Where to Bike? (Read 1103 times)


    I would have told the officer to ticket me and then fought it in court.  Pretty quickly you would have found out what was legal and what wasnt. 

    When I ride, I ride as close to curb as practical as our local highway traffic act dictates but it doesnt define practical so sometimes that means I take a full and complete lane. 

    If it was illegal to impede traffic then you wouldnt be allowed to walk, drive a tractor or even slow down to make a turn.

    I call BS on the cop and you might actually want to go to local police headquarters and ask the commanding officer for clarification on the local law.

      That sounds like complete BS. Where I live, sidewalks are for pedestrians. Roads are for cars, trucks, tractors and bikes. Sidewalks are not allowed for bikes, you could get a ticket and I think it's completely uncool and unsafe to pedestrians to do so. The only times you can't be riding your bike on the road is if there's a bike path along that road or if it's a highway.

      I don't understand the argument or the law if it ever was actually true. If a slow moving vehicle such as a tractor, or other construction/farm vehicle would have to take that road, would they have to drive on the sidewalk? The law here even states that, as a driver, you are allowed to go over the lines on the road if it's to go around cyclists, construction, farm machinery or other slow moving vehicles. 

      I've riden for over 25 years on city roads and driven for over 20. I've been exclusively using roads and sometimes bike paths. Absolutely never would I think of using a sidewalk. When I'm driving, I happily go around cyclists. In which case, I actually feel guilty of not being on my bike as well.

      You'll ruin your knees!

        Although I prefer to run, I ride and am in Texas (McKinney).  I use the bike as key cross training for running and I will occasionally ride to/from work as an alternative to driving.  I ride 100% on public roads.  Unless the road is posted as prohibiting bicycles, it is legal for you to ride on the road...While the code I pasted in below doesn't specifically answer your question, it seems pretty clear that it is OK to ride on the roads.  In fact, if the lane you are riding in is less than 14 feet wide, it is totally OK for you to "take the lane" and ride down the middle rather than over to the side... you DON'T have to share a lane with a car!  A 4 lane road with 35 mph posted speed is, in my opinion, a GREAT road for biking... I work hard to stay off 2 lane roads with posted speeds of 40 or higher! 


        Anyway, print this out and carry it with you... politely show it to the officer if he/she stops again. 


        Good luck and stay safe!


        Lynn B


        From the Texas code...


        Sec. 551.103. Operation on Roadway.

        <dt>  </dt> <dt>(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless: </dt> <dt>  <dl> <dt>(1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction; </dt> <dt>  </dt> <dt>(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway; or </dt> <dt>  </dt> <dt>(3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway. </dt> <dd>  </dd> <dt>(4) the person is operating a bicycle in an outside lane that is: </dt> <dd>(A) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle lane adjacent to that lane; or

        (B) too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.

        </dd> </dl> </dt> <dt>  </dt> <dt>(b) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of the roadway. </dt> <dt>  </dt> <dt>(c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles. </dt>

        ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

          Thanks so much for the replies, resources and encouragement!  I've been sticking to the sidewalks/paths as much as I can, but am venturing out into the road when necessary.  We have a nice bike trial that is about 3 miles from home, so I take my chances riding however I can to get there and then cruise along the bike trial without any worries, other than at a few cross streets.  My bike needs a tune-up, so I'm going to talk to the bike shop owner re: their experiences here locally.  Riding has been a real eye opener on just how unaware most motorists are with regards to bikes.  But my body is really liking the cross training, and creating my own breeze is the best way to "enjoy" our hot TX summer, so I'm not giving up!
          Progress Trumps Pefection

          Puttin' on the foil

            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. 


            That is the wrong way to think - and if its true - come visit me in Eastern Washington and I'll take you on a century ride where I'll guarantee you'll see more cows than cars.

            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.'