i don’t know about you, but i’ve never really given much thought to sidewalks.  unless one ends unexpectedly.  or perhaps when there’s an abrubt difference in height between one slab to the next; the kind that makes you think you’re going to bend a bike wheel.

but the truth of the matter is that sidewalks are an incredible thing.  i mean, really – the fact that most streets have a separate, safe walkway for pedestrians seems very generous on the part of the municipality – especially considering that there aren’t all that many american populations who use their legs to get to where they need to go.

i did a little causual research and discovered that sidewalks have existed at least since roman times when they built raised walkways so that the elite wouldn’t be spattered by passing chariots and horses.  it became a norm to build parallel pedestrian walkways in urban developments by the late 18th century in london, but apparently this current century has seen a decline in the money spent on building and maintaining such conveniences.

i found out exactly how little drivers think about sidewalks while i was riding my bicycle.  i blew a fuse in my motorcycle and cycled to pick up a new one, but due to the fact that i have no helmet i usually stay on the sidewalk rather than LA streets.  i’m rethinking this logic after running full speed into the drivers-side door of a burgundy civic and crumpling like a rag-doll down the back doorpanel.  she didn’t see me coming as she pulled out of an alleyway.  we’re just both lucky that the timing was at it was.  any sooner or later and it might have been much worse.  as it is i haven’t a bruise or even a scrape; just a new-found respect for cycles vs. cars…and the need to rethink whether the forgotten sidewalk is really the safest place to be on two wheels.


4 Responses to “sidewalk”

  1. 1 Wallyce July 26, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    sooooo glad you’re o.k.!!! missed you this morning…. thought of you… sending hugs. See you friday!

  2. 2 lauren August 3, 2009 at 11:05 am

    in dc i can get a ticket for riding on the sidewalk in dc. ive decided that bc ppl here are so anti eco friendly and are so angry when they drive that i will be one of the assholes that rides my bike in the middle of the lane. bc unfortunately if bikers try and stay to the right they will get run off the road anyways. i figure it rather be seen and get honked at. cant wait to move to austin where its actually bike friendly

  3. 4 Megan Bodin August 5, 2009 at 11:49 am

    austin is a lovely place, very eco friendly… i’d love to host you and make a new friend! i just live in new braunfels, down the highway…

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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