Take the 2-minute tour ×
Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Whenever I'm exploring a new bike route or climbing a steep hill, I often need to get of the road and onto the pavement to avoid motorists, pushing my bike on the pavement until I feel it is appropriate to join the road again. I look left and right for passing cars, but I feel that I might be doing something wrong.

Is there a signal I should use when I wish to join the road and is there anything else I must take into consideration regarding how and where I alight?

share|improve this question
2  
pavement == sidewalk ?? –  dotjoe May 31 '12 at 18:15
    
Yes, pavement is the British English word for sidewalk. –  James Bradbury Nov 15 '12 at 13:45

4 Answers 4

Depending on what you mean by "should", you possibly "shouldn't" be riding on the pavement.

After parking or walking on the pavement, I move back onto the road in a way that's similar to setting off from/in a parked car.

  1. Stand on the pavement/side-walk, side by side to my bike.
  2. Lift the bike down onto the road, close to the curb, facing in the correct direction (i.e. with the traffic)
  3. Look to make sure there's still nothing coming.
  4. Mount the bike (standing on the side-walk, holding the brakes, swing one leg over and sit on the saddle, with the other leg still on the side-walk)
  5. Now I'm on the bike, and the bike is on the road: stationary, and at the curb, and now ready to move off when traffic permits.
share|improve this answer
    
I don't cycle on the pavement. This works fine in most cases unless you're joining a busy/steep road. –  Ambo100 Jun 5 '11 at 19:51
1  
@Ambo100 - The other thing I do is rejoin the road at the nearest intersection. Remount the bike (i.e. become a vehicle again) on a side road, before rejoining the main road. The intersections have aids for merging traffic e.g. traffic lights or stop signs. –  ChrisW Jun 5 '11 at 20:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The UK Highway Code say's:

Look all around before moving away from the kerb, turning or manoeuvring, to make sure it is safe to do so. Give a clear signal to show other road users what you intend to do.

Source

share|improve this answer

I'm not aware of any procedure other than exercising extra caution. Use the same turn signals you'd use when changing lanes in the road, and be extra careful that there are no cars nearby. They'll usually expect you to stay on the sidewalk.

share|improve this answer
    
Exactly. Only answer that says anything different than "don't". IMO laws are not worth dying for. –  Vorac Nov 15 '13 at 16:18

I generally avoid going onto the shoulder, unless it's reasonably well paved, sufficiently wide, and otherwise suitable for riding, in which case I'll try to stay on it. I don't get off the roadway just because cars are coming, or because I'm necessarily moving slowly. A bicycle is a "vehicle" in most of the US, and entitled to use the roadway as any other vehicle.

In those situations where I may need to move from shoulder to roadway (as in when the shoulder is coming to an end) I generally try to plan it well in advance, look for a break in traffic, signal as for any lane change, and then move over when it's safe to do so.

(Of course, one must always be wary of the junction between roadway and shoulder, as there is frequently an uneven joint there, so it may need to be "attacked" at a relatively large angle, making choosing your time to move into traffic that much more difficult.)

share|improve this answer
    
I should mention when I get of the road onto the pavement I stop riding and push the bike. It's illegal to ride on the pavement (sidewalk). This is also a question quite specific to the UK –  Ambo100 Aug 8 '11 at 10:01
    
It's illegal to ride on sidewalks in the "downtown" areas of most US cities, too. –  Daniel R Hicks Aug 8 '11 at 11:20

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.