Just sorted out that Australian, and, I assume, Japanese and UK bicycles are "right-hand drive" vs. Canadian / North American etc. bikes which are "left-hand drive." The brakes are opposite so that the rider's signal arm operates the front brake leaving the hand on the bars to operate the rear brake. Never considered it...Not knowing this was a major factor in the crash I had last year here in Adelaide on a borrowed Aussie bike and why my Aussie girlfriend has so much trouble on the mountain bike trails in Canada on the bike she bought there. Heaps happy to have my own Canadian bike down here this time and as soon as we get back to Canada we're gonna switch my girlfriend's brakes back to Aussie style. These things run deep and are hard to change...
Sooo, anyone heading to a country where they drive on the other side of the road planning to ride a local bicycle - BEWARE - it's easy to hit the front brake too hard and go ass-over-tea-kettle.
Poms like to emphasise the quality of their batsmen, Aussies their bowlers.
If you are watching cricket, you miss it if you blink.
You could have a point there!
I ran into this exact problem when I signed up for a day of downhill mountain biking in the Caribbean last year... Thankfully i didn't end up over the handle bars but I came mighty close!
It's far easier to drive a left hand drive car because at least things look / feel different so it's not too hard to remember. On a bike however, there's nothing to differentiate the front from the rear brake so I find myself making the mistake each and every time I get on a bike overseas. Thankfully, most bike share setups around the world only have one brake otherwise I could see a lot of unfortunate tourists ending up on the ground.
I feel ashamed ...... before reading this thread if you asked me which side the front brake is on I would have had to really give it some thought and still probably get it wrong. Been braking for so long I just do it the way I always have without even thinking about it - I would be a disaster on an alien unnatural bike.
Being a long time motorcyclist, front brake on the right feels natural to me, and I'm pretty sure this is an international convention.
Reckon I'd go OTB pretty fast if I reversed things now,
My Canadian made CerveloR3 has the rear brake levers on the leftside of the bars and was fully assembled when the box was opened up.
Obviously built to our standards.
Had heard the story about Napoleon. Nuisance that the basic vehicle design must vary around the world. Adds to cost. Then there are the safety issues for cyclists and pedestrians, even car occupants. Have heard of drivers unintentionally switching to the wrong side of the road, and this resulted in a death in the Barossa Valley.
I do try it every time I drive my RHD bus at home and have done so for the four years I've had it in a country where the domestic cars are LHD. There are thousands of us motoring around happily and safely. Then I am in a delica bus so sit higher than most other vehicles on the road - Sight lines aren't a problem.