Ride the footpath!

Ride the footpath!

Postby queequeg » Fri May 02, 2014 10:11 pm

Xplora wrote:Strap on a pair, quee! HIGHS ROAD FTW :!: :!: :!:

:lol: I can dig, I don't recall Highs Road being the slightest bit cyclist friendly in either direction :shock: Which is a shame, because WPH is crawling with awesome cycling opps.


Oh believe me, I have done the full WPH Valley along there, up Highs Rd, down County Dr, then up David Rd (with it's nasty pinch up to New Line Rd). That route adds 5km of pain to my commute, and an extra 30 minutes because it takes me so far out of my way it is insane.
I once rode up Coonara Ave instead, thinking it would be easier than highs rd. That was a big mistake!
I commuted that route every day for a couple of months and it was a hard slog. I was also on a Hybrid bike at the time. Highs Rd is awesome on the way in though...boy does the bike get some speed along there, but probably not as quick as the Freewheeling 79.9km/h coming down New Line Rd from Hungry Jacks to Hastings Rd!
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by BNA » Fri May 02, 2014 10:25 pm

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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby wombatK » Fri May 02, 2014 10:25 pm

TTar wrote:By comparison, the Parra rd footpath was like a ride in the country.

I understand the general point of leaving the law unchanged, but there could be a lot of inconsistency by cops implementing the law and people not using footpaths because of uncertainty etc all of which could lessen the legitimacy of cycling. I vote for a change in the law.

Sadly, it isn't always like a ride in the country

There was a cyclist riding on the footpath of Military Rd Neutral Bay yesterday. Now deceased, after collision with a left-turning bus at Ben Boyd Rd (see shocking video footage at Daily Telecr@p).

If you choose to flout this law, please be very careful - realise you're not expected to be there, and not likely to be seen by turning traffic and traffic coming in or out of driveways etc.,. Ride slowly, wear a helmet, and give way everywhere a conflict with traffic, pedestrians or animals might be possible.
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby TTar » Sat May 03, 2014 6:58 pm

wombatK wrote:
TTar wrote:By comparison, the Parra rd footpath was like a ride in the country.


Sadly, it isn't always like a ride in the country

...

If you choose to flout this law, please be very careful - realise you're not expected to be there, and not likely to be seen by turning traffic and traffic coming in or out of driveways etc.,. Ride slowly, wear a helmet, and give way everywhere a conflict with traffic, pedestrians or animals might be possible.



Thanks for your concern, but I'm not advocating turning every single footpath into a bike legal zone. I'm not sure precisely what the regulations are in QLD where it's legal for adults to ride on footpaths, but there are restrictions forbidding riding on busy streets and at certain hours and you always have to give way to pedestrians and obey all the normal rules.

In any event, you don't need laws to formalise common sense, without knowing exactly what was happening with that guy in the video, his riding wasn't only inconsiderate and dangerous (for himself and others) it was also just plain crazy. As sad as his death is, I feel just as much sympathy for the bus driver and the schoolgirl passenger; they'll have to live with that experience for the rest of their lives.

It's already daunting enough for many to start cycling, knowing that you can legally ride on carefully selected footpaths might ease the entry for them. And would simply be legalising what is accepted common practice that is tolerated by the authorities.
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby frailer5 » Mon May 05, 2014 9:41 pm

Interesting video link, WombatK. Now that accident makes more sense.
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby jaffaman » Mon May 05, 2014 11:54 pm

Queensland laws are very simple:

"Riding on the footpath (s288): In Queensland, cyclists of any age are allowed to ride on a footpath unless prohibited by a 'NO BICYCLES' sign — you must give way to pedestrians and ride in a manner that does not inconvenience or endanger other footpath users."

As a native Queenslander I can't understand why it isn't allowed every where. Yes, there are hazards from low hanging trees, and yes, the pace needs to be appropriate, but providing you ride appropriate to the conditions, like you always should, there isn't really any problem. It just means every footpath is a shared path. You obviously need to be aware of blind spots if there are any for cars moving into and out of driveways, but there are surprisingly few really on the paths that you need to use. Quiet suburban back streets it is generally best to use the road, but if you need to ride a major or busy road and aren't comfortable being in the traffic at least you have the option, and it is very rare on these roads to have blind driveways or entrances to worry about. Also very very handy for hill climbs when you are travelling slowly to let the cars past easily.
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby rogan » Wed May 07, 2014 7:15 am

Xplora wrote:Would have thought it was better to just go down North Rocks and get some more hills coming up Oakes? 8)


North Rocks is not great, hard to get onto after the M2 (stuffing around with pedestrian lights, presumably), and you can't legally turn right at Oakes. The way AV rides, Murray Farm Rd would be possible, then right at Oakes, but left at PH Rd is undoubtably the fastest way.

Adrian - don't know why you go all the way up past Oratava - Aiken/Taylor works, you have to climb part of Coonara, but it's the easy half. The hardest bit of all that is the ramp up to the roundabout onto Taylor. But seeing as you can do that uphill roundabout to roundabout 400 m in 35 s, even that is not a significant obstacle to you. :D

As to Coonara vs Highs, once you are used to them you can do them. Highs is 10% constant for 800 m. Coonara is comfortable gradients till the last 200 m which is steeper and maxes out at about 15%. At peak hour Coonara is rideable with space to ride, but Highs has no room to move. Didn't stop AV setting his KOM up Highs during peak hour but I digress... :D Highs and Coonara are both fun in a downhill direction, but for goodness sake leave yourself some stopping distance with cars ahead, and watch closely for negligent motorists in side streets and driveways. Make sure you always have either stopping distance or an "alternative". Yelling aggressively at high volume is only a partial answer... On Highs there is a retirement/nursing home at the bottom, be extremely cautious there.
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby Xplora » Wed May 07, 2014 9:43 am

LOL Fear is a big motivator!

I was partly suggesting going down the road next to the car wash just past Lancelot opposite North Rocks Park. Gets you down past the primary school, then you hang a left onto Oakes... but I went to primary school there, and that's a natural assumption route. Onto Murray Farm Road, down the hill and onto Oakes sounds much smarter and safer ;)

I would always take space and safety on a commute during peak hour - even if it means you buy a cassette with a bigger cog to cope! Coonara sounds a bit like Glenhaven Road. That kind of hill is easily manageable if you bludge the front half like crazy. Save the KOM run for final 30 seconds 8)

And lastly, rogan the downhills is precisely my concern bombing around the streets too. You can't stop within 20m at 40kph down a hill. I went to hospital over that learning experience. 80? :shock:
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby bychosis » Wed May 07, 2014 11:39 am

jaffaman wrote:Queensland laws are very simple:

"Riding on the footpath (s288): In Queensland, cyclists of any age are allowed to ride on a footpath unless prohibited by a 'NO BICYCLES' sign — you must give way to pedestrians and ride in a manner that does not inconvenience or endanger other footpath users."

As a native Queenslander I can't understand why it isn't allowed every where. Yes, there are hazards from low hanging trees, and yes, the pace needs to be appropriate, but providing you ride appropriate to the conditions, like you always should, there isn't really any problem. It just means every footpath is a shared path. You obviously need to be aware of blind spots if there are any for cars moving into and out of driveways, but there are surprisingly few really on the paths that you need to use. Quiet suburban back streets it is generally best to use the road, but if you need to ride a major or busy road and aren't comfortable being in the traffic at least you have the option, and it is very rare on these roads to have blind driveways or entrances to worry about. Also very very handy for hill climbs when you are travelling slowly to let the cars past easily.


That's how I roll. but I'm in NSW and actually break the law to roll on occasion.
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby rogan » Wed May 07, 2014 1:06 pm

Xplora wrote:LOL Fear is a big motivator!

I was partly suggesting going down the road next to the car wash just past Lancelot opposite North Rocks Park. Gets you down past the primary school, then you hang a left onto Oakes... but I went to primary school there, and that's a natural assumption route. Onto Murray Farm Road, down the hill and onto Oakes sounds much smarter and safer ;)

I would always take space and safety on a commute during peak hour - even if it means you buy a cassette with a bigger cog to cope! Coonara sounds a bit like Glenhaven Road. That kind of hill is easily manageable if you bludge the front half like crazy. Save the KOM run for final 30 seconds 8)

And lastly, rogan the downhills is precisely my concern bombing around the streets too. You can't stop within 20m at 40kph down a hill. I went to hospital over that learning experience. 80? :shock:


Coonara climbs 61 m in 1.4 km, half of that at the end.

http://www.strava.com/segments/859065

The steep section averages 11% for 400 m, which I reckon is tougher than Glenhaven Rd. Similar climbs though, in that they slowly get steeper then smash you right at the top. Warks Hill is another, although on a different order of magnitude! It's a pig of a climb. Hard way to start a ride.

http://www.strava.com/segments/4591111

In terms of descending down those hills, if you throw caution to the wind, in my experience one will have a very dangerous incident once every 2 or 3 years. Experience counts as to how to handle that situation, but you must control the things you can. Eg. put on a strong front flashing light, leave stopping distance, watch driveways and side streets like a hawk, ensure you know where oncoming traffic is and what they are doing (slowing and not indicating - are they thinking about turning right across your path?), know what is behind you.

Recent one I've had - Highs Rd, I'm not doing 80, probably under 60 and under 50 once I saw what was going down... Oncoming bus pulls up. Cars behind cross double yellow lines, toward me, to go round the bus. First two were around but third one tries it on. It wasn't truly dangerous I had about a metre of width to spare. But let's just say I gave enthusiastic vernacular encouragement to that driver to do better.
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby vosadrian » Wed May 07, 2014 3:57 pm

I regularly descend Coonara pretty quick. It really depends on the time of day. Daylight is much better than night. Also, the main factor for me is cars leaving IBM out the two driveways, and that is worst in afternoon peak hour on a week day (when I often do it). Watch the driveways and cover the brakes. Also, past the shops if you go down that far is a busy section (I normally turn before there). It was a great road about 9 months ago until they dug it up to do cabling. They fixed it up a few weeks ago, but it is still not great, and smoothest near the centre line rather than on the side. You will hit low 70s without pedalling at all in an aero tuck position... but that would be over the speed limit, so just my theoretical calculation based on the length and decline!! :)
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby Boognoss » Wed May 07, 2014 4:35 pm

vosadrian wrote:I regularly descend Coonara pretty quick. It really depends on the time of day. Daylight is much better than night. Also, the main factor for me is cars leaving IBM out the two driveways, and that is worst in afternoon peak hour on a week day (when I often do it). Watch the driveways and cover the brakes. Also, past the shops if you go down that far is a busy section (I normally turn before there). It was a great road about 9 months ago until they dug it up to do cabling. They fixed it up a few weeks ago, but it is still not great, and smoothest near the centre line rather than on the side. You will hit low 70s without pedalling at all in an aero tuck position... but that would be over the speed limit, so just my theoretical calculation based on the length and decline!! :)


I concur with your theory. I have come up with similar figures in my "calculations" too ;). Since I'm 85ish kg I calculated that I wouldn't need an aero tuck at all......
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Ride the footpath!

Postby queequeg » Wed May 07, 2014 9:35 pm

It's been a while since I did Highs Rd, but I easily did 60km/h with no effort.
I ride New Line Rd in the morning and also easily do 60km/h out of my street, and Cardinal Ave from Pennant hills Rd to Hannah St is an easy place to hit 70km/h with no effort.
I have ridden down New Line Rd from Hungry Jacks, and just freewheeling and using a bit of brake, you'll be at 80km/h coming past Hastings Rd. I have tried keeping it to 60km/h, but you end up riding the brakes. If there is anywhere where 100km/h is possible, this would be it!
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby tcdev » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:53 pm

Great thread! As an impending rider (bike ordered today) I'm very hesitant about riding on the major roads around my area, since I'm planning to try commuting to work a few times/week. Unfortunately my route to work by car is pretty much Princes Hwy door-to-door, and there's no way I'll attempt that. I'll be taking the back streets for the most part, but there will be a few sections each end I'll need to navigate the highway. Just this morning I noted a cyclist on the footpath along the highway. I think I'll rely on the cops' common sense (did I just say that with a straight face?) and risk a fine rather than my life.

NSW is a real PITA when it comes to laws regarding transportation. I did a Segway tour in Madrid a few years ago and the parks and footpaths were all fair game. It was quite busy but we bothered no-one and the pedestrians managed to keep out of our way without a fuss. It was incredibly fun! So much so, that on my return I looked into purchasing one for myself. Alas it's basically ILLEGAL to ride one in NSW. I understand Qld recently relaxed their laws and NSW was looking at doing the same, but AFAIK it's not quite there yet. When will this government wake up and acknowledge that there are other more economic, healthy & environmentally friendly forms of transport that are under-utilised mainly because it just too damn dangerous!?!
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby outnabike » Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:17 pm

I live right out in the suburbs and have used paths where it is a good way to get to a crossing , excessive peak hour traffic, and there are some real problem areas. Taken the risk on getting booked.

Just as a matter of interest , how do you feel about riding a Sedgway or bike, in the middle of Melbourne, with a million peds all around. I just can't see it as a viable alternative.
On shared paths they are fairly wide aren't they?
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:50 pm

outnabike wrote:Just as a matter of interest , how do you feel about riding a Sedgway or bike, in the middle of Melbourne, with a million peds all around. I just can't see it as a viable alternative.
On shared paths they are fairly wide aren't they?

Less wide than they used to be and, I think, less height too. I guess that motors and battereis have shrunk. I'm undecided on how suitable they are to mix with peds, leaning a little to the negative. They are very easy to start/stop/maneuvre, short learning curve, the issue be less about riders and more to do with peds in a daze walking straight into the path of even a slow moving object righ tin their frotnal vision. I experience these sorts every time I ride home through the CBD.

For a few weeks a couple of years ago I did see what looked like a competing extra small cutesy version around Perth. They were closer to the size and apparent bulk of an upright vacuum cleaner than what we are used to seeing but I have not seen them since. All riders were young and/or pretty slight built.
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby tcdev » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:12 pm

Madrid was super-busy pedestrian-wise and there was some stopping and weaving in parts but generally they kept out of our way and we theirs. Also consider by then I had about 10 mins Segway experience under my belt!

Having said that, I can't really imagine riding one along Sydney CBD footpaths either; as some old cranky-puss noted, they're not overly wide and arguably inadequate even for the current pedestrian traffic, let-alone bicycles and Segways. But outside the CBD I don't see an issue with either on the footpaths. Sure there are certain other areas that would be an issue, but for the most part it (being legal) would save far more lives than it endangers.

In Madrid I met a friend of my sister, who rode his Segway to/from work, and more often than not just for getting around the city. I was insanely jealous. Incredibly frustrating that I can't ride one legally here, even if I could afford to buy one. Next best thing is my new bike, I guess... which I'm hoping to pickup on Wednesday.
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Re: Ride the footpath!

Postby yugyug » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:27 pm

Enjoy your new bike tcdev, and enjoy the footpath riding! In my experience, fwiw, cops are unlikely to give you a ticket and so ride in peace. :)
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