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cycling laws/fines? watch

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    Hi, i hope this is in the right forum

    I'm starting university in September and want to start riding a bike there on a daily basis to try and get more exercise. I can't actually ride a bike yet :o: and probably won't start to learn until my birthday which is in the summer when i'm getting a bike of my own. I've heard that cycling on the pavements is illegal and i can be fined for it, but obviously i'm not going to feel safe cycling on the road after only a few weeks of practice.

    What i was wondering is, is it common for people to be fined for cycling on the pavement? I'd try to go slow and get off my bike if someone needed to get past, and obviously i'd have a bell too. The roads i'd be cycling on aren't very busy, but the road usually is full of traffic and it really makes me nervous to think of riding the bike on the main road.

    So if the police were to see me cycling, are they likely to fine me?
    Thanks
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    It tends to be an unwritten law, as far as I know, that children can ride on the pavement, adults on the road. However, I have seen many adults on the pavements.
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    I don't know whether they will fine you, but cycling on the pavement is highly irresponsible and downright dangerous. If you need to build up your confidence go down to an industrial estate or car park that isn't used on the weekend and practice there.
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    Nope, they can fine but usually don't. I've been asked to dismount once and to 'take it easy' another time, although this was a couple years back when I was about 10-11. I no longer cycle on pavements.
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    Just brave the roads. Practice makes perfect. I now go whizzing down the main road with no hands.. OOOOH YEAAAAAAHHHH.

    *ahem* I've been riding since I was yay high though.
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    (Original post by lizabeffy)
    I've heard that cycling on the pavements is illegal and i can be fined for it, but obviously i'm not going to feel safe cycling on the road after only a few weeks of practice.
    Get some lessons and experience then - go on a cycling proficiency course.

    Also make sure you're in the right kit, hi viz, lights, helmet, etc.

    The roads i'd be cycling on aren't very busy, but the road usually is full of traffic and it really makes me nervous to think of riding the bike on the main road.
    If you're not confident of cycling on the roads you shouldn't be cycling full stop unless you're completely off road (and I don't mean on the pavement).

    So if the police were to see me cycling, are they likely to fine me?
    You'll probably get a warning first but yes you could potentially be fined and/or taken to court.
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    When I used to have my DJ bike (very nimble and snappy) I would hop on and off pavements and weave through traffic to my pleasing. I often rode on pavements but gave way to pedestrians, usually by jumping back into the road and hopping back up onto the pavement after I'd passed them. Ragging through traffic jams around cars was awesome fun too I sold my baby to fund a flashgun though so only have my cruiser left which is a very relaxed ride and nigh-on impossible to hop so I stick to the road on that one.

    Do not ring your bell at people in front of you if you're on the pavement. You have no right of way whatsoever and they have no obligation to get out of your way. If people ring a bell at me on the pavements I go out of my way to get in their way for being so damn ignorant. Be courteous and people will be less likely to be dicks to you next time round.

    Also, please maintain your bike. When working at Halfords I saw and fixed too many horror cases to want to actually think about what's really out there and never gets looked after. My brakes could stop me almost dead from 30mph. Some of the brakes I serviced would slow you marginally on the flat but would have no significance whatsoever when going down-hill.
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    Get some lessons and experience then - go on a cycling proficiency course.

    Also make sure you're in the right kit, hi viz, lights, helmet, etc.


    If you're not confident of cycling on the roads you shouldn't be cycling full stop unless you're completely off road (and I don't mean on the pavement).



    You'll probably get a warning first but yes you could potentially be fined and/or taken to court.
    1 - lights
    Don't buy pansy £10 lights. They do F-all and you may as well not have any. Better than nothing but £30 buys you a whole lot more.

    2 - hi-viz
    You'll look like a moron but if it makes you feel safer then so be it. The only cyclists I know that wear hi-viz stuff are pretentious businessmen/women or teachers. Not even Roadies wear hi-viz stuff and they're one of the least tolerable forms of cyclist in terms of how they see themselves on the road*.

    3 - helmet
    obviously you'll want one of these. DO NOT go to Halfrauds and get either the £10 or £15 Trax ones. These are probably more dangerous than not having one at all. £30 is a good amount to spend. I don't practice what I preach, however, and haven't worn a helmet in 6 or 7 years. I've had a few hard falls but know enough to know how to land properly and I'm aware enough on the road and have a good enough bike/brakes that I stayed out of trouble. I've had more near hits with cars when walking in the last year than I have in the last 5 on a bike.

    I agree with the confident on the roads thing. If you're confident your body language and the way you ride will show it and car drivers are more likely to notice you. Things like riding in the middle of your lane (assuming you can keep up with the traffic that is) rather than tucking yourself into the curb and riding like a snail.

    *Roadies tend of think of themselves as Gods and think that cars should notice them as much as they notice other cars. Because of this they tend to be horribly ignorant and ride like they own the road. BMXers, Dirt Jumpers, and Streeters tend to ride in a way that looks after themselves and themselves only. They know how to ride a bike well; hop pavements and swerve around traffic/obstacles. Tourers are somewhere in the middle but somewhat closer to the latter group most of the time. Those who wear hi-viz jackets are like those who put P plates on their car, basically saying they passed their test but think they shouldn't have. A good set of lights, confidence in the way you ride and good riding skills are far more likely to keep you out of trouble than a high-visibility jacket that will reduce your pulling power to nill :awesome:
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    (Original post by Nuffles)
    2 - hi-viz
    You'll look like a moron but if it makes you feel safer then so be it. The only cyclists I know that wear hi-viz stuff are pretentious businessmen/women or teachers. Not even Roadies wear hi-viz stuff and they're one of the least tolerable forms of cyclist in terms of how they see themselves on the road*.

    *Roadies tend of think of themselves as Gods and think that cars should notice them as much as they notice other cars. Because of this they tend to be horribly ignorant and ride like they own the road. BMXers, Dirt Jumpers, and Streeters tend to ride in a way that looks after themselves and themselves only. They know how to ride a bike well; hop pavements and swerve around traffic/obstacles. Tourers are somewhere in the middle but somewhat closer to the latter group most of the time. Those who wear hi-viz jackets are like those who put P plates on their car, basically saying they passed their test but think they shouldn't have. A good set of lights, confidence in the way you ride and good riding skills are far more likely to keep you out of trouble than a high-visibility jacket that will reduce your pulling power to nill :awesome:
    It's about making yourself more visible to other road users. Cyclists are small, tend to sneak up on blind spots, etc. A common 'excuse' in involving cyclists and/or cyclists is 'I just didn't see them'. At the very least wearing light clothing will help - just in the same way that motorcyclists tend to have their lights on even during the day and stick to bright colours.

    From my experience it tends to be the people who clock a lot of miles and are conscious about their safety that wear high visability clothing. Those that don't tend to be ignorant of road safety, what's going on around them, don't wear helmets, etc.

    (Original post by Nuffles)
    I've had a few hard falls but know enough to know how to land properly and I'm aware enough on the road and have a good enough bike/brakes that I stayed out of trouble.
    It has nothing to do with experience or knowing how to fall, granted it can help prevent collisions but it will not protect you from all of them - you've been lucky.

    What converted me was a nasty crash I had several years ago. I was doing a bit of xc on my own so I put an old helmet on as a precaution - before then I hadn't worn one in years. After 10 or so miles my front wheel spun out, I went over the handlebars. I smashed my helmet, concussion, cuts and bruises down one side, etc - without the helmet I would have been in hospital.
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    I BMX so you can imagine my bike (Or you can view it if you wish on my Facebook):

    Slammed seat
    Brakeless
    No lights

    And have only been stopped twice one because I stopped to go into the shop and they stood in the door way refusing to let me go until they had written the fine. 2nd was well....... they pulled the van up on the pavement when I was going to work I knew for a fact I was getting a fine so turned the bike round and rode off,DO NOT DO THIS, They flicked the sirens on and as I was desperate to get away so kept pedalling I decided to cut through the park and get back to my house where I could lay low but the van pulled right infront at the top of my road and they all jumped out so I decided to accept it and got slapped with another fine and a warning stating that if I was caught again I'd be down the nick.

    After being knocked off my bmx before and the driver failing to stop I still ride on the pavement. But the chances of you getting caught are pretty slim I ridden past many police cars before even past 2 coppers in the street and they didn't say nothing most can't be bothered with filling the form but some of the *******s will give you the fine to make them feel better.
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    (Original post by ch0c0h01ic)
    It's about making yourself more visible to other road users. Cyclists are small, tend to sneak up on blind spots, etc. A common 'excuse' in involving cyclists and/or cyclists is 'I just didn't see them'. At the very least wearing light clothing will help - just in the same way that motorcyclists tend to have their lights on even during the day and stick to bright colours.

    From my experience it tends to be the people who clock a lot of miles and are conscious about their safety that wear high visability clothing. Those that don't tend to be ignorant of road safety, what's going on around them, don't wear helmets, etc.



    It has nothing to do with experience or knowing how to fall, granted it can help prevent collisions but it will not protect you from all of them - you've been lucky.

    What converted me was a nasty crash I had several years ago. I was doing a bit of xc on my own so I put an old helmet on as a precaution - before then I hadn't worn one in years. After 10 or so miles my front wheel spun out, I went over the handlebars. I smashed my helmet, concussion, cuts and bruises down one side, etc - without the helmet I would have been in hospital.
    It depends. There's a difference between the generic awful looking hi-vis jacket and wearing light coloured clothes. Roadies often wear yellows, reds or blues for their jerseys and it makes them stand out without looking like a muppet. I've done a hell of a lot of road miles on many different bikes but I'm still damned by the invincibility of being a teenager.

    I'm very aware when out on the roads. As has been said before, my stopping distance (especially on my old jump bike with 7" Hayes Nines) is a few meters even from 30mph and my reactions are razor sharp. As a cyclist I understand that cars just don't see you and I factor it in as a part of my riding.

    If a cars going to hit me then so be it. I've been lucky so far, yes, but it's just the way I live. I don't mock those who wear helmets but I don't feel guilty for not. I feel far more alive with the wind in my hair and unconstrained thoughts than I ever could sweatied up in a helmet (I suffer from a hot head which means I can't wear hats on even the coldest of days without being uncomfortably sweaty after half an hour at most, so cycling hard with even a well vented helmet is awful).

    I've seen far worse cyclists on the road and have even witnessed someone falling off for no apparent reason other than inability to ride a bike. These kinds of people are far more likely to cause, or be involved in, a serious accident than someone with many years of technical bike handling experience with a well built and well maintained bike.
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    (Original post by Nuffles)
    3 - helmet
    obviously you'll want one of these. DO NOT go to Halfrauds and get either the £10 or £15 Trax ones. These are probably more dangerous than not having one at all. £30 is a good amount to spend. I don't practice what I preach, however, and haven't worn a helmet in 6 or 7 years. I've had a few hard falls but know enough to know how to land properly and I'm aware enough on the road and have a good enough bike/brakes that I stayed out of trouble. I've had more near hits with cars when walking in the last year than I have in the last 5 on a bike.
    Holy crap - you are one idiot to be giving advice on safe cycling. If a helmet has the CE mark it has passed the test - simple - your opinion doesn't stack up against legal testing requirements. Seeing as you don't wear a helmet, think you can 'land properly' you are almost as bad as Splodger who is evidently more cool than clever.

    OP - you need to get proper tuition and contact your local council about cycling - they may well run local cycling lessons (Bristol do for example). Riding on the pavement is, strictly speaking, going to get you warned and fined.
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    Firstly, congrats on taking this very positive step - learning to ride; it's a skill for life and something that will give you great pleasure and well-being. My bike has taken me around the world!

    It is *illegal* to cycle on pavements but it is the only sensible thing to do. A small fine (and unlikely) is nothing compared to my life/health - I'm sure this would apply to you too. It's a sad fact that many cyclists are also drivers, but very few drivers are cyclists.

    Before you become 'road aware' continue to cycle on the pavement:
    - ride with consideration for others
    - ride AWAY from policeman, especially community support officers
    - normal safety (helmet, lights, high-viz, working brakes etc) still applies.
    - enjoy!
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    Your able to ride on the pavement if your under 14.

    Don't be stupid and ride on a pavement full of people though. The ones around my area would be fine, they're virtually empty most the time. Dunno about wehere you live though (obv)

    Go to a park or somewhere quiet to practice.
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    Ride on the road you absolute wimp. Cycling on the pavement is illegal for a reason.

    I cycle 6 miles to work every day, and the same back, including some busy A-roads, and I'm not dead yet. Ergo cycling is 100% safe in all situations. But seriously, wear a helmet and lights at night and you should be fine, but until you're confident enough to cycle on the road you're a danger to yourself and others whether you're on the pavement or not anyway.
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    Please DON'T cycle on the pavement. If you're learning to ride do so in a park or car park, but once you're confident you should be on the road all of the time. So many people in Cardiff ride on the pavement, I've been knocked over countless times including once when I was coming out of a shop and a cyclist ran straight into me, which really hurt and cut up my leg quite badly (bikes are sharp!). There is no excuse for not cycling on the road, simply none.
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    (Original post by ProStacker)
    Holy crap - you are one idiot to be giving advice on safe cycling. If a helmet has the CE mark it has passed the test - simple - your opinion doesn't stack up against legal testing requirements. Seeing as you don't wear a helmet, think you can 'land properly' you are almost as bad as Splodger who is evidently more cool than clever.

    OP - you need to get proper tuition and contact your local council about cycling - they may well run local cycling lessons (Bristol do for example). Riding on the pavement is, strictly speaking, going to get you warned and fined.
    Just because I choose not to wear one doesn't mean I know nothing. I'm guessing I know a whole lot more than you about bikes and cycling safety. I would not choose to put a £10 helmet on my head over a £30 one, and if you have the money for a bike the extra £20 won't hurt. I've seen too many of these cheap helmets crack for no reason or have the straps break away at a light tug.

    The bikes Halfords sell meet the standards for 'safe' yet a good proportion of them come out of the box broken. Most cheap bikes need their wheels trued before they'll even run between the brake blocks, let alone be safe to ride on. Trax bikes will kill you if you ride it long enough or off a curb. I'm not kidding. The things I've seen while working in Halfords would shock you.

    And before you **** off my experience of working in Halfords, I own 2 bikes, previously three. The one I've just sold (an Identiti 666) I built from the ground up, and the other two I maintain meticulously. I used to have an '07 Devinci Ollie frame in my possession but never had the funds to build it up. If you don't know who Devinci are, or Identiti for that matter, you have no business telling me I'm an 'idiot'. I can strip and rebuild a bike with my eyes closed and I've done my fair share of building and fixing.

    I've already said that I don't advise you not to wear a helmet, I even made a recommendation as to what price range of helmet is actually good to buy, I merely stated that I do not. If I was riding North Shore (oh, we had to check that one on Google too did we?) I would be riding with full armor and a full face helmet. Unfortunately, as I said, my freeride rig plans fell through and it didn't become an eventuality.

    I may do some things, that seem to some, silly or ill thought out and that may be true, but please do not talk down my knowledge of bikes.

    Edit: This is the worst injury I've done to myself on my bike. Helmet wouldn't have done much in this instance :rolleyes:

    and yes, that is my shin-bone you can see there. Damn Bontrager Big Earls are too sharp :awesome:
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    (Original post by Nuffles)
    Just because I choose not to wear one doesn't mean I know nothing. I'm guessing I know a whole lot more than you about bikes and cycling safety.
    I'm guessing you don't. Given that I'm actually trained in road safety, have been responsible for road safety in several countries, have ridden bikes since before you were born, work closely with the local cycling training and safety agencies and am a qualified mountain bike coach, we'll agree to disagree on that point.

    (Original post by Nuffles)
    I would not choose to put a £10 helmet on my head over a £30 one, and if you have the money for a bike the extra £20 won't hurt. I've seen too many of these cheap helmets crack for no reason or have the straps break away at a light tug.
    I'd spend that little bit more on a helmet, but if the helmet has the CE mark, it has passed the required tests as the £140 helmet. I would also advise spending what you can afford, but the helmet hasn't passed any higher tests - it comes down to marketing and design.

    (Original post by Nuffles)
    The bikes Halfords sell meet the standards for 'safe' yet a good proportion of them come out of the box broken. Most cheap bikes need their wheels trued before they'll even run between the brake blocks, let alone be safe to ride on. Trax bikes will kill you if you ride it long enough or off a curb. I'm not kidding. The things I've seen while working in Halfords would shock you.
    The same for anything cheap - especially bikes. Any £100 special will be made to a very low level and assembled by chimps. I've repaired dozens of these in my time.

    (Original post by Nuffles)
    And before you **** off my experience of working in Halfords, I own 2 bikes, previously three. The one I've just sold (an Identiti 666) I built from the ground up, and the other two I maintain meticulously. I used to have an '07 Devinci Ollie frame in my possession but never had the funds to build it up. If you don't know who Devinci are, or Identiti for that matter, you have no business telling me I'm an 'idiot'. I can strip and rebuild a bike with my eyes closed and I've done my fair share of building and fixing.
    I'm not ****ging off experience - but did you get a qualification out of it? You own 2 bikes? I have 3, but so what? I've also built my own bikes and have owned Specialized, Scott, Gary Fisher, Trek, On One and Turner - again, just bikes.

    (Original post by Nuffles)
    I've already said that I don't advise you not to wear a helmet, I even made a recommendation as to what price range of helmet is actually good to buy, I merely stated that I do not. If I was riding North Shore (oh, we had to check that one on Google too did we?) I would be riding with full armor and a full face helmet. Unfortunately, as I said, my freeride rig plans fell through and it didn't become an eventuality.
    I've ridden shore - not my thing. Not wearing a helmet for your 'rad' riding is going to be Darwinism showing how it works for you.

    (Original post by Nuffles)
    I may do some things, that seem to some, silly or ill thought out and that may be true, but please do not talk down my knowledge of bikes.
    I'm not talking down your knowledge of bikes - just contradicting the 'advice' you are giving. Which is bad advice.

    (Original post by Nuffles)
    Edit: This is the worst injury I've done to myself on my bike. Helmet wouldn't have done much in this instance :rolleyes:

    and yes, that is my shin-bone you can see there. Damn Bontrager Big Earls are too sharp :awesome:
    You cut yourself to the bone on your tyres? The fact that you have had an injury doesn't prove helmets are bad. Now please - don't give bad advice on cycling safety - especially when you don't have a sensible approach yourself. You can't 'land properly' if you get hit by a car :rolleyes:
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    If you cycle on the pavement but respect the pedestrians and ride slowly and safely then nobody will give a flying ****. Police might say something but they aren't going to fine some slow unsure person. Just make sure you have lights and a helmet.

    If you ride on the road you just need to be confident.
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    (Original post by ProStacker)
    I'm guessing you don't. Given that I'm actually trained in road safety, have been responsible for road safety in several countries, have ridden bikes since before you were born, work closely with the local cycling training and safety agencies and am a qualified mountain bike coach, we'll agree to disagree on that point.



    I'd spend that little bit more on a helmet, but if the helmet has the CE mark, it has passed the required tests as the £140 helmet. I would also advise spending what you can afford, but the helmet hasn't passed any higher tests - it comes down to marketing and design.



    The same for anything cheap - especially bikes. Any £100 special will be made to a very low level and assembled by chimps. I've repaired dozens of these in my time.



    I'm not ****ging off experience - but did you get a qualification out of it? You own 2 bikes? I have 3, but so what? I've also built my own bikes and have owned Specialized, Scott, Gary Fisher, Trek, On One and Turner - again, just bikes.



    I've ridden shore - not my thing. Not wearing a helmet for your 'rad' riding is going to be Darwinism showing how it works for you.



    I'm not talking down your knowledge of bikes - just contradicting the 'advice' you are giving. Which is bad advice.



    You cut yourself to the bone on your tyres? The fact that you have had an injury doesn't prove helmets are bad. Now please - don't give bad advice on cycling safety - especially when you don't have a sensible approach yourself. You can't 'land properly' if you get hit by a car :rolleyes:
    At what point did I tell the OP to ride without a helmet? I don't see at any point me saying 'any1 who rides wif a helmet iz stupid cos u dont need 1 LOL', in fact quite the opposite. I guess we underestimated each other a little. I might ride without a helmet but then I don't drink and I've seen a lot of bad injuries happen to my friends while drunk so maybe it'll even itself out.

    I know I can't land properly if I get hit by a car, but in most other situations I can. If I get hit by a car then I'm pretty ****** anyway. We have very different outlooks on life, probably because of a difference in age. I'll probably become more sensible in time but who knows? I might get killed off before I get a chance to find out :rolleyes:

    Big Earls are pedals btw, mother******s of platform pedals at that.

    On another note, how can North Shore not be your thing? Freeride is one of the best kinds of cycling there is IMO. So much more involvement in the riding and bike control than pretty much anything else. Whipping down between trees at 30mph+ inches away from trunks and knocking off 20 and 30ft doubles and drops.
 
 
 
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