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Is there a liability to using the path for pedestrians and bikers while training on a racing bike - in Florida? Can I use the path, too?

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Looks like the question got truncated? Could you please edit it to complete your question? –  zigdon Dec 3 '10 at 23:28
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@Ernst: It's a little hard to tell what you're asking here. I edited the question to try to ask it clearer. If I got it wrong, please feel free to undo my edit. –  freiheit Dec 5 '10 at 17:20
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In particular, are you specifically asking about legal liability (getting sued), ore are you more generally asking about problems with riding a racing bike on a path? –  freiheit Dec 5 '10 at 17:22
    
I think that one of the problems is that parts of Florida (okay, mostly the Miami area) have road conditions that are so abysmal for cyclists that training on the road isn't an attractive option. I suspect that "liability" is being used in the sense of "problem", but that's just my guess. @Ernst, am I correct in thinking this? –  Neil Fein Dec 6 '10 at 23:34

3 Answers 3

Training on a bike path?

Not sure about Florida, but, training on a bike path can be great....

All you need to do is to determine the bike path usage. I've found several paved pedestrian/bike paths mainly used on weekends. And, during the weekdays, the path is mine.

I also note that the paths I use are generally empty once the weather is cold.

Florida? Who knows about your bike paths? I'd bet that this time of year, your bike paths are getting crowded?

And it's not complicated... you don't train on a bike path full of other users. ...you are more than welcome to train on an empty path... Use your judgement.

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+1, if its busy you stay off (or go slow), if its empty train away. –  crasic Dec 11 '10 at 5:02

I would suggest not training or riding on the bike path at higher speeds. If it's allowable in your locality. Get back on the road with the cars! I believe it is safer, although data doesn't exist to support that claim (bike path crashes generally aren't reported).

I've had 2 higher speed (25+mph) collisions with pedestrians (Dc Area), both caused by pedestrians suddenly veering across my path and I was unable to avoid. 1 was a small child who disobeyed her parents and ran across the path.

The second was a runner w/ ipod and didn't hear my audibles and changed direction at a point on the path where you wouldn't expect (he was turning around and heading back). This was actually quite common and I had numerous near-crashes with runners who couldn't hear anything over their music.

This was the reason I stopped using the bike paths for training/commuting when I realized it wasn't safe for anyone (either cyclist or pedestrian) if the cyclists are travelling that fast.

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Even less experienced bikers on a bike path can be unpredictable. I'm pretty sure it's impossible to graduate from UCSB without being in at least one bike accident with another biker. –  Ben Dec 5 '10 at 19:07

This will differ by locality, but in general the rule is that cyclists yield to pedestrians. This means that if you are involved in a collision with a pedestrian there will be a presumption that you were in some way at fault or negligent and will likely have to prove instead that the pedestrian was at fault before any claim for liability can be made.

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