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How far from the curb should I ride?

posted Jan 10, 2011, 12:43 PM by Michael Gardner

Most vehicle drivers expect that cyclists will ride within a bike lane, if one is marked. However, bike lanes are frequently littered with debris that makes riding within them hazardous. I would like to recommend that you “ride where you feel most comfortable”, but lot’s of cyclists ride either too close to the curb or too far away from it. Those riding too close typically have a fear of being hit by a car from behind. However, getting hit by a car from behind is actually one of the least likely ways to get hit! Riding too close to the curb gets you closer to debris that collects in the gutter and to uneven spots where the curb meets the road. It also limits your ability to take evasive action should you come upon objects in the road. Some cyclists ride too far from the curb because they have a fear of getting a flat tire from debris close to the curb. Those riders end up encroaching on a lane of traffic.