Sidewalk cyclist bites the dust

Update: I forgot to embed the video earlier! It’s now here.

Act 1, Scene 1: A green bike lane busy with cyclists, including a pair of lycra-clad speed daemons on their spendy carbon fiber racing bikes.

Enter Fred dressed in normal clothes and riding his heavy cruiser bike much faster than those racer poseurs. Instead of slowing until it’s safe to pass (heaven forbid!), he tries to impress the pretty girl by veering to the right and jumping up onto the sidewalk.

Go Fred!

Pullout Scenario – Sidewalk Rider from I Am Traffic on Vimeo.

Fred later posts at Bike Forums how he’s so much faster than the obviously unfit racers on their road bikes because he’s a lifestyle cyclist who rides everyday, while the poseurs just ride on the weekends.

The I Am Traffic website illustrates a number of these types of cycling that can significantly increase the danger of a crash when you’re riding a bike. It’s kind of TL;DR but you can find the full discussion here.


  1. Bike advocate ridicules bike rider who crashes, injuries unknown. Ha ha, look at that stupid guy on the sidewalk. Ha, ha, he crashed. Ha, ha, who cares, he’s not our kind of bike rider, ha ha. He’s probably an idiot, or a racist or something, ha, ha.

  2. How do we know the cruiser dude didn’t shift to the sidewalk because he was nearing his mid-block destination?

    And as for the “I am traffic” folks: Every time I hear a vehicular cyclist advocate talk about “driving” a bike I throw up a little in my mouth. Sorry, I have no desire to mix it with motor vehicles going 20 mph faster than me more than I already have to.

    I know how to take the lane as well as anyone and I do it, but it’s not my preference on streets/roads where vehicles are going over 25 mph. And it’s certainly not a “skill” that the average person is interested in learning.

  3. No apology necessary from you. I need people like you to set me straight.

    My problem isn’t with the sidewalk riding, however — it’s riding like an idiot on the sidewalk. It endangers not himself but others as well.

    I’m a frequent sidewalk rider myself (I ride the wrong way as a short cut as I approach my bus stop), but I do so at close to walking speeds. You can see video of me riding on the sidewalk in this video

  4. @ladyfleur, are you objecting to something specific at Or at the related To me, those sites are quite different from the traditional vehicular/driving message.

  5. Ok people, let’s correct some misunderstandings about this video.

    1) I was the videographer, so I know exactly who the people are and why we were shooting the video. It was part of the grand opening of the green strip with Sharrows on 2nd Street in Long Beach, and I was shooting the VIPs leading the procession.

    2) The bicyclist to the left, was the late Mark Bixby (killed in a plane crash), who was instrumental in working the politics (and I worked the technical side with LB Port and Caltrans engineers to identify path designs and routing) to secure the addition of a bike path to the newly reconstructed $1B Gerald Desmond replacement bridge at the port of Long Beach. The path, to be built shortly with the new bridge construction, will be named in his honor. The woman in the middle is Suja Lowenthal, councilperson for the 2nd district in Long Beach and a long time supporter of bicyclists. The man on the right is Tony Cruz, bike racer and a bike ambassador to the City of Long Beach.

    3) The man on the cruiser, who I will not identify, was trying to use the sidewalk to get ahead of the group. He was not using the sidewalk to reach a destination. I talked with him afterwards and hopefully persuaded him to avoid sidewalks for all the hazards identified in this blog post on the I Am Traffic website:

    4) To ladyfleur, if the term bicycle driving makes you throw up in your mouth, I sincerely hope you like the taste, since you’ll be hearing quite a bit more about it from the growing bicycle driving community. A community that is working to get back to the future and reclaim our lost bicycle driver heritage. We do this by promoting Equality as part of the 6Es approach to advocacy and working to make bicycle driver Education (another of the 6 Es) the norm in the US, so we can all tell better stories about driving our bikes:

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