Pavement Riding

> Date: Mon, 27 Mar 1995 14:25:19 +0100 (BST) From: Akuma <>
> I remember one old guy in particular who knocked me off sideways as I rode
> past. I went back and confronted him and he told me I was likely to knock
> some poor old biddy over. But, we had quite a friendly conversation and I
> think I persuaded him that there was no reason I shouldn’t be there.
> People often imply by their actions that they think I’m riding out of
> control without due care and consideration for the safety of others. I find
> this implication deeply offensive, but of course I have to be careful how I
> react.

I take a similar approach to you: talk to folk who act scared, and see if
there’s any basis to their argument. On the other hand, there are times when
people are simply not going to be prepared to discuss the matter.

For example, the only time I’ve been stopped by the Police was on a very quiet
Sunday here in London. I was riding on a completely empty pavement by Marble
Arch when a copper stepped out of his van and told me to get off. I complied
immediately, then turned and asked “is it illegal?”. He said that of course it
was, riding bikes on the pavement is a no-no. I tried the “ah, but this isn’t a
bike” approach, to which he replied “if you want to argue about it I can give
you a bit of paper that will tell you how to argue about it in court”. (Almost
direct quote: he seemed to threaten to take me to court.)

Well I backed off a bit, and asked if it was alright to ride on the roads. He
said “only if you ride on the left”, at which all his colleagues in the van
laughed. Ah yes, colleagues in a van. Perhaps it’s more that if you are going to
argue the matter, don’t argue with someone who wants to prove himself.

Anyway I didn’t point why it is in fact illegal to ride unis on the road (no
two independent sets of brakes, no front/rear reflectors, etc.) but carried
on anyway.

Ah well, can’t win them all over just yet. Global domination may be a little
later than planned…

(For the record, I prefer riding on the road anyway, and if you’re careful
there’s nowhere in London really that’s not safe.)