Friday, April 23, 2010


(Photo: Always ride on the right! )

Farther Right Than Rush Limbaugh?

By Darin


APRIL LEGAL QUESTION OF THE MONTH: How far to the right do I need to ride my bicycle on the road?

Minnesota law requires you to ride as far right on the roadway as PRACTICABLE. It is important to note that the law does NOT state as far right as possible. Practicable generally means capable of being done within the means and circumstances present. Minnesota Statute Sec. 169.222 provides some specific exceptions to the practicable rule, including (1) when passing another vehicle; (2) preparing for a left turn; and (3) when reasonably necessary to avoid unsafe conditions.

Generally, you need to use good judgment based upon the circumstances and road conditions present. A few tips would be to keep 3-4 feet to the left of parked cars to avoid risk of a collision with an opening car door and keep 2-3 feet of clearance from the edge of the usable pavement so that you have room to maneuver around potholes and other obstructions. Also, when a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and car to share safely, the cyclist is entitled to the entire lane and should ride just to the right half of the lane.

If you are interested in reading about a biker's experience fighting a traffic ticket regarding riding to the right, an interesting article can be found at:


Darin is a personal injury and wrongful death attorney. In addition to posting periodic triathlon safety articles, he will be answering a legal question of the month. Please send him an e-mail at if you have a triathlon-related legal question that you would like him to address on MTN.