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Is It Legal To Ride Side By Side On Bicycles

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Is It Legal To Ride Side By Side On Bicycles

Ride side by side is often a point of contention between drivers and cyclists. Many cyclists and drivers don’t know that in many states they can ride side by side, or cyclists think they can ride side by side, but in fact they can’t.


Either way, side-by-side riding is often overwhelmed by the confusion of drivers and cyclists, because it seems to be a hassle for the driver but a necessary thing for the cyclist.


In order to understand the etiquette and legality of side-by-side riding, both parties must understand why cyclists want to ride in this way and what protective measures they have under the law.

Which state laws allow side-by-side riding?

In the United States, most state laws allow side-by-side riding. There are a few laws that do not require it, but imply that it is legal, as long as there is space (for example, California).


Only a few states stipulate that side-by-side riding is illegal, or only under very special conditions, such as riding on the shoulder or having enough lanes on the road.

The following table breaks down which regulations are legal to ride side by side, and which regulations are implicit or only legal under certain conditions:

Status Riding side by side?
Alabama yes
Alaska yes
Arizona yes
Arkansas. Yes, as long as it doesn’t interfere with traffic.
California is implicitly legal, as long as the bike lane is wide enough.
Colorado yes
Connecticut yes
Delaware yes
District Columbia Yes
Florida yes
Georgia yes
Hawaii yes
Idaho yes
Illinois Yes
Indiana yes
Iowa is not prohibited or allowed by law (implying that it is allowed as long as it is safe and does not interfere with traffic), but some cities may prohibit
Kansas yes
Kentucky, yes
Louisiana yes
Maine yes
Maryland yes
Massachusetts Yes, but it must be convenient for passing vehicles
Michigan yes
Minnesota yes
Mississippi, yes
Missouri yes
Montana Yes, but only if there are at least two lanes in each direction on the road
Nebraska No
Nevada yes
New Hampshire Yes, except for the driveway
New Jersey yes
New Mexico yes
New York yes
There is no law in North Carolina that requires riders to ride in a single row, so side-by-side riding is implicitly allowed
North Dakota Yes
Ohio yes
Oklahoma Yes, except for lanes
Oregon Yes, as long as the vehicle can pass safely and the cyclist is in a lane
Pennsylvania yes
Rhode Island yes
South Carolina yes
South Dakota Yes
Tennessee Yes
Texas Yes, except for lanes
Utah yes
Vermont yes
Virginia Yes, except for lanes
Washington yes
West Virginia yes
Wisconsin yes
Wyoming, yes

In all these cases, you can only ride two side by side, and only ride in a way that does not interfere with traffic. For cyclists, it is also important to ensure that they are alert to other bicycles, pedestrians, and vehicles, because these vehicles may also use or need to use bicycle lanes for whatever reason.


In particular, two riders riding side by side are often accused by other riders because they do not pay attention to the surrounding environment and hinder other riders from passing safely.

Why do cyclists ride side by side?

There are several reasons why you choose to ride a bike side by side:


People cyclists side by side are easier to see in traffic, reducing the risk of collisions
The driver was forced to give cyclists enough space when passing by. Many states still don’t have safe passage laws, so riding side by side can cause problems.


This is also better for drivers (even if they don’t think so). Compared to solo riding, a large group of cyclists riding side by side takes up less space (in fact, an average of 50% less space!). This means that it takes much less time to pass through the entire team, which is safer and less frustrating.


Cyclists will have more fun on the road because they can talk to each other instead of talking across the shoulder. It is also easier to pass information about the road and monitor each other.


Also, it is important to note that in most states where you can ride side by side, there is usually no more than two people riding side by side, and they do so in a way that does not interfere with traffic.


You should also note that even if the state allows it, city or county laws may prohibit side-by-side riding. (And vice versa), so be sure to check local laws before riding side by side, just in case.

Side-by-side riding etiquette

Although almost all states allow side-by-side riding in one form or another (the only exception is Nebraska, which is not allowed in any case), there are still some etiquettes to follow. You may have the law by your side, but you don’t want to annoy everyone around you!


The most important thing is to pay attention to your surroundings and make sure that if a cyclist tries to overtake you, you will usually allow them to pass, usually by returning to a single train within a short time.


You should also make sure to pay attention to pedestrians, other vehicles, and anyone else who may end up accidentally or deliberately entering the bike lane to minimize the risk of collision.


You should also make sure to use a bell or other auditory device to warn other cyclists that you are overtaking, and return to a single file when overtaking, to make sure everyone has room.


If the road you are riding is busy, you may have the legal ability to ride two people side by side, but riding in a single row may be a better idea. In this way, you and your partner will not compete with busy traffic.


The same is true for bicycle traffic-if there are a lot of cyclists, it is best to ride in a single row so that people can be sorted by speed.


Side-by-side riding is legal in almost all states in the United States, although some of them have exceptions. For example, if the road is not a lane or has a double lane (Montana), only two side-by-side riding are allowed.


If the cyclist does not pay attention to the surrounding environment, especially the traffic will cause a lot of complaints, then riding side by side may cause problems. Be a good ambassador for cyclists, and if you plan to do this, always ride two people side by side safely!

American bicycle law

Cycling is fun, but depending on where you are, your laws, duties, and obligations may change! We want you to enjoy time on bike lanes and highways, so with this in mind, we have compiled the laws and obligations you need to be aware of when riding a bicycle according to your state.


*Disclosure: This is not legal advice (we are not a lawyer). We just want to provide some resources for other bicycle enthusiasts based on our experience and research.


Click here to add it to our mailing list, and we will notify you when we update the bicycle laws page in the 50 states of the United States.


Below, you can see a map of the United States. If you click on the state you are interested in, you can read information about its bicycle laws. But the law will change, so if you find something is missing or changed, please leave us a message and let us know!


By letting the community track things, we can all benefit and enjoy cycling when the law is right.


All states have different bicycle laws, so please click on our map to see our current understanding of the laws. However, there are some general overlaps.


The law on bicycles is a new profession that first appeared in the 1980s, although cyclists have been fighting for their road rights since the 1880s. It took about a hundred years, but the legal system surrounding bicycles has been formed, and there are even some lawyers who specialize in bicycle law. They usually represent athletes but also ordinary riders.


Cycling laws now tend to vary from state to state, but most state vehicle laws recognize road rights. Most states also require cyclists to follow the same signs and signals as car drivers, even though they are considered pedestrians at crosswalks. Most states also require riders to be as close as possible to the right side of the road.


In addition to these things, many states have different ways of handling safety features, helmets, bike lanes, and electric bicycles, so no matter where you live or plan to travel, you must comply with the law.

Bicycle lane

Each state has responsibilities and laws about where bicycles are allowed and where they are not allowed. Some states only allow you to ride a bicycle on a bicycle lane or bicycle lane; others have no problem with you riding a bicycle on the highway.

Some let you ride two side by side, some just let you ride two side by side on the bike path.

If there is no lane or the lane is too damaged or impossible, some places allow you to ride on the highway instead of the lane.

How will you know where and how you can ride? Check first!

Safety equipment

Surprisingly, helmets are not mandatory in most states, even for teenagers. Instead, this is usually left to the municipal law to deal with, or is strongly recommended and recommended as a good idea. But some states do require you to wear a helmet, so make sure to check before you don’t wear a helmet.


In addition, some states do not require you to wear a helmet, but some cities in that state require you to wear a helmet, so please check again.


Other safety devices commonly covered by the law include:


Reflective lamp (front and rear)
In fact, brake lights and reflectors are mandatory in more states than helmets! Likewise, if you are not sure, be sure to check your condition before riding.


Where you can and can’t ride
As mentioned earlier, most of the laws you need to worry about relate to where you can and where you are not allowed to ride a bike.


Many states do not allow cycling on highways or on many highways. Many of them are also not allowed to ride bicycles on the sidewalks, or are not allowed to ride bicycles on the sidewalks in commercial areas. Bicycles are considered vehicles, which means they cannot use crosswalks.


To solve this problem, many states require riders to get off the car and walk across the crosswalk to become a pedestrian.


Most states have a large number of bike lanes and lanes to encourage cycling. Some states also have more relaxed requirements for places where people can and cannot ride, which is usually related to the logistics of tracking riders. For example, compared with New York, it is much more difficult to stipulate where people can and cannot ride bicycles in places such as Alaska.


It is important to fully understand where you can ride your bike, because this is the easiest place for the police to catch you, which may result in fines or worse.

Electric bicycle

Currently, only a few states have enacted laws on electric bicycles because it is a relatively new technology in the consumer market. However, as states begin to adjust laws to meet the needs of the people, this situation will begin to change rapidly.


Current laws on electric bicycles tend to revolve around the definition of electric bicycles (compared to motorcycles), whether bicycles require a license, and what type of registration you need.


We will do our best to keep you informed about electric bicycles and laws. At the same time, many people try to treat them with the same laws as they treat vehicles.


This is just an overview of what you can expect to read when using our bicycle law map to find laws by state.


Each state has its own personal information, because most bicycle laws are determined by state rather than federal laws. It is important to make sure you check the laws in your state, especially if you have just traveled to that place before riding a bicycle.


There are too many cases where people get into trouble with the police because they don’t know that the way things are done in one state is different from that in another. Read and research first, and then you can make sure that you are riding legally all the time.


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