Zakopane - Poland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  illustration - sfeer - illustratie  pictured during Tour de Pologne 2015 stage - 5 from  Nowy Sacz to Zakopane - photo Ilario Biondi/RB/Cor Vos © 2015
  • Winky

    Moving bikes onto footpaths en-masse is a ridiculous idea. Perhaps only in ‘straya (the worst country in the world for cycling that I have experienced) could the idea get traction (and actually already be legal in some states and territories), such is the sense of entitlement to the roads that motorists feel there. Bikes on footpaths validates the view that they are toys, ridden by kids and strange people who have no purpose, other than to toodle around aimlessly. Bikes need to be on the roads, because only roads provide the continuous thoroughfare that bicycles need in order to be useful.

    • Agree… footpaths mean driveways, telegraph poles, and stopping at every intersection. It demands low-speed riding or accidents are almost guaranteed. Entirely impractical.

    • jules

      we’re too obsessed with regulations. allowing bikes on footpaths is not the same as moving them en-masse onto footpaths. cyclists can and still will use the roads. I agree some motorists will see it as validation that cyclists shouldn’t be on the roads, but in my experience those people have a magazine of ammo ready with excuses for why that’s the case and they’re not relying on footpath cycling for that.

      in practice cyclists already use footpaths. where I’m from it’s rampant. sure it’s illegal but no one really cares unless you mow down children or try to hold the Hell Ride on the footpath.

      • joe

        Am I the only person in the room that can’t recall *ever* being told to get off the road and onto the footpath?

        That’s in 15 years of riding bikes. I’ve been told off for riding *on* the footpath, mind you.

        But really, what a bizarre suggestion. It could only further legitimise our presence on the road.

        Because let’s face it, while a footpath may appeal to a recreational rider, it is unsafe to use at a speed higher than 5-10kmph (blind driveways are extremely dangerous) and you’re often dealing with pedestrians which warrant slower speeds. Not to mention having to slow/stop at every single intersection whether you have right of way or not.

        Ehhhh. I just feel like it’s a false economy of sorts.

        • Winky

          I’ve been told to get off the road and onto (often dangerous) shared-use paths (i.e. footpaths on which bikes are also allowed) plenty of times. Even by other cyclists.

          • jules

            so have I, but I just offer advice back about where they should go off to :)

    • rory

      riding on footpaths allows less confident riders (esp commuters) an easy way out in places where there is no bike lane or the road is intimidating. It works just fine in Qld. riders have to give way to pededstrians and you can ( and sometimes will be) fined if you don’t. My GF has progressed from a fearful beginner to a confident road rider supported by the knowledge that she can bail onto the footpath if traffic / roads get too hard or scary.

      • Winky

        Intimidating to cycle in Brisbane? I’ll say. I’ve spent a bit of time in Brisbane and riding on the footpaths actually does often seem like a good idea because the drivers have zero tolerance for cyclists on the roads. It might be a chicken and egg thing, with either motorists not able/willing to accept bicycles on the roads because they “should be on the footpaths”; or are cyclists simply scared onto the footpaths by the psychopathic and perpetually rushing motorists? Brisbane is about as far from a good place to ride a bicycle as I can imagine. And it is also a rotten place to walk on the footpaths because they are filled with bikes.

        • 42x16ss

          Brisbane is both very good and very bad. The infrastructure that is present, is quite good, just not enough of it and the drivers are often horrendous and can be borderline psychopathic.
          The problem with being allowed to ride on footpaths here is that many drivers will expect it once they know that it’s legal.

    • Arfy

      I’m an advocate for allowing riding on footpaths, which shouldn’t actually be referred to as “foot”paths. When teenagers are required to ride on the roads to school, but are considered too immature to drive a vehicle, then there’s something wrong with the laws. When families decide the only safe place to ride with your kids is local park, which they need to drive to, but they consider it too dangerous to ride down to the local coffee shop with the kids, then there’s something wrong with the laws.

      In most European countries it’s legal to ride on the roads and the footpaths. There seems to be a higher level of understanding about the needs of cyclists when riding on the road, and I suspect it’s because most people do ride a bike as part of their regular weekly activity, so they have a greater empathy and understanding of the needs of cyclists.

      • jules

        bingo. Americans talk a lot about freedom and we mock them for it (sometimes for good reason), but we also miss the point. Australia is certainly not free, at least in the way the US is. we love to make restrictive laws that micro-manage details of people’s lives, like whether you can hop onto a footpath on your bike. we sell this approach as for the betterment of broader society, but that’s not always the case. cycling is a case in point – it’s a minority pursuit that often annoys the majority, and in our style of democracy, discriminating against non-protected minorities is entirely legitimate. and that’s what happens to cyclists in Australia.

        (having said that, I have no idea if cycling is allowed on US footpaths – I suspect it is)

        • Dave

          “having said that, I have no idea if cycling is allowed on US footpaths – I suspect it is”

          State by state, no doubt.

      • Dave

        In most states here it is now legal to ride on the footpath if you’re escorting a child under 12.

        It’s also , or if you have (and are carrying on you at the time) a doctor’s certificate exempting you from the rule. I’m both a normal cyclist and a Sport Cyclist* so I wish I had asked for such a certificate after my last bike crash two years ago, it could have saved a lot of furtive looks and inconvenient dismounts. I’d feel quite silly going to my GP and asking for that now.

        Proposed changes in SA will soon allow riding on the footpath if the rider considers it is not safe to ride on the road and if they give way to pedestrians. I think that’s a fair balance, especially as I doubt the safety part will get tested in court that promptly.

        * I do like how the Dutch have a word for cyclists and a separate word for Sport Cyclists which basically equates to “wheeled athlete” instead of connecting it to a form of transport.

  • Arfy

    When you’re riding Pro Tour level, don’t you just follow the camera motorbike when you’re in a breakaway?

    • Dave

      If you’re riding the camera motorbike in a professional race, don’t you just follow the police motorbike up the road?

      • rex

        Who do the cop bikes follow?

  • anyoldbike

    Photo of cyclists – great to see Daleks are fans of bike racing

  • Jason

    Today some guy on beach road was telling me Simon Clarke was going to sign with Avanti. I obviously told him he was mad.

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