Riding a bike- which direction?

March 24, 2010 at 07:40:39
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Which direction were you taught to ride your bike on? I was taught to ride with the traffic.

I live in a tourist town on the Gulf and have had some incidents where the bike riders were driving facing traffic.
Our main road is extremely hard to get on to especially in the summer. The traffic crawls and people actually do not want anyone to enter their lane. I guess they figure it will slow down their destination time to let someone get into the line.

With that being said, when pulling out you have to monitor the traffic real careful and make sure that the driver coming towards you is looking your way and then you pull into the traffic.
Twice (at different times) I would wait and wait, you feel like an owl, your head going side to side, finally you see that you may get into the traffic and suddenly out of nowhere there is a bike rider right in front of you. You almost hit him and he flips you the bird. He was driving facing traffic and you almost hit him.

I wonder what the outcome would be if I had hit him. Would it be my fault?

Which direction were you taught to ride your bike on? A friend from Ohio said that he was taught to ride facing traffic and has been almost hit many times on that road I'm talking about.

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#1
March 24, 2010 at 09:56:52
Riding a bike- which direction? Forward.

I'm from Ohio, and I was taught to ride with traffic, but walk facing traffic. Ohio law states you must ride with traffic. Ohio crash statistics also show riding against traffic increases your risk by three fold.

Fun fact: You can get ticketed for DWI by riding your bike drunk. I'm not sure if you can be arrested, but people have been locked up for less, I suppose.

                                                                                                                                               :3
I'm such a jerk

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#2
March 24, 2010 at 10:21:56
Another thing is, many tourists and locals ride their bikes while intoxicated...and....facing the traffic.
I myself feel that when a bike rider rides facing traffic you can't tell which way they will turn, whereas if the rider is going with the traffic, you can at least have a clue of where he will steer by watching his elbows.


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#3
March 24, 2010 at 12:53:18
NYS law states that you ride with traffic as well as obey just about every other traffic law on the books.

Where there are bike paths painted on the road surface, bikes in the path have the right of way as long as they are complying with the traffic laws.

e.g. A motorized vehicle can't cut off a bicyclist by making a right in front of him as the bike approaches the intersection.

Here’s a “not so funny” Bike/Police related story:

Many moons ago I was in the Coast Guard and stationed on Governors Island in NYC. My friend was big time bicyclist and trained for his trips by circling the island multiple times every evening.

Well, one weekend he pissed off/embarrassed the MP's during a party in the barracks. Later that week, they lied in wait off of a remote road on the far side of the island. As my buddy rode by in excess of the island's 20 MPH speed limit, they pulled him over and gave him a speeding ticket.

In addition, they charged him with violating various sections of the UCMJ claiming that his use of excessive speed constituted a danger under which he could have injured himself and been unable to perform his assigned duties.

They confiscated his bike for a period of time and gave him hours and hours of extra duty.


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#4
March 24, 2010 at 16:53:06
I believe the rule (or law) to ride with traffic is pretty much universal throughout the country.

Personally, I ride on whichever side I feel is safest at the time (yes, I still ride at my age). If there's numerous cars coming up behind me but none coming in the opposite direction, I'll cross over to the other side. And I'll ride on the sidewalk too as long as I'm not interfering with pedestrians. When I ride, it's all about me & my safety, I don't care what the law says.


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#5
March 25, 2010 at 04:09:13
Floida law says ride with traffic. As for someone being hit when riding in the wrong direction? He or she is committing a crime at the time of the accident therefore the accident is their fault as long as the driver of the vehicle is not also committing a crime such as DUI. Yes they do get locked up here for a DUI on a bicycle. I worked with a guy when I was a teenager that had gotten a DWI after being out clubbing and his license was suspended. He rode his bike to work after that to avoid any issues he thought. He didn't live far from work so it was no big deal. After stopping on the way home for a few beers one evening he was stopped on his bike. He did 18 months for a second DWI in less than 6 months and also for riding his bike on a county roadway while his license was suspended. Yes in Florida in order to ride your bike on the street you are required to have a drivers license although I belive most officers do not enforce it or may not even know about the law. I find this disturbing as not that long ago a pedestrian was hit by a drunk and killed downtown. It was his first offence or at least the first time he had gotten caught. He was charged with manslaughter. He got 1 year a fined 5 grand. The family of the victims family not happy with this attempted to sue the bar he had just left. The judge through out the case saying that the bartender at that bar refused to serve him, good thing in my mind, and the family could not prove where he was before then.

Likely


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#6
April 14, 2010 at 08:03:33
Well, I just about hit a bicycle rider yesterday morning that was riding on the wrong side of the road facing traffic.
Luckily he jammed on his brakes and I missed him. I was turning left, so I looked right, then looked left and pulled out into an opening....he appeared out of nowhere. I honked and yelled at him (approx 30yrs old) saying he should ride on the proper side of the road. He just ignored me and kept on going.

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#7
April 14, 2010 at 09:49:57
Sure he kept on going...he'd just ruined a perfectly good pair for pants.

Skip


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#8
April 14, 2010 at 09:59:37

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#9
April 15, 2010 at 00:10:07
I always ride bike the same direction with the traffic.

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#10
April 22, 2010 at 11:05:44
I was taught to always ride on the sidewalk when I was a kid, and you know what, I'm still alive.

I think it should be like in Berlin where peds are little more than target practice. hahaha.

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#11
May 5, 2010 at 05:00:30
In the UK you have no choice but to ride with the traffic. A cyclist is expected to comply with the same traffic laws as motor vehicles, that includes stopping at traffic lights and speeding. Yes, cyclists have been done for speeding in the UK. It needs a pretty big hill to do it though.

You can also be done for drunk in charge of a bicycle, In fact in the UK you can be done for being drunk in charge of anything with wheels on it. There was a lady some time a go prosecuted for being drunk in charge of a babies push chair. Whether it was the damage she could do with push chair or the babies welfare that was the main consideration I don't know , but she was fined.

Stuart


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