road riding -Reply

Rick Bissel wrote: "When riding a unicycle on the road, is it best to ride
against the traffic - following pedestrian protocol, or should one ride with
the traffic like when on a bicycle? Which is safer, and which is most commonly
accepted as correct under US traffic laws?

When referring to traffic laws, you would need to look up the laws for your
specific state. Although most states give full access to the roadway for
bicycles (many states define bikes as on-road “vehicles” on the same par with
all other “vehicles” on the road), unicycles typically fall “between the
cracks”. If you’re on a bicycle, you must follow all the rules of the road, like
riding with traffic, but once again, it’s a little tricky for unicycles. Here
in California, a bicycle is defined as “a device upon which any person may ride
propelled exclusively by human power through a belt, chain, or gears and having
one or more wheels.” So therefore, paradoxically, under this definition, a
standard unicycle would not be covered under “bike” laws (no belt or chain), but
a “giraffe” would because of the chain!!?? Conversely, a pedestrian is defined
as “any person who is afoot or who is using a means of conveyance propelled by
human power other than a bicycle.” The bottom line is that if you are going to
be riding on the roadway will all the other road users (e.g. motor vehicles,
bicycles, et al), it is best to follow the same rules that everyone else is:
ride _with_traffic. It is like I tell students in my bicycle education classes:
If you are going to remember anything, remember these two basic rules concerning
riding in traffic: 1) Be predictable, and, 2) Be visible. If you are riding on
the sidewalk, it doesn’t really matter which direction you ride, but I do always
yield to pedestrians.

Hope this helps.

Tim Bustos, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, City of Davis, 23 Russell
Boulevard, Davis, California 95616 TEL: 530/757-5669; FAX: 530/758-4738