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Rules of the Bike Lane

03/16/2011
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With spring rapidly approaching, now is a good time to review the rules of the road as they pertain to bicycles. In order to foster a more bike-friendly culture (which is a greener culture), both motorists and cyclists should learn them. That way drivers will know when it’s appropriate to feel displeasure toward cyclists, and cyclists can avoid being dicks.

Where I live, St. John’s, Newfoundland, the weather has been awesome lately. The rules here go like this:

1. A person riding a bicycle has the same rights and duties as a driver.

2. Cyclists aren’t allowed to ride on the sidewalk.

3. Cyclists are supposed to ride as near as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of a roadway.

4. On a roadway, cyclists shouldn’t ride abreast of another cyclist.

5. Cyclists have to keep at least one hand on the handlebars (this isn’t just the law, it’s good policy).

6. Cyclists must ride upon or astride a regular bicycle seat.

7. Cyclists aren’t supposed to carry more people at a time than the number for which a bike is designed and equipped.

8. Cyclists aren’t supposed to carry objects so big they interfere with the operation of the bike.

9. Cyclists aren’t allowed to ride a bicycle on a highway where signs prohibit it.

10. If there’s a usable path intended for bicycles adjacent to a roadway, cyclists are supposed to use the path.

UPDATE: As Kim pointed out in her comment it’s also important to wear a helmet and to indicate when you’re about to turn using the proper hand signals.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kimberley Walsh permalink
    03/17/2011 12:13 AM

    Other good things to note while bicycling is that you should indicate when in traffic if you are preparing to turn using hand signals. Which are indicated here on this website: http://www.bikemiamivalley.org/safety1.htm

    However, while most drivers of motor vehicles are required to learn them when they apply for their licence (or at least I had to learn them), they probably won’t remember what you are actually trying to indicate, but at least they’ll know your about to do something, so look over your shoulder before turning, just to be safe.

    Oh and Law #11: Wear a proper fitted helmet. I know its the law in some places and not in others, but its better to protect your precious knowledge holder then to worry about your hair. Trust me, if you’ve ever been in an accident and see the scratches and cracks in the helmet afterwards, you’ll be very happy it wasn’t your naked skull bouncing along the pavement.

  2. 03/17/2011 5:36 PM

    Both good points! I’m gonna add them.

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