Bike Super Powers: Transforming Into A Pedestrian

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 19

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Bicycles have many super powers, but every morning I use one of the little known ones, the ability to become a pedestrian at will!

A cyclist walking their bike is a pedestrian. Totally separate set of laws, totally separate set of road use conditions. SUPER USEFUL SUPERPOWER!

Before I tell you how I used that super power this morning here are some general uses:

  • If you have trouble making left hand turns, get off your bike and use the cross walk.
  • Bypassing road construction by walking on the sidewalk.
  • Walking over footbridges as a shortcut.
  • Walking up and down steps as a shortcut.
  • Walking through buildings as a shortcut (very useful on some campuses).
  • This list could go on forever, feel free to add any to the comments, but you get the idea.

Near my house is a school for little ones, and every morning there is a line of cars waiting for the “school bus” (its just a van with lights on it) to drop off the kids. There is also always a cop sitting there who LOVES to give out tickets to people (including cyclists) who drive past the blinking “illegal to pass when these lights are flashing” sign on the back of the “bus.”

Every morning I see impatient drivers/cyclists get in trouble by Johnny law for breaking the simplest of laws (don’t be bad in front of cops…duh), and every morning I do the following.

I ride up to the start of the wait line. Get off my bike. Walk past the school bus on the side walk. The get back on my bike. Whole thing takes about 30 seconds. I am literally walking past a single van.

The cops love it, they smile at me every morning. I am following the law TO THE LETTER, and it allows me to keep my commute speedy and safe.

What bike super powers do you use on a regular basis? Let us know in the comments.


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Posted in education, fun | 8 Comments »


8 Responses to “Bike Super Powers: Transforming Into A Pedestrian”

  1. By DKB on Sep 19, 2013 | Reply

    Make left turns onto busy streets by using the crosswalk to get past the traffic.

  2. By John_on_Central on Sep 19, 2013 | Reply

    I believe Josh at Bike Safe Boston mentioned that is is perfectly legal for cyclists to bypass stopped school buses with their lights on. Now one should not do it or do it slowly, but the cop has no legal standing to pull you over… that said it is sometimes easier and safer just to hop off and walk, no biggy!

  3. By DKB on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    John is correct. M.G.L. ch. 90 sec. 14 states only that a “motor vehicle or trackless trolley” must stop for a school bus. Of course, it’s often congested around a stopped school bus.

  4. By TurkeyWatch on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    Walking the block by South Station to pass the stopped motor vehicles.

    Keeping to the left in the left lane while passing stopped cars (usually can’t make it past buses or trucks) on Cambridge St. heading down to the Longfellow Bridge.

    Picking up the bike to move sideways to change lanes in stopped traffic.

  5. By John_on_Central on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    @TurkeyWatch,

    Yes! The crab move! Love doing that to change lanes when everybody is stopped!!

  6. By mm on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks DKB! I’ve been stopping needlessly

  7. By SJE on Sep 22, 2013 | Reply

    Quantum superpositioning. When I get on my bike, I commute and work out at the same time.

  8. By gogoosh on Sep 23, 2013 | Reply

    Not sure if it quite rises to superpower level, but I love entertaining little kids while I’m stopped at a stoplight and they are walking by. Bright blinking lights on my helmet, a happy-sounding bell, and they can see my smiling face (instead of just a car grill). Thrills them, cheers me and their caregivers, and furthers the cycling “brand”!

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