Having seen several jeers recently about cyclists daring to ride on
sidewalks, I felt obligated to bring up a few salient points. I cycle
100-150 miles a week so I feel pretty qualified to comment on this. First,
cyclists are in a no-win situation. If I ride on the sidewalk, pedestrians
whine. If I ride in the street, drivers whine. Either way, I’m always the
bad guy. Secondly, I’m going to ride where I feel safest. If that means
that I ride on the sidewalk, well, that just too damn bad pedestrians.
Have you ever had a semi pass you at 40mph, eighteen inches away? Trust
me, it will shake you to your core and make your heart flutter. My safety
trumps your convenience every time as far as I’m concerned. Third, I ride
through Riverside Park nearly every day. Nine days out of ten, I have to
point out to pedestrians, multiple times usually, that they are walking in
the clearly delineated bike path. When was the last time you pedestrian
whiners complained about that, hmmm? Lastly, when I’m in the road, I yield
to vehicles. When I’m on the sidewalk, I yield to pedestrians. Most
cyclists are smart enough (some teens excluded) to realize this is the way
it is even though we might not like it. In about five thousand cycle miles
I have yet to hit a car or pedestrian so I must be doing something right.
Maybe I’m not the bad guy after all. Maybe pedestrians and drivers should
stop whining so much about some inconsequential inconvenience to them and
start seeing things from someone else's perspective. Is all this so hard
to figure out?