What side do you get on your bike from?

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#1
I'd say what side do you MOUNT your bike from, but after the fixie thread, well, I did not wish to go there :rolleyes: :D

I realized that I get on my bikes from the left side, and I was wondering if that is fairly universal?

I guess it is a practical thing as well, as most every kickstand I've ever seen on a bicycle is on the left side, so you have to be standing there to kick it up, but what about those without kickstands on your bikes, do you still get on from the left side?

Is this all left over from horses? The stories I heard about horses is that most riders get on the left side, as at one time, soldier on horse back were mainly right handed, and would have their swords on their left side, it was much easier to get on a horse with from the left side if you carried your sword on your left side, safer for the horse too! :D

I know I get on my motorcycle from the left side as well, mostly again, because of the kickstand thing.

Just curious is all :)
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
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Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#2
A related question: do you feel more comfortable in a left curve or a right curve?

For me it is clearly the left - though people riding with me downhill will probably say I seem to love all curves... :cool:

I don't think I have ever mounted from the right. And I almost always swing over my right leg only after starting to roll.

And yes, I'm clearly right-handed.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#6
Is this all left over from horses? The stories I heard about horses is that most riders get on the left side, as at one time, soldier on horse back were mainly right handed, and would have their swords on their left side, it was much easier to get on a horse with from the left side if you carried your sword on your left side, safer for the horse too! :DJust curious is all :)
Also saddle were very differentback then as well and basically locked the rider in to position so that when using a joust or leaning low to engage foot soliders they wouldn't slip.... basically the only way in to the saddle was from the left side. - crazily enough I know this from personal experience.
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#7
I'm left-handed. I always get on bikes from the left, stand or no stand.

Thinking about why: Possibly due to the stand thing. But also having always lived in countries (UK, Japan) where we drive/ride on the left, if I put my bike in the road and then get on it then I'm naturally on its left.

I get off (sorry... dismount) to the left as well. This is not without problems because I then tend to lean the bike against whatever wall/kerb is there, and more than once I have pranged by derailleur this way.

Because I've always done it this way, it feels very strange to try (dis)mounting on the right.

Ludwig: I prefer right curves to left. It just feels better. Might be due in part to my left-hand/footedness, or the better visibility around curves (vanishing point), or something else.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#8
I am weird about all this...

I get on my road bike by swinging my right leg over the bike. I clip in with the left foot first and use the right foot to do all short term disengaging.

BMX, I get on the same, but wall rides I do opposite side, and switch-foot.

Skateboard / Snowboard I used to ride goofy, and also found it easier to toe-turn than heel.

Clearly dropped on my head as a child.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#9
I'm left handed...Left leg over...and love the left hand curves because they are the ones (in Japan ) you get to practice a lot at safer high speeds... less likely to get hit when turning left. Most of the JCRC races are anti-clockwise. Therefore most of the crashes in races tend to be when turning right...(in Japan ).

I'm also missing an ACL in my right leg so prefer to dismount on the left as well. If I get off the right at a bad angle on the right leg my knee can sometimes dislocate. Happened once very badly on a MTB on a downward slope... OUCH!

I love to balance my bike when stopping and disengage both feet before deciding whether to put a foot down or not.
If I can maintain a sitting balance at stand still I wait for the light to go green...and try not to put my feet down at all.
 
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#10
Is this all left over from horses? The stories I heard about horses is that most riders get on the left side, as at one time, soldier on horse back were mainly right handed, and would have their swords on their left side, it was much easier to get on a horse with from the left side if you carried your sword on your left side, safer for the horse too!
Funnily enough this came up the other day in a "Why does Japan drive on the left?" conversation.

And in case anyone here was wondering, here's a fair synopsis of the answer to that question.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#12
Being left handed and right footed I can mount from either side OK. Though working a lance lefty is awkward compare to righty - but prefer lefty dagger and righty longsword with left lead - how's that for confusing the enemy?

This is somewhat convenient in CX where you must mount and dismount alot under varying circumstances. Generally I need to go out and practice both sides for awhile to get equalized. Otherwise I'll favor the leftside mount over the rightside.

Also harder to stab the heart with it further away...swords and lances!!!
Must have sucked to have been left handed then...
 

Sikochi

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Sep 13, 2010
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Kochi
#14
But also having always lived in countries (UK, Japan) where we drive/ride on the left, if I put my bike in the road and then get on it then I'm naturally on its left.

I get off (sorry... dismount) to the left as well.
As Half-Fast Mike says, it is probably more to do with traffic flow when you were young, so I favour the left side, but I can use the other side if I`ve stopped by a vending machine that way. It is good to practice the other side as you never know when you may need it, but living in Europe for two years helped with that. Took a while to get used to turning my head the other way to look back.

Worst thing though, is I always tend to unclip with my left foot which is why I have had to replace my beloved Nike Poggio IV`s as the left shoe has fallen apart but the right one is still going strong :cry:
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
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Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#15
So England is not in Europe? :confused:

I have spent about half of my life in each of right-hand and left-hand traffic countries, and I can comfortably ride and drive in either, but I don't think I have ever mounted a bike from the right!
 

Sikochi

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Sep 13, 2010
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#19
So England is not in Europe? :confused:

I have spent about half of my life in each of right-hand and left-hand traffic countries, and I can comfortably ride and drive in either, but I don't think I have ever mounted a bike from the right!
Guilty as charged m`lud. But as FarEast says, look at any atlas made in the UK and you will see that the UK is comfortably closer to the US, so by definition, definitely not in Europe! :angel: ;)
 

Ludwig

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Oct 9, 2008
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#20
Just cannot help to always laugh - but am of course very much used to the linguistic confusion having lived in the UK for five years. No offence intended to anyone, but I still feel that the British and Irish are a lot closer to continental Europeans in terms of culture than to Americans, so the almost denial of European bonds is sometimes rather puzzling...