Advocacy & Safety - wich side of the road to ride on?
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10-20-09, 08:34 PM
Soon ill start riding my bike to work and want to be as safe as possible.
When i was a kid i was always told to ride going against traffic, but then ive also been told to ride with traffic. Ill be putting mirrors on my bike regardless of wich side. So what is the correct side to ride on? when im on my bmx i ride going with traffic and if i see a car ill pull of to the side of the road and let them pass.
My comute to work is just a few miles down the road, and it has a very large shoulder on either side.
10-20-09, 08:40 PM
Always ride with traffic. It's the law.
10-20-09, 08:54 PM
10-21-09, 12:28 AM
You are traffic, and you have the same rights and responsibilities as cars. The same general rules apply, though specifics vary depending on where you live. I'd suggest you look up the bicycle laws for your state.
I can see why you might think to ride against traffic, though, as you are told to walk/run that way.
Riders on the wrong side of the road are called "salmon." The bears will eventually get them.
10-21-09, 07:07 AM
From a driver's point of view, having a bike coming at you is a lot more dangerous. When I am overtaking a bike going in the same direction I can pace them until it is safe to pass. If the bike is coming towards me there is not much I can do except pray that there is no oncoming traffic and that the bike can keep out of my way.
Biking the wrong way makes it impossible to time the situation and adjust speed so the pass can happen safely.
10-21-09, 07:32 AM
Ride on the right side of the road, never on the left (against the flow of traffic), and never on the sidewalk (illegal in most non-residential areas).
Bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers in all states, so if a traffic rule or law applies to cars, it generally applies to cyclists, too.
10-21-09, 08:50 AM
Riding on the left side is obviously wrong, as all the signs, lights and street markings are set up for those on the right. Riding on the left side sidewalk is even worse, aas nobody looks for you there, and you'll eventually get hit.
10-21-09, 10:43 AM
Read up on the law as it applies to bikes. Not trying to be condescending, but if you didn't know that, you may not know a few other things that you need to keep yourself safe.
This is as good an intro as I've seen; I think it's well worth a look. I don't personally have much argument with anything they say:
Legally, you're a vehicle and are expected to follow all the same rules as if you were in a car. Also, the law may say something like riding "as far to the right as practicable" - something that many don't realize is that the word "practicable" has a specific meaning, and it does NOT mean that you're required to put yourself in danger to make way for cars.
It's up to YOU to decide where the safest place in the road to be is. If there are storm drains, potholes, loose gravel or sand, glass, debris, roadkill, sticks, whatever, you're not required to ride through them. You're not required to ride so close to parked cars that someone can throw a door open and injure (or even kill) you. You're not required to squeeze to the curb to let someone pass when there's not really room for you and the car to safely pass within the lane.
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