Earlier this month, we covered some of the things beginner cyclists need to know before getting started on their bike riding adventures, like getting outfitted with the right type and size of bike and gear.
But once you get on the bike, it's a whole new world.
There are certain rules and laws that apply to bicyclists, so before going on your next ride, even if you're an intermediate rider, check out these Arkansas cycling statutes that all riders should know highlighted of the Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas site:
- Drive on the right side of the roadway, never on the left or on the sidewalk, unless it's part of the designated trail, like parts of the River Trail system.
- Obey all traffic signals and traffic control devices
- When you reach an important or larger road than you're on, yield to crossing traffic
- When you intend to change lanes or move laterally on the road, yield to traffic in the new lane or line of travel.
- When approaching an intersection, position yourself with respect to the direction of your destination
- Between intersections, position yourself according to your speed relative to other traffic.
It's important to note that cyclists may use any public road, street or highway in Arkansas with the exception of the freeways and other controlled-access highways. You may ride your bicycle on the sidewalks in Arkansas, except in specific cities which have enacted local ordinances that prohibit riding on the
sidewalks in the business districts. This includes Little Rock, Hot Springs, Conway, Maumelle, Fayetteville and Fort Smith. North Little Rock indirectly prohibits bikes from all city sidewalks.
Spring is coming up pretty quickly, which means that many will be taking advantage of the beautiful weather. If you're riding your bike on a multi-use trail, chances are there will be tons of pedestrians walking, jogging and walking their dog in every which way. It's a good idea to keep your speed in check and announce yourself when passing others, said Judy Lansky, vice president of the BACA.
Remember, bicyclists are required to signal like other vehicles, but not continuously if they need both hands for safety. And, if you're planning on taking that bike out at night, always have a headlight and taillight on, both visible from at least 500 feet away, Lansky said.
She said that it takes everyone's cooperation to make bicycling safe and fun around the streets of central Arkansas. BACA advocates for changes in attitude and public policy that will help improve the safety, convenience and acceptance of bicycling in central Arkansas.
"We urge people to visit the [Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas] site and participate -- become a part of the movement to improve bicycling in the state," Lansky added.
Get more information about Arkansas cycling statutes here.