Laws for bikes on interstate?

A friend of mine told me yesterday that it is legal to ride a bicycle on the interstates in South Dakota. She said they have nice shoulders to ride on.  I called the South Dakota Highway Patrol today and he said it is NOT legal to ride bicycles on the interstates in South Dakota. Nice paved shoulders or not, that just doesn’t seem safe!  (Also, minimum speed limit is 40 or 45 mph on interstates.)

Just thought I’d vent on that one.  Do you ride on the interstate?

Only time I ever rode my bicycle on the interstate was in Sioux City last year at RAGBRAI when we unloaded our bikes on the interstate (where traffic was backed up to) then our driver took off from there, and we only went a short way to the exit ramp where we started the RAGBRAI route last year.

VS

15 Replies

DotComFactory, July 10, 2011 at 11:06 am

Iowa has same law – minimum 40mph and NO non-motorized vehicles or pedestrians.  Not sure if it applies to four-lane divided highways that have at-grade crossings, though.  Part of highway 34 coming through our city is closed to pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles, deemed “freeway” traffic.  Get outside the city and there are MANY at-grade crossings, and I have seen cyclists out there.  But not me, don’t like 70mph traffic coming up behind me!

#26911

toadhead, July 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm

It is illegal to ride a bike on interstates in both Illinois and Wisconsin….  I beleive it is that way nationwide….

#26912

pHIlo, July 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm

There are parts of I-90 in WA that one can ride on

#26913

Bartaped, July 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

It is leal in parts of Colorado to ride on the Interstates. I have rode on I-70 from Grand Junction, Co. to Cisco, Ut, the shoulder is 10 feet. Have also rode it from Bakersville,Co. to the Loveland Ski Area when doing a ride called “Triple Bypass”. On I-76 east of Denver it is posted to watch for bikes all the way to the Nebraska border.   

#26914

knees36, July 10, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Bartaped said: It is leal in parts of Colorado to ride on the Interstates. I have rode on I-70 from Grand Junction, Co. to Cisco, Ut, the shoulder is 10 feet. Have also rode it from Bakersville,Co. to the Loveland Ski Area when doing a ride called “Triple Bypass”. On I-76 east of Denver it is posted to watch for bikes all the way to the Nebraska border.   

No bike riding on any of Iowa’s interstate roads.  You just might end up in a local hoosegow, if not a hospital.  Cheers.

#26915

vsPedalTrek, July 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Thank you for all the feedback.  I’ll be sure to talk to my friend.  I just don’t think it’s safe to be on an interstate (even if it is has a nice paved shoulder) when traffic is passing you at 75 mph (or more!). And I must say that as a motorist, I’m not expecting to see a bicyclist on the interstate.

See you in 13 days! I’ll be the one wearing the white RAGBRAI Rider 2011 wristband!

#26916

jwsknk, July 11, 2011 at 6:57 am

Did about 2 1/2 days on I-80 in Navada back in 95. Sometimes being able to get off onto the old road for a bit like going around a tunnel or through town (When there was one). It didn’t take long for all the truckers to know long before they got to us, we were the talk of their day. Had lunch with one at a truck stop and made his day because he now had one up on the others, he actually talked to some of us and knew where we were heading, Washington DC. Hw dais he drove that, once, no way in heck he would ever drive that again let alone think about trying to do it on a bike.

#26917

indianafrank, July 11, 2011 at 7:22 am

It has always been illegal to ride on the interstate in the states where I’ve lived. We have what are termed limited access highways, restricted to motorized traffic and accessible only by entrance ramps. Now a divided highway that has roads crossing it (intersections) isn’t limited access, so a bike would be legal there. Still, I’d be wary of riding on the smooth shoulder of a highway that has semi-rigs blowing by at 65. It could suck you right in.

#26918

RonB, July 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

I think all the Left Coast allows bicycles on the interstates IF there is no viable bike routes in the vicinity.  I know you see quite a few touring cyclists on the N / S I-States in WA and OR, and I believe Northern CA as well.  Don’t think this applies to the Midwest, though.

#26919

toadhead, July 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm

On RAGBRAI I, Clarence Pickard ended up on I80 by accident….  When he was told that he couldn’t ride on the interstate, he commented that the interstate was the best road he had ridden on….

#26920

“Bicycle Bill”, July 11, 2011 at 11:21 pm

vsPedalTrek said: Thank you for all the feedback.  I’ll be sure to talk to my friend.  I just don’t think it’s safe to be on an interstate (even if it is has a nice paved shoulder) when traffic is passing you at 75 mph (or more!). And I must say that as a motorist, I’m not expecting to see a bicyclist on the interstate.

See you in 13 days! I’ll be the one wearing the white RAGBRAI Rider 2011 wristband!

Although don’t you find it strange that bicycles are barred from Interstate and certain other ‘limited-access’ highways (think US 20) supposedly because the speed of the traffic makes it unsafe for us to be there, despite the fact that there are w-i-i-i-d-e (six feet or more) paved shoulders…… while it *IS* legal (although not necessarily safer) for a bicyclist to ride two-lane routes such as US 61 along the eastern edge of Iowa, where the speeds are still in excess of 65-mph and the shoulders are almost non-existent.  Not to mention that in some cases, the only way across certain geographic barriers (like rivers and mountains) are multiple-lane, limited-access highways.  What are we supposed to do when we get to the Mississippi River, for example — swim?
 
The various DOTs and DMVs across the country need to get their heads out of their collective arses and start to look a little closer at the *REAL* world out there!  I, for one, would support a licensing system for cyclists (similar to licensing regulations for motorists) if it meant that those of us so certified would gain more access to the road.
 
-“BB”-

#26921

jwsknk, July 12, 2011 at 6:51 am

Highwat 65 around east side of Des Moines is a new(ish) 4 lane divided built to insterstate standards. There at the entrance/exits on each side of the DM River they signed it for bicycles as the route across the river.

#26922

JJDUBS, July 12, 2011 at 7:09 am

I took a trip to Branson earlier in the spring and noticed people biking on and running on those crazy hills on the highway.  I thought it was pretty crazy until i decided to go for a run on some of the back roads.  After i ran, I realized that the highways were the safest spots for running and biking.

#26923

NathanZ, July 12, 2011 at 11:06 am

Interstate biking is against at least one universal law! MURPHY’S LAW! 

Forget state road laws… Murphy’s law is #1 in my book! 😉

#26924

rjjensenia, July 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

In 1976 in a ride across the US I rode over the Tappan Zee bridge on the Hudson at rush hour.

Insane!!!

#26925

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