Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Road/Bike rules for upcoming tour

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Road/Bike rules for upcoming tour

Old 08-04-12, 10:55 AM
  #1  
bikenh
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,193
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Road/Bike rules for upcoming tour

What are the rules? Is it only interstate highways you can't ride on or what? I know I have been on stretches that the maps show as limited access that the highways aren't marked as off limits to bikes. I've even passed a cop out on highway construction duty on one stretch and he didn't say a thing to me. I have a route I'm trying to plan right now that some stretches of the same highway are limited access and some aren't. What are the actual rules. I know from recently driving the one stretch, earlier this week that all the highway is four lane divided and some parts have surface crossing while other stretches don't. Another stretch of highway much closer to home is all limited access. What gives on the rules?
bikenh is offline  
Old 08-04-12, 11:47 AM
  #2  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,296

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3223 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
It is going to depend on the country and what part of the country you are in. As a rule bicycles are not allowed on "limited" access roads in the US but there are some interstates that allow them. Also allowed in small segments in other parts of the country such as where the interstate crosses a river.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 08-04-12, 12:19 PM
  #3  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,594

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
As Spinnaker mentions, generally varies by part of the country and by state. Not 100% but often eastern US doesn't allow and in western US is allowed outside urban areas - though it varies by state. I've ridden short stretches of interstate highways in following states: OR, CA, NV, ID, UT, MT, WY, CO, NM, TX and with exception of a little piece of NM (Raton Pass but no obvious alternative) all were legal riding.
mev is offline  
Old 08-04-12, 01:20 PM
  #4  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,322

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 123 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2815 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 16 Posts
Which country or countries are you referring to?
Machka is offline  
Old 08-04-12, 03:29 PM
  #5  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 21,880
Mentioned: 156 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8217 Post(s)
Liked 100 Times in 73 Posts
As noted, some specifics would be helpful. For example, in MT, every inch of interstate highway is open to bikes. I have also ridden legally on interstates in OR, ND and WY. And I know of at least one limited access state highway in NJ that is open to bikes.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 08-04-12, 06:00 PM
  #6  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,454
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 755 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Generally, Access is allowed on freeways where there are no reasonable alternatives. We've never been kicked off a freeway in the US or Canada, but have been told to take an alternate route in Europe. Ironically the freeways, while noisier, often have wider shoulders and are safer to ride than the alternative route. There is a 60 to 80 mile section through southern Idaho where it is the only road.

Sometimes there are no other choices.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 08-04-12, 06:10 PM
  #7  
Shimagnolo
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Posts: 8,724
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1524 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 9 Posts
In CO, interstates are open to bikes when there is no nearby alternative road.

CO map with prohibited roads marked in alternating yellow/black: http://www.coloradodot.info/programs...bicycling-maps
Shimagnolo is offline  
Old 08-05-12, 04:47 PM
  #8  
bikenh
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,193
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I'm looking at stateside. For right now, in the eastern/northeastern 1/4 of the US(north of the Ohio/east of the Mississippi Rivers). I've been on two lane limited access and two with an uphill passing lane where there were no signs on the on ramp that indicated bikes, pedistrians, etc were off limits. Looking at Rand McNally shows them as being "off limits" because it shows them as being limited access. This in reality appears not to be the case though. Their limited access but not four lane limited access. Is that typically part of the rule or not(they have to be four lane limited access before bikes aren't allowed). If the highway in question is only partially limited access while other parts have surface crossings how does the rule then apply? Hence why I'm asking the question.

I understand the rule on using federal money to build/maintain interstates requires alternative access if you are shutting down a main artery for bikers(hence the bike paths in NH that sit right beside the interstates), so I can easily see allowing bikes out west where the alternatives are practically non-existent.
bikenh is offline  
Old 08-05-12, 05:01 PM
  #9  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,296

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3223 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
In the east I see no reason to use limited access roads. There are plenty of back country roads to be had. In addition Ohio has tons of bike paths.

Limited access roads are noisy and full of road debris. I'd avoid them any chance I could.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 08-05-12, 05:14 PM
  #10  
bikenh
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,193
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Direct access. Highway are typically the shortest distance between two points. Bike paths take you where ever the old railroads use to go. I'm looking for a faster/shorter trip hence the focus towards the highways. I know the highways typically have the best maintainence and the most services as well. I always stick to the highways when I ride unless I'm riding locally.
bikenh is offline  
Old 08-05-12, 05:16 PM
  #11  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,262
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 657 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
Looking at Rand McNally shows them as being "off limits" because it shows them as being limited access. This in reality appears not to be the case though. Their limited access but not four lane limited access. Is that typically part of the rule or not(they have to be four lane limited access before bikes aren't allowed). If the highway in question is only partially limited access while other parts have surface crossings how does the rule then apply?
There is no single US-wide rule. In California the vehicle code specifies that bicycles are allowed on limited access roads unless the state puts up signs on the ramp explicitly prohibiting them (which most urban and many other interstate highways have - but there are also many exceptions). The CVC also specifies that toll bridge crossings are not open to bicycles unless there are signs explicitly permitting them.

As already indicated in other responses, other states have a variety of different rules. NJ prohibits bicycles on most of their limited access roads but you can apply for a free permit which allows access to many of them.
prathmann is offline  
Old 08-05-12, 06:04 PM
  #12  
stevepusser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, in California you are legally allowed to ride freeway shoulders when no reasonable surface alternate route exists. There are even a couple short sections of I5 and I805 in the San Diego urban area that this applies to (I-5 north downhill to Sorrento Valley Rd., I-805 between Main and Palm just south of Chula Vista)

On one tour, I was headed along frontage roads west down from Donner Pass along I-80 towards Sacramento, which I knew would end and dump me onto the freeway. That eventually happened, though the shoulder was pretty rough from the bad winter weather. Soon I came up to a section where the shoulder was blocked off by K-rail for construction, and the highway workers insisted I ride out into the freeway lanes populated by trucks screaming downhill at 80 mph, since the shoulder under construction was "way more dangerous". Realizing there's no use arguing with idiots or crazy people, I went down the freeway, around the bend, and hopped over the rail onto the empty, perfectly ridable shoulder for several miles, not seeing a single worker the rest of the way.

A few miles further on, they had the uphill section of the Interstate closed for resurfacing for fifteen miles, diverting all traffic onto the downhill section and using the shoulders. A sure death trap. I asked the highway patrolman guarding the closed freeway entrance if I could ride the closed half of freeway, and after some thought, he said "be careful" and let me through.

There were a few highway workers with shovels and a backhoe off into one lane every few miles, otherwise I had the empty, freshly-paved, downhill fifteen miles to myself, until I had to exit onto the maze of side roads in the gold country...
stevepusser is offline  
Old 08-11-12, 09:59 PM
  #13  
chrdauph
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As far as I know, VT and NH are strict about no non-motorized vehicles on the interstates.
chrdauph is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.