Like so many other cycling laws, as to whether or not you can actually ride your bicycle on the sidewalk can be a difficult thing to answer. The law on the subject is not covered by any federal guidelines and not every state law covers them either. Instead, the law tends to be specific to local municipalities. Which means if you want to know if you can in your area, then you need to check city law if there is nothing in the state law.
However, even if there is no explicit law regarding sidewalk cycling in your area, you will always find people who think there is. For some reason, riding your bicycle on the sidewalk even without laws against it is frowned upon by pedestrians. But why? Most cyclists have more problems with other motorists than they have with pedestrians. When they ride responsible on sidewalks, everyone is safer.
Are There Cycling Laws?
Of course, if there are no laws, then all the dirty looks in the world can’t stop you from doing it. However, always remember that if there is a bicycle lane available, you should be using it. So many people rally against bicycle lanes because it takes away driver parking and they claim cyclists don’t use them. This is why when a city makes preparations for cyclists, they should be using them, even though the closer you are to cars occasionally means the closer you are to danger. However, if no cyclists choose bicycle lanes over sidewalks, the motorist will never learn to share the road and bike lanes will stop being built.
As for the legality of sidewalk cycling, it is explicitly banned in very few cities, but cyclists should only use it when necessary. When roads are too narrow or bike lanes are not available, you should be able to go to the sidewalk if you can. For more information on cycling laws and safety, contact us today.
For many cyclists, at the first sign of snowflakes, they hang up their bike for the season and engage in some other mode of transport. However, they are missing out on one of the most fun riding experiences of life. While cycling in the snow is innately more dangerous, there are few more refreshing experiences than cycling in the snow. However, with road conditions worse and motorists still just as uninformed when it comes to sharing the road, there are a few more safety tips to consider.
You Have the Right to a Lane
The biggest issue with cycling in the snow is that bike paths are often left ignored by snow plows. Furthermore, they are often the first victims of snow bank build up as well. If you find your usual bike lane is clogged with snow, don’t be afraid to move into the lane. You have the right to the road just like any motorist and if the bike lane is too narrow or unusable, you are fully within your right to merge into traffic.
Take Turns Wider
Between the snow banks and slick conditions, taking turns on a dime with relative quickness is going to be pretty impossible. The key to riding safely in the winter is to go slow and take as much space as you need, particularly when it comes to taking turns. However, always do a shoulder check before wide turns to make sure there is not a motorist speeding up on you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Dismount
Riding in the winter for many cyclists means putting on winter tires more akin to mountain bikes. However, even with proper winter tires, areas of thick snow or heavy ice can be difficult to navigate. Yet, just because you are riding your bike doesn’t mean you should have to force yourself through. If the path is too treacherous, just get off and walk it for a spell.
For many areas of the United States, winter cycling is a big time for accidents. Between sheer lack of knowledge and the stress caused by snow, accidents are more likely. However, if you have been in an accident on your bicycle, contact us today so Gary Brustin can help get you the justice you deserve.