might see you out in traffic, in front of them, but there is NO guarantee, NO 100% sure way to know that you actually register as "something" to their feeble minds.

So the solution... oh yeah, get a mirror. Right, so you can "dodge" the idiots.

So you are 100 percent in charge of not only not being seen, but for watching out for those that don't see you. Hey, guess what, it works the same way when you use a sidepath/sidewalk. You are 100% in charge of seeing them... only the big difference... it is harder for them to run you over when they have to cross curbs, grassy knolls, telephone poles and maybe even a parked car or two.

Now please understand I am not saying this out of ignorance or lack of experience or skill... I bike commuted in So Cal, on the road, as part of traffic, for well over 35 years... often I was flat out "invisible." This, in spite of bright clothing, flashy lights and lane positioning. I called it "Casper Mode," as just like Casper the ghost, the only folks that could see me were the rare ones that believed in cycling and really looked. Otherwise, I could go right in front of a car, which is stopped at a red light, and see the GASP on a motorist's face as they suddenly realized there was a human in front of them and they could NOT make a right on that red. I saw this and similar situations on a weekly basis. On top of having to be 360 degrees situationally aware, I also had to avoid the "roads are for cars" mentality.

Well, 35+ years of this and I somewhat retired... and left work, and took to paths. BTW I am not really any good "off road..." but that is neither here nor there.

I am now doing a semi-retired (fill the nestegg) contract stint in the "kill the cyclist" state of Florida... and, I am biking. Where I am right now, there are loads of paths and wide sidewalks... and I got news for you... between the driveways, and the street corners... I get a second or two of relaxing cycling. And in the often occurring case where said path is uninterrupted for a long distance... I am NOT constantly staring at a mirror looking for "distracted idiots" about to run me over.... I am riding a bike and enjoying the heck out of it.

Folks, there is a strong case for sidepath/sidewalk riding. Sure, it doesn't work everywhere... like in a dense downtown environment where there are driveways and cross streets that occur every 100 feet. (God help the bike messenger...) But it does work in some places... and it can be vastly more relaxing than the best situation of "bike lane" (oh paint will save you...) or "act and be treated like the driver of a vehicle..." (which rarely included being treated like an equal)

BTW I have been cycling to school and/or work since I was 9 years old... I am now 64... I know of what I speak. I have also taken both Road 1 and Road 2 cycling classes and have had copious training driving both motorcycle and car. So please don't dismiss this as "well, you don't know what you're doing..."

I just want to share this and dispel the myth that one should "never ride on a sidewalk/sidepath."
Driveways and cross streets every 100ft isn't a "dense downtown" environment....that is basically every mid/low density residential development plan ever conceived. Seriously.

Of course....you presume the sidewalks are at all rideable. Older developments--those sidewalks have been heaved and cracked so much as to barely even be walkable.
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Old 07-21-19, 07:49 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Driveways and cross streets every 100ft isn't a "dense downtown" environment....that is basically every mid/low density residential development plan ever conceived. Seriously.

Of course....you presume the sidewalks are at all rideable. Older developments--those sidewalks have been heaved and cracked so much as to barely even be walkable.
No, I don't presume sidewalks are all rideable... And I made that point just above, when I clearly stated the following...
Sure, you are NOT going to ride sidewalks in any major city downtown core, where they might be filled with people, bus benches, fire plugs, lamp posts and all manner of other stuff. I would never attempt to cycle in that... which indeed was the case near my home in the Clairemont Mesa area of San Diego. (Or downtown, or Northpark) But that situation DOES NOT EXIST EVERYWHERE. So the admonition to NEVER ride sidewalks is false. There are situations where sidewalks work quite well...
And here is an example of what I am speaking...
https://www.google.com/maps/@27.8711...4!8i8192?hl=en

Here is another:
https://www.google.com/maps/@28.0208...2!8i6656?hl=en

And here is another:
https://www.google.com/maps/@34.4738...!3m1!1e3?hl=en

Obviously this is not Miami, or Orlando, or Phoenix... places where "sidewalk/sidepath" riding could well be impossible... as is often the situation in a large dense urban environment.
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Old 07-21-19, 08:09 AM
  #23  
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I wouldn't think of that first shot as a "sidewalk."

On a road bike, the expansion joints on cement sidewalks make them unpleasant to ride even if they have little traffic. Asphalt paths are another matter entirely.
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Old 07-21-19, 09:59 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
On a road bike, the expansion joints on cement sidewalks make them unpleasant to ride even if they have little traffic. Asphalt paths are another matter entirely.
That sounds to me like an argument against using a road bike for around town riding, rather than a reason to avoid sidewalks.
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Old 07-21-19, 10:10 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
I listen to both sides and can acknowledge the pros and cons. I've also read an enlightening (and forgotten url) on the evolution of bicycling law in the USA. Explains why the state of Georgia treats cyclist like traffic, then uses the outmoded (pre-lane division by line) to the far right expectation while making exceptions for the inevitable re-laning if debris, etc., is in the way (yeah, a motorists is supposed to know when that is happening). That is why it is suicidal not to ride like a motorcyclist while on the road. Then there is the part that says (and I am not making this up) that "I didn't see the cyclist(s)" is defensible as a motorist's excuse....

Some cycle wag wrote a pragamatic book on staying alive while cycling. Even though it is against the law (complete with BS reasoning about accidents and safety) in this state to be on the sidewalk, judicious use is his call and mine. Most of the time I actually am in the streets and taking the lane; at the most discretionary times, I am on the sidewalk. I am very courteous to pedestrians, they are slower and should be protected.... Gasholes in this city... are another matter.

I agree with the Maine(?) lawyer biking advocate that land navigation should follow naval navigation: if you hit a slower craft (vehicle/pedestrian) you are at fault, unless you can elfin' well prove the slower one did something REALLY stupid to cause the situation....
It's true, illegal to ride in the sidewalk in Georgia except where marked otherwise. However I've never seen nor heard of that being enforced. So I don't consider it a real law - not enforced and most bike riders ignore it. Even I will take to the sidewalk under certain conditions.
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