Where to Bike? (Read 1103 times)

    I'm new to this forum (usually post in the masters running group), but I have a question for you cyclist / triahletes out there, as I'm new to cycling.


    I was riding my bike along a suburban road this morning on my way back from the gym.  The road I was on has two lanes each way, a narrow sidewalk on either side, and no bike lane.  I started out on the sidewalk but remembered that as being a "no-no", so I rode in the right side of the right lane on the road.  Speed limit is 35, and I go nowhere near that (new to cycling, riding my little mountain bike).  But there was whole 'nother lane for folks to pass me in, traffic was light, and the sidewalk was in use by a few wakkers and joggers. 


    On my way home, a police officer pulled up beside me and told me I cannot ride in the road if I'm impeding traffic, that I have to be able to go the speed the traffic is going.  I asked if I could ride on the sidewalk, and he said yes, so that's what I did.


    It's kind of funny to have it pointed out just how slow I am (how slow is she?  impeding traffic slow Smile, but now I really am wondering where I'm supposed to ride.  While this road would not be my first choice of relaxing places to ride, I really would like to be able to ride to/from the gym like I did today.  Any insights from you more experienced cyclists would be appreciated.

    Progress Trumps Pefection

    The voice of mile 18

      I believe the cop is making stuff up. ride with traffic and definitely stay far right and as possible while avoid storm water inlets and the like. you are considered a part of the travelling public and have to obey all traffic laws like stopping at red lights/stop signs but you have a right to ride on the roads.  maybe it's not a good road to ride with no shoulders and blind turns and the safer bet is the sidewalk but you are allowed to travel on any road

       Tri Rule #1 of Triathlon Training/Racing - If Momma ain't happy nobody is happy 



        1st, welcome to biking.


        It's my opinion that the Police Officer was full of garbage. I could easily be wrong since laws can change from state to state, county to county and city to city.  BTW, Almost every where, riding in the side walk is against the law.


        Next, if you can bike at 35 mph then you ought to be in France right now.......I wouldn't even begin to worry about the speed limit.


        Give me a little while and I'll get you a link to a bike advocacy group. They're pretty good at keeping up with local laws and regs.


        With the big green push right now most cities are trying to become more bike friendly.......I live in redneck country and this is not a bike friendly town. I bike commute most every day. I've had the local police here try to tell me that I was in the wrong......that I have since learned was rubbish. I ride according to the law.


        Keep riding and when I get a little time I'll get you a link.

          I have to be honest with you Carol......sometimes it ticks me off when the bikers are out on the road (on the right side) and I need to get by them, but cant cause its a narrow road and there is a car coming the other directions............


          BUT --- I also know that the bikers are not breaking the law by riding on the road (and they have to ride somewhere)......so I just have to suck it up until I can get past them...........I think your COP friend doesn't know what  he is talking about......which doesn't surprise me.    I think about 50% of the 'things' that the local police say  are not correct, or are made up laws..


          I'll bet you are right and he is full of it (if fact, I would probably bet money on it).....

          Champions are made when no one is watching



            Texas looks to be a pretty bike friendly state. Here is your states advocacy group.  http://www.biketexas.org/


            Make sure you check out the "Rules of the Road" under the Resources tab.  Again, your city or county may have a different regulation.


            I'd email them, shoot them the name of your city and I'm sure they would be happy to get in touch with your local law efforcement to inquire about the local laws.


            John A.


            Thanks for sucking it up.......(not being sarcastic)......I know I'm not the most liked person when I'm on my bike but there really ought to be many more of us on the road for numerous reasons.

              Thanks so much Slo, Joe, and John! 


              Hey Joe, good to see you...remember you from the D forum. 


              Slo, I really appreciate the links and will check them out.  If I continue to bike to the gym, I'll probably run into this officer again so need to know what the law says. 


              John, I hear what you are saying about those narrow roads.  But the road I was on had two lanes each way, traffic was not bad, and the road is straight.  So there was plenty of room for folks to see me (wearing bright pink), move into the left lane and go around me. 


              I'm in the very early stages of training for hopefully my first sprint triathlon in the fall.  I'll likely stick to the local trails when I just ride, but  since it's over 100 degrees most days here, being able to bike to the gym, run/swim/lift there, and bike home is quite handy execpt for my policeman friend.

              Progress Trumps Pefection

              The voice of mile 18

                sure I remember ya. just remember be polite when talking w/ the officer.

                 Tri Rule #1 of Triathlon Training/Racing - If Momma ain't happy nobody is happy 

                Puttin' on the foil

                  The laws in each state are different.  Where I live (Washington State), the law provides that a cyclist is required to ride as far to the right as practicable.  However, in my state cyclists are entitled to ride on the road, subject to the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers.  I too would guess that the cop is full of crap.  However, you might want to check with your local bike shop for favored cycling routes.  We have bike maps in Spokane made by a planning department that identify roads that are favored for bikes, like those with wide shoulders and bike lanes.  There are a couple of heavily traveled roads where bikes are prohibited.  You might want to check with your local government.


                  Good luck and keep at it!

                  Don't be obsessed with your desires Danny. The Zen philosopher Basha once wrote, 'A flute with no holes, is not a flute. A donut with no hole, is a Danish.'


                    In all honesty there are no safe(good) places to ride.  Bike paths are taken over by slow families walking 5 wide.  Roads are full of people who could care less if they scare you into the ditch or hit you.  Lance Armstrong was hit many times in Texas as he stated in his book.   In my location there have actually been 2 people hit in the last week by cars that witnesses have reported as intentionally hitting cyclists.  Be careful, know your rights, and find a group to ride with.  There are usually begginner groups in bike clubs and then racing clubs too in most areas. 

                    2010 Races: Snicker's Marathon(2:58:38), Scenic City Trail Marathon(3:26:36), Laurel Highlands Ultra 77(19:13:44), Ironman Louisville(13:07:07) 2011 Races: Mount Cheaha 50k 5:22:47, Tobacco Road Marathon, Mohican 100 Miler

                    Consistently Slow


                      Go to the links section to find advocacy groups.

                      Run until the trail runs out.

                       SCHEDULE 2016--

                       The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                      unsolicited chatter


                      Beware, batbear...

                        Not trying to hijack the thread, but you might read this (also posted in my thread "Sharing the road (With Renecks)"

                        Fireman fires at cyclist

                        2014 Goal -- Run 5X per week, pain-free (relatively) by end of summer.

                        will run for popsicles

                          sorry, but i have to agree with the "no safe place" theory. roads just aren't made for bikes. people don't respect them. i used to live in a small town in texas and there were lots of secondary farm roads, and that's the safest place i've ever found. but in the city, it's not if but when you're gonna get smacked. most drivers just don't get it. and i was riding before the days of cell phones and texting and gps gizmos in the car and 64 ounce big gulps. can't imagine how much more dangerous it is now.

                          putting on my driver's hat, i was rear-ended a month ago because of a bike. cyclist was in right lane and everybody slammed on brakes to avoid. driver behind me didn't stop in time so i got lovely impression of her toyota tacoma in the back of my car. it wasn't the cyclist's fault and not really the first driver's fault. just a case of someone going 15 mph on the road full of vehicles going 45 mph. doesn't work so well.

                          12 Monkeys

                            The Tacoma was driving too close to you.


                              The Tacoma was driving too close to you.



                              Yep, the problem is that there are cyclists that can't cycle and drivers that can't drive.  For cyclists that can cycle the drivers that can't drive have much more of an "impact" than a  cyclist that can't cycle to drivers.   



                              45 to 15 mph is not a big issue.  If you can't control a car at 45 when something is riding along the road at 15 then we have one of those drivers that can't drive.  I would hate to see them hit highway speeds.    If the cyclist is all over the place it just means the drivers have to be more vigilant.  It would be like seeing a car weaving in and out of lanes and not being extra careful.   Car drivers see those as threats but fly by the cyclists and honk their horns in displeasure that they had to slow down and be careful.  

                              2010 Races: Snicker's Marathon(2:58:38), Scenic City Trail Marathon(3:26:36), Laurel Highlands Ultra 77(19:13:44), Ironman Louisville(13:07:07) 2011 Races: Mount Cheaha 50k 5:22:47, Tobacco Road Marathon, Mohican 100 Miler

                                 it wasn't really the first driver's fault. just a case of someone going 15 mph on the road full of vehicles going 45 mph. doesn't work so well.



                                Umm, yes it was.


                                —our ability to perform up to our physiological potential in a race is determined by whether or not we truly psychologically believe that what we are attempting is realistic. Anton Krupicka