Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cycling on pavement and why I do it

Cycling on pavement. This topic will draw a lot of comments on social media. Reason being legally in Singapore, cyclists are supposed to be cycling on the road. With the exception of Tampines, cycling on pavement is illegal.(but not enforced strictly).
However in the actual day to day conditions, we can see many people taking the pavement for mainly safety considerations.
These are the young, the elderly, the folks who are not confident of their riding skills. 
The most common reason given is "vehicular traffic is too fast and aggressive. I am scared of the cars."
I do this too with my gal for the same reason. 
My question when being questioned is always...."would you let your child to ride on the road? Why not?"   

I hope this paradox can change in our sunny island sometime in the future. In the meantime, I will still take to the pavement if the road situation is too dangerous. 
The wide pavement near my home @ Pungool
However, I always keep this 2 points in mind when I am riding on the pavement. Its simple. 
  1. I will give way to pedestrians.  They are the priority. 
  2. Be nice and polite. Do not ring the bell. 

Pedestrian have right of way.
This is a sign I saw in Taipei which I feel works in communicating the direction forward. Cyclists need to give way to pedestrians. There is no other way about it. I hope our agency can adapt for Singapore condition.
The onus must be for cyclists to adapt and walk the bike if the conditions are too crowded. 
Please also do not ring the bell as it irritates the pedestrians. Instead, use a nice apologetic tone with a smile. "Hello, sorry excuse me... passing thru".  I do this all the time and most are very understanding.  
Hope it helps you have a safer and pleasant ride with your loved ones. If there are other good tips, pls drop me a comment so I can edit this to allow better information sharing.

Some good links on the topic
Some more discussions on this topic in UK 
Another good article on children cycling on pavements 
An good article on common sense. Would u let you child ride on the road? 


  1. I fully agree that the best way is for cyclists and pedestrains to learn how to share the paths politely and respectfully. In Oz, we have to ring the bell but just once as a courtesy to say, bike is passing. I usually follow up like you with a greeting, "Good morning. Thank you. Hv a good day!" Seems to work v well in Oz :) People greet me back.

    1. Thanks Brother Al and I just feel we all can do our part to be good cycling embassadors. It can start with us to make it nice for others. Sometimes, very simple gestures means so much. Like a smile and thank you. :)

  2. I also fully agree with you; that's what I do myself and tell other bicycle users to do so in Thailand too. From my observation, LCSG did well on that ride on November 1 I joined.