September 3, 2013
Source: League of American Bicyclists
While bike laws can vary widely from state to state, there are some foundational rules that all bicyclists should follow when they are on the road.
- First Come, First Served: Everyone on the road is entitled to the lane width they need. This includes the space behind, to each side and the space in front. If you want to use someone else’s space you must yield to whoever is using it.
- Ride on the Right: In the United States, everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway.
- Yielding to Crossing Traffic: When you come to an intersection, if you don’t have the right of way, you must yield.
- Yielding when Changing Lanes: If you want to change lanes, you must yield to traffic that is in your new lane of travel.
- Speed Positioning: The slowest vehicles on the road should be the furthest to the right. Where you position yourself on the road depends on the location of any parked cars, your speed, and your destination. Always pass on the left.
- Lane Positioning: Bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If a lane is wide enough to share with another vehicle (about 14 feet), ride three feet to the right of traffic. If the lane is not wide enough to share, “take the lane” by riding in the middle.
- Intersection positioning: When there is a lane that is used for more than one direction, use the rightmost lane going in the direction you are traveling.