Madison County, Illinois is criss-crossed with an amazing number of well-used bike trails, (like the one pictured here in Troy, IL) but you will find yourself also riding with traffic to get to and from trailheads or when traveling about the region.
The League of Illinois Bicyclists (LIB) urges riders to be familiar with the state's bike law, wear helmets and to ride in a predictable way.
And they'd like motorists to be prepared to share the road. Here's a video that may help.
If you're a serious rider, consider joining the LIB at this link.
And if you're an insomniac and would like to read through all of the laws as written, here you go.
Here's a quick look at some of the laws:
Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles. Bicyclists riding on a highway are granted all of the rights and are subject to all of the dutues applicable to the driver of a vehicle with certain exceptions.
When riding on roadways and bicycle paths at less than normal traffic speed, ride as close as practicable and safe to the right-hand curb or edge of roadway except:
1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction,
2. When preparing for a left turn,
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, motorized pedal cycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. (A "substandard width lane" means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.)
4. When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
5. When riding on a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes. Here, bicyclists may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.
Bicyclists may choose between a vehicular-style left turn or a pedestrian-style left turn. For vehicular-style left turns, proceed as if driving a vehicle, moving to the left lane or the left side of a single lane prior to the intersection. For pedestrian-style left- turns, riding near the right side of the roadway, cross the intersecting roadway, stop (as much as practicable out of the way of traffic), yield to any traffic and proceed in the new direction, while obeying any official traffic control device or police officer.
Riding two abreast is permitted as long as the normal and reasonable movement of traffic is not impeded. Riding more than two abreast is prohibited except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
Hand signals shall be given from the left side as follows: Left turn – hand and arm extended horizontally. Right turn – hand and arm extended upward, except bicyclists may extend the right hand and arm horizontally and to the right side of the bicycle. Stop or decrease of speed – hand and arm extended downward. Signal not less than the last 100 feet before the turn, and while the bicycle isstopped waiting to turn. Signals need not be given continuously if the hand is needed in the control of operation of the bicycle.
Local ordinance may prohibit bicyclists from using sidewalks. Where permitted, bicyclists must yield to pedestrians and give audible signals before passing pedestrians. Bicyclists using sidewalks have all the rights and duties of
For night riding, a front lamp with a white light visible from at least 500 feet to the front and a red reflector on the rear visible from 100 feet to 600 feet are required. A rear light visible from 500 feet may be used in addition to the red reflector. Equipment required on new bicycles sold includes pedal reflectors, side reflectors and an essentially colorless front facing reflector.
A motorist shall not, in a reckless manner, drive unnecessarily close to, toward, or near a bicyclist. Depending on whether great bodily harm results, this is a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 3 felony.
Get out there on the trails, have fun and be safe!
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