Biking in Roanoke
Bicycling is a great way to get around Roanoke – not just for recreation, but also for transportation. The city’s greenway system and growing network of bike lanes and paths make it easy to get to work, visit friends, shop, or just relax, all on a bicycle.
Keeping Roanoke’s roads safe is everyone’s responsibility, whether you’re on two wheels or four. Here are good tips for cyclists and drivers to keep in mind when sharing the road.
- Bicycles are considered vehicles on Virginia’s roads and must follow all appropriate laws. When riding, make you stop at lights and stop signs, signal appropriately, and ride predictably – just as if you were behind the wheel. In fact, riding predictably and acting like a motor vehicle is the number one thing you can do to stay safe.
- Cyclists have full use of the road, even if a bike lane is present. If you’re behind the wheel and wonder why a cyclist isn’t using the bike lane, keep in mind that debris – including broken glass and tree branches – often get blown into the bike lane by passing cars. A cyclist may realize it’s safer to ride in the road than the bike path and risk a flat tire or crash. Make sure to give them space.
- When passing a cycling in a motor vehicle, make sure to give at least three feet of space. It’s Virginia law!
- As a cyclist on the greenway, keep in mind that you are now the fastest, largest vehicle on the road. When passing other uses, be sure to signal by ringing your bike bell or calling out to those in front of you. Provide sufficient space when passing, and in the same way we expect people behind the wheel to slow down and be patient when passing a bicycle, you should slow down and be patient when passing pedestrians and joggers on the greenway.
- Dress to be seen. If you’re bike commuting, you don’t have to worry about dressing up in full spandex, but make sure that you wear light-colored clothes and have appropriate lights and reflectors on your bike. If your bike commute puts you on the road early in the morning or late at night, it’s especially important to be visible.