December 12, 2011

Biking Dichomoty

Many people ride bikes during childhood. The prototypical child bike is a single-speed mountain bike with a coaster brake where you pedal backwards to activate the brake. With this bike you are told to stay on the sidewalk, or else! And you know what? It's fun to bike on the sidewalk to go on short trips. The danger isn't too bad because you're on a crappy bike that's not build for speed and it's not like you have somewhere important to be.

Then, you turn 16 and are able to drive. The driver's education courses primarily talk about motorist rules and you never find out that it's illegal to bike on sidewalks but you don't care because you're driving and yelling at bicyclists to "Ride on the sidewalk!" If you do decide to revisit biking, you will tentatively trek out on the sidewalk on a faster and better bike than you had in your childhood.

This is not to say that parents should require kids to ride on streets. What I am saying is that more public awareness is necessary if we want bikers to follow the rules. If legislatures want bicyclists on the road with motorists, they should require drivers learn about interactions with other vehicle types on the road, including bicycles and motorcycles.

Fortunately, my neighborhood does not have many sidewalks so even pedestrians can piss of motorists because we're walking in the street.

Next up: Ask a biker

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