Why Don’t Cyclists Just Ride On The Sidewalk?

In today’s video, Attorney Ben Schwartz answers the question: “Why Don’t Cyclists Just Ride On The Sidewalk?”

Why Don’t Cyclists Just Ride On The Sidewalk?

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today we are going to talk about cycling safety. We are going to do a five-part series on bicycle accidents; personal injury cases resulting from bicycle accidents. What I want to do before we get started is introduce you to my bike. At one point long, long, long ago, I was a competitive amateur cyclist. I raced in Europe, Belgium and the United States. I went to the Junior Nationals and actually won the time trial and if I had not disqualified myself, because I realized that I made a wrong turn out on the course, I would be a national champion. Anyways… At one point, my life was not the life of a trial lawyer, at one point my life was the life of a Competitive International Cyclist and so I wanted to introduce you to my last racing bike. This is the last racing bike that I rode. This is a 3Rensho handmade Japanese frame. It is a beautiful bike, a little outdated because I stopped racing about 22-23 years ago, but it is a great bike.

So what I wanted to do in the first video on the series is answer a question from Ron in Wilmington, Delaware. He says, “When I am driving, there are always these cyclists in the road, why don’t cyclists just ride on the sidewalk?”

I have had this question asked to me as an attorney, to me as a cyclist, numerous times, and the answer is, you cannot ride a bike on the sidewalk if it is a bike like this. If you are 5 years old and you are riding your tricycle, that is appropriate to ride on the sidewalk. If you are 20, 25, or 30 years old, you are an adult, you are riding a racing bicycle, what people would refer to as a 10-speed or a road bike. You are going to hit someone and cause some damage or some harm. (With) these bikes, typically you are riding anywhere between 20 and 30 miles per hour, and if you are a 200-something pound man, that is a lot of force if you run over a child, or you hit a dog, or you hit an older person who’s walking on the sidewalk.

The law is, if you are a cyclist, you have a right to use the road. Essentially, as a motorist, the law requires you to share the road with cyclists, which creates all kinds of issues. As the first video in the series, I think it is important to know, if you are a motorist, you have an obligation to share the road with cyclists and it is something to keep in mind while you are out driving around. Try not to get too angry at the cyclists who get in your way. I am Attorney Ben Schwartz, keep watching, we are going to have a series of videos on bicycle accidents and personal injury cases relating to bicycle accidents. If you have any questions about this topic, or any topic pertaining to the law, send me an e-mail below. Thanks for watching!

Please take a moment to watch our other videos in this bicycle accident series:

Who pays if a car hits me while riding my bicycle?
How to avoid common bicycle vs. car accidents
3 Tips to avoid Bicycle Accidents in Intersections
Tips for avoiding Bicycle Sideswipe Accidents

Why Don’t Cyclists Just Ride On The Sidewalk?
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