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Bike immunity - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Bike immunity
Well, I haven't done a poll for a while. Why now? Why not? I could point out that since moving to Zone 7 I've had a longer cycle ride into work, which has given me more opportunities to observe the behaviour of the Cambridge cyclist in its natural habitat (a dishonourable mention should go to the flock of language students who tried to turn right from the wrong side of Gonville Place into the wrong side of Mill Road at the Parkside junction the other morning -- judging from their screeches of laughter they thought it was the height of hilarity that they nearly caused a multi-vehicle pile-up) but really the main reason for this poll is curiosity. I'm interested to know about people's cycling habits, and their reasons for doing the things they do. (For what it's worth, my own answers should make it clear that I don't have any kind of moral high ground here!)

Please do fill in the poll if you cycle at all, however rarely. I can't promise I'll be able to produce any kind of useful write-up of the results, but if you'll all just humour me and my insatiable curiosity, I'll see what I can do.



Edit: I can't edit the actual poll, but damerell and mobbsy have pointed out a couple of areas of fuzziness in the questions. So, just to clarify the questions about cycling on pavements:

- by "pavements" I mean those which are not explicitly marked as shared-use
- accessing property from the nearest dropped kerb doesn't count, because you can do that in a car as well.

Poll #593054 Bike curious

I cycle on pavements ...

never
19(32.2%)
very rarely
26(44.1%)
sometimes
12(20.3%)
frequently
2(3.4%)

If I do, it's because (check all that apply) ...

it's quicker/easier
0(0.0%)
it's only a short stretch of pavement
2(5.0%)
the roads are too dangerous
1(2.5%)
the pavements have better surfaces
0(0.0%)
I don't have lights
0(0.0%)
there are no pedestrians around
0(0.0%)
I'm cycling at walking pace
0(0.0%)
I'm cycling with my children
0(0.0%)
I'm taking the dog for a walk
0(0.0%)
it doesn't do any harm
0(0.0%)
other reason (see next question)
7(17.5%)

If you checked 'other' in the previous question, please elaborate:

I cycle at night without lights ...

never
24(40.7%)
very rarely
27(45.8%)
sometimes
7(11.9%)
frequently
1(1.7%)

If I do, it's because (check all that apply) ...

I can't be bothered to buy / fit / fix / maintain lights
3(9.1%)
I can't afford to buy / fit / fix / maintain lights
0(0.0%)
I have reflectors, that's enough
0(0.0%)
I only cycle in well-lit areas
0(0.0%)
I only cycle on pavements
0(0.0%)
it's not worth having lights, they always get stolen
0(0.0%)
I forgot my lights
1(3.0%)
my batteries ran out / dynamo broke
7(21.2%)
it doesn't do any harm
0(0.0%)
other reason (see next question)
1(3.0%)

If you checked 'other' in the previous question, please elaborate:

I use a mobile phone while cycling ...

never
51(86.4%)
very rarely
6(10.2%)
sometimes
2(3.4%)
frequently
0(0.0%)

If I do, it's because (check all that apply) ...

I know it's a call that can't wait
0(0.0%)
I'm only cycling slowly
0(0.0%)
there are no other road users around
0(0.0%)
I'm confident of my ability to cycle one-handed
1(11.1%)
it doesn't do any harm
0(0.0%)
other reason (see next question)
2(22.2%)

If you checked 'other' in the previous question, please elaborate:

I cycle the wrong way along roads ...

never
35(59.3%)
very rarely
20(33.9%)
sometimes
4(6.8%)
frequently
0(0.0%)

If I do, it's because (check all that apply) ...

it's quicker/easier
3(12.5%)
there's nobody else on the road
3(12.5%)
"one way" signs don't apply to cyclists
0(0.0%)
it doesn't do any harm
0(0.0%)
other reason (see next question)
5(20.8%)

If you checked 'other' in the previous question, please elaborate:


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Comments
lnr From: lnr Date: October 18th, 2005 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
While I said I sometimes cycle on a pavement if I have no lights I more often stay on the road in this case, it's just that it has sometimes been a reason I've used.
lnr From: lnr Date: October 18th, 2005 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh and when I say "I'm cycling at walking pace" this is only in the "other" case: where I'm with a pedestrian.
From: stephdairy Date: October 18th, 2005 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Answers based on when I last cycled regularly, many years ago. Don't know whether I'd be more or less law-abiding these days.

(S)
rejs From: rejs Date: October 18th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
since the "please elaborate" boxes are too small:-

There are a few occasions when I will briefly stray onto pavements. I'll do so to avoid conflict with traffic - turning from High St into the south end of Turl Street I will sometimes meet something coming other way. If I stop in mid-turn, I'll get mown down by the bus coming along the High. If I keep going into Turl St, I'll get hit by the white van (well, it usually is). If I slip over onto the pavement (no raised curb) to let the van past (taking care to avoid any pedestrians), inconvenience to anyone minimised.

There are places I will briefly cross pavements for access. Indeed, the official cycle route down New Inn Hall Street seems to lead onto the pavement and across Queen Street. As this is often busy, it's generally a case of Dead Slow (if not get off and walk).

There's also the rear entrance to Sainsbury's Heyford Hill. Going around the front involves cycling on high-speed dual carriageway (not recommended!), but the rear entrance can be negotiated on foot or by bike. Initially I'd dismount but since no-one else seems to, I don't see a particular problem with not doing so - I will always stop and give way to any pedestrians. Oh, and I tend to be a bit lazy and not dismount until I reach their bike racks, rather than doing so at the (level) curb. This is of course Very Naughty Indeed, and I shall be reporting myself to the police immediately.
From: scat0324 Date: October 19th, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
the official cycle route down New Inn Hall Street seems to lead onto the pavement

As far as I am concerned, it's only a pavement if it runs along a highway unless a traffic order says differently.

the rear entrance to Sainsbury's Heyford Hill

That's accessing property by travelling over the pavement, not along it.
imc From: imc Date: October 19th, 2005 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is Queen Street not a highway?

In any case, the bit of pavement in question is clearly marked with diagrams of bicycles.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 19th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
The cycle route in question isn't running alongside Queens Treet, so by my definition isn't running on a pavement. There is a traffic order for that bit, however, so Highways Act 1835 (which I generalised into my definition above) isn't definitive. As you point out, the road markings indicate the traffic order does allow cycles, which furthers my case for saying that isn't a pavement.
angoel From: angoel Date: October 18th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yes. I should mention that I'm not actually a Cambridge cyclist any more.
From: hsenag Date: October 18th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I cycle slowly and on quiet roads, possibly walking for dangerous bits like at roundabouts, if I've forgotten my lights or the battery has gone flat.

The main time I cycle on the pavement illegally is just near my flat. When approaching from the North there's a shared use pavement that ends a little before the entrance to a very short footpath that saves going round the entire block by road. I could of course get down and walk, but I don't unless there are people around I might get in the way of.
arnhem From: arnhem Date: October 18th, 2005 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
My answers are untruths in the following respects:

I've cycled twice on the pavement accompanying L. to school; many parents do this along the relevant stretch. I then decided this wasn't a reasonable thing to do, and now regret having done so.

Apart from that, I'll occasionally cycle at walking pace on a pavement to get round an obstruction in the road, for instance on Trinity Street in the morning (but not if it's going to put me in near conflict with a pedestrian).

All of my other "never" answers are I think reasonable descriptions of current behaviour, but don't reflect my behaviour in the (now quite distant) past.

There's a (literal) grey area around the first early dusk of each year, when I invariably get caught out without lights in the rather ambiguous time before the street-lights come on, but after many car drivers have started switching their lights on ...

Another question that would have been interesting would have concerned cycling while unfit through consumption of alcohol or drugs ...

jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: October 18th, 2005 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've just cycled back from a trip to Halfords to buy bike lights. I had bike lights previously, but not on this bike, and Halfords would not sell me and fit brackets alone...

I did ride on the pavement for part of the way, but (1) only where I thought it was, at least once, mixed-use and (2) where a mixed-use section of pavement had just stopped being mixed-use until the next convenient place to enter the road.
claerwen From: claerwen Date: October 18th, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
If cycling without lights at night (on off-road cycle paths), I watch out for oncoming cyclists and check very frequently for anyone coming up behind me. I assume I'm invisible to other cyclists unless I'm right under a streetlamp, and so dismount and push until they have passed. Very occasionally at the dead of night I cycle on the road without lights. In this case I dismount and push my bike along the gutter if I hear a car approaching, however well lit the road is.

I should have ticked "sometimes" for cycling on pavements, because I do this to get around vehicles obstucting Trinity Street on my way to work in the mornings. I'm more impatient than I should be on this stretch of my route.

My worst cycling vice is losing my temper and telling people off for doing stupid things as I pass them, and if they've done something that really made me cross/scared, catching up with them to remonstrate. I don't think I really have enough moral high ground, cycling-wise, to be justified in doing this. It's probably a good job that I don't drive.
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