Sunday, October 23, 2016

Summary of Ohio Bicycle Laws

The Law of Riding a Bicycle in Ohio

You can download a PDF file of this information here.

​​Q: I often see people riding bicycles on the road. Is that really legal?

A: Yes. Ohio’s Traffic Code defines bicycles as “vehicles,” which may be lawfully operated on virtually all Ohio roads except freeways or certain limited access roadways.

Q: What rules apply to operating a bicycle on the road?

A: Ohio law requires cyclists to follow the “rules of the road” when riding a bicycle on a roadway. Cyclists must ride with traffic, obey basic traffic laws, stop at stop signs and red lights, and follow all traffic control devices.

When following the rules of the road, a cyclist has exactly the same “right of way” as any car, truck or bus driver.

Q: Do any special rules apply to cyclists on the road?

A: The key “bike law” in Ohio states that a bicycle must be operated “as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable…” The law further states that a cyclist does not have to ride along the right side of the lane when it is “unreasonable or unsafe to do so,” such as when it is necessary to avoid:

  • fixed objects or parked cars;
  • surface hazards; or
  • moving vehicles; and
  • if the lane is “…too narrow for the bicycle and an overtaking vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.”

Cyclists are also permitted to ride “two abreast” in the same lane. Ohio law does not require cyclists to move out of the way of faster traffic.

Q: Are there any equipment requirements for bicycles being operated on the roadway?

A: Yes. Cyclists must use a white light in the front and both a red reflector and a red light in the rear between sunset and sunrise or whenever the weather makes lights necessary. This is important, since many serious or fatal crashes occur at night or when weather causes poor visibility.

Q: When I’m driving a car, can I cross a double-yellow line to pass a cyclist?

A: The traffic law allows you to cross a double yellow line to pass ANY slower vehicle, but only if:

  • The slower vehicle is traveling at less than the posted speed limit;
  • The faster vehicle is capable of passing the slower vehicle without exceeding the posted speed limit;
  • There is sufficient sight distance ahead to permit the passing maneuver to be safely accomplished, taking into account the speed of the slower vehicle.

This is not specifically a “bicycle” law, but rather a law that covers passing vehicles such as slower moving tractors and Amish buggies.

Q: Can my child ride a bicycle in the street?

A: Yes. Ohio law does not include an age limit or age requirement for riding bicycles on a roadway. However, riders of all ages must follow the rules of the road. Parents should evaluate their children’s riding abilities and educate them about the rules of the road. Make sure your child can ride safely and predictably.

Q: Can I ride my bicycle on the sidewalk?

A: It depends. Ohio law does not prohibit sidewalk cycling. In fact, state law prohibits municipalities from imposing “bike bans” that force cyclists to use sidewalks instead of roads. Otherwise, Ohio law leaves it to municipalities to decide where cyclists can ride.

Many cities do not permit sidewalk cycling, but some cities modify this rule by banning sidewalk riders over a specific age or by banning sidewalk riding in defined “business districts.” Check your local city ordinances to see if and where sidewalk riding is allowed.

Q: Must cyclists use bike lanes?

A: Surprisingly, no. “Bike lanes” are typically created by local governments and are not governed specifically by state law. State law mandates only that cities may not force cyclists to use sidewalks or “sidepaths” (bike trails that are not part of the roadway).

Regular road cyclists often find that bike lanes contain litter, gravel, dangerous sewers, glass and debris. Poorly planned bike lanes can also present dangers.

Q: If I am injured by a negligent motorist while riding my bicycle on the roadway, what
insurance coverage applies?

A: Typically, the motorist’s auto policy applies to pay your claim. However, cyclists are surprised to learn that their own auto insurance may come into play as well as their own homeowner’s insurance, health insurance and any “umbrella” or excess coverage they may have. Be sure to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to before moving forward with any such claim.


This “Law You Can Use” consumer legal information column was provided by the Ohio State Bar Association. It was prepared by attorney Steve Magas (“Ohio’s Bike Lawyer”) of The Magas Firm in Cincinnati.

Articles appearing in this column are intended to provide broad, general information about the law. This article is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from a licensed attorney.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Event Photos: Team Left Hand/Century Cycles BikeMS Post-Ride Party - Oct. 19, 2016

On Tuesday, October 19, 2016, Team Left Hand/Century Cycles held our post-ride party for the Bike MS Buckeye Breakaway! Thanks to team sponsor The Winking Lizard of Brunswick for hosting us and providing our food for the evening!

In addition to looking at photos from the ride, recapping the event, and making plans for the 2017 ride, Team Caption Chris Lennert of Left Hand Brewing Company gave out the team awards:
  • Most Inspirational Rider Award: Brian Doughtie
  • Female Shut up Legs Award: Anna Roberts
  • Male Shut up Legs Award: Dave Schultz
  • Wake up Dead on Sunday Award: Clint Olmstead
  • Best Looking in Spandex Award: Kristine Lemasters
  • Keg Footbath Hawg Award: Mike Petcher
  • Happiest Rider of the Weekend Award: Scott Cowan
  • Top Fundraiser of the Year Award: Mike Petcher
  • Rookie Fundraiser of the Year Award: Tim Berry
  • Best Selfie Award: Team Gargoyle
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Debbie Petcher
    Congratulations to all of our award winners, and congratulations to all Bike MS riders and volunteers for a successful event! We'll see you next year -- registration for the 2017 Bike MS Buckeye Breakaway and Team Left Hand / Century Cycles will be open soon, so stay tuned!

    Male Shut Up Legs Award Winner Dave Schultz

    Female Shut Up Legs Award Winner Anna Roberts

    Wake Up Dead Award Winner Clint Olmstead

    Keg Footbath Hawg Award Winner Mike Petcher

    Happiest Rider of the Weekend Award Winner Scott Cowan

    Top Fundraiser of the Year Award Winner Mike Petcher

    Volunteer of the Year Award Winner Debbie Petcher

    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    Get ready for fat bike season!

    Surly Pugsley NX (Size LG) - $1,499.99
    While we may be experiencing above-average temperatures during the beautiful fall season, but before you know it, fat bike season will be upon us! Of course, fat bikes are mountain bikes, so they provide year-round fun for many Cleveland-area bicyclists.

    Here are the fat bikes that we currently have in stock:

    Surly Pugsley NX ($1,499.99) - This is a custom-built model (size Large) that we assembled from a spare frame using the new SRAM NX 1x11 drive train. Plus Shimano hydraulic brakes!

    2017 Salsa Beargrease X5 ($1,399.99) - Size Small

    2016 Salsa Beargrease Carbon X7 (originally $2,699.99, NOW $2,429.99) - Size Medium

    2016 Salsa Beargrease X5 (originally $1,599.99, NOW $1,439.99) - Sizes Medium and Large

    2015 Salsa Mukluk 2 Suspension (originally $2,999.99, NOW $2,549.99) - Size Large

    2016 Surly Wednesday (originally $1,499.99, NOW $1,349.99)

    Selection varies among all three Century Cycles stores, so call us to verify! As always, we can move any bike you're interested in to the store that is most convenient for you -- no extra cost or obligation on your part!

    Monday, October 17, 2016

    ALERT: Towpath Trail South of Botzum CLOSED for Paving

    PLEASE NOTE: The Summit Metro Parks (via their alerts page) is working on paving an additional section of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. This section will be CLOSED during this work, with no posted detour, beginning on Monday, October 17, and ending in approximately one week (weather depending).

    The affected section begins just south of the Botzum Trailhead, and continues south to Weathervane Lane in Akron.

    Saturday, October 8, 2016

    Event Photos: Home Depot of Brunswick Safety Fair - Oct. 1, 2016

    Thank you once again to the Home Depot of Brunswick, Ohio for letting us participate in their annual Safety Fair on October 1, 2016. Thanks also to Don from the Century Cycles store in Medina for manning out tent and helping kids and other guests out with their bikes!

    By the way, in the photos below, that's Medina County Commissioner Tim Smith testing out the tiny bike! Thanks for visiting a being a good sport!

    Friday, October 7, 2016

    ALERT: Towpath Trail CLOSED within CVNP for the Towpath Marathon

    PLEASE NOTE: The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be closed to the general public starting at dusk Saturday, October 8, 2016 until 2:00pm on Sunday, October 9, 2016. All of the parking lots along the Towpath Trail from Frazee House Trailhead to Botzum Trailhead, including Indigo Lake Trailhead, will be closed. Expect limited delays due to short road closures in the morning hours on Sunday, October 9.

    The closure is due to the 25th Annual Towpath Marathon, a specialty marathon, half marathon, and 10K race, sponsored by Canalway Partners, a Founding Organization of the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area.

    Please note that our Towpath Trail Bicycle Rentals in the Century Cycles store in Peninsula will not be available during the trail closure hours. The trail may re-open sooner than the 2pm scheduled time; please call us at 330-657-2209 to check trail status.

    Thursday, October 6, 2016

    Let's Get the 3-Foot Law Passed in Ohio!

    Thanks to your calls and emails to your Ohio State Senate representatives, HB 154, the statewide 3-foot passing law, has been referred to the Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee.  This is the first step in bringing it to the full senate floor for a vote. But our work is not done until this bill becomes state law.

    Please contact members of the Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee telling them to schedule HB154 for a hearing at the next committee meeting. The committee chair is Frank LaRose (email) and the vice chair is Gayle Manning (email). If you are in Cuyahoga County and your State Senate representative is Tom Patton, he also sits on the Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee, and he can be emailed here.

    If you need talking points you can download some here (pdf format).

    Thanks to Bike Cleveland for all the links! Let’s get this bill passed in 2016!

    Thursday, September 29, 2016

    Bikepacking Endurance Racer Jesse Stauffer visits Peninsula

    When we saw this cyclist pull up to the Century Cycles store in Peninsula this morning on a semi-loaded bike, we thought, "Hmm...this guy looks like he's going somewhere." Sure enough, he is on his way to Chicago, IL for the start of the first-ever Route 66 Bike Race. He left his home in Selinsgrove, PA a couple of days ago, and he needs to get to Chicago by Friday, because the race starts on Saturday, October 1! The race follows the new Adventure Cycling Association Bicycle Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, California.

    The man is Jesse Stauffer, an experienced endurance bike racer. He appeared in the film Ride the Divide, about the Tour Divide Race on the Adventure Cycling Association Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. He also appeared in the film Inspired to Ride, about the inaugural Trans Am Bike Race in 2014, which takes place on the Adventure Cycling Association TransAmerica Trail. He ended up finishing tied for fourth place in that race, and the first American across the finish line.

    We told him that he'll probably end up catching up to Krista from our Rocky River store, who began a self-supported tour in Chicago on Bicycle Route 66 last Saturday! Jesse said that he expects to finish the race in about 10 days, riding day and night, stopping for just a few hours sleep at a time.

    Good luck, Jesse, and say Hi to Krista for us!

    Monday, September 26, 2016

    Photos from the Costume Party Night Ride on the Towpath Trail - Sept. 24, 2016

    After our previous three Night Rides on the Towpath Trail were cancelled due to thunderstorms, we FINALLY had perfect riding weather for our final ride of the 2016 season. Thanks to the over 120 rider who came!

    This ride was a special Costume Party Ride to celebrate National Bike Your Park Day, organized by the Adventure Cycling Association in honor of their 40th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

    Congratulations to Dean the Firefighter for winning the costume contest, with the prize of the NiteRider Lumina 550 rechargeable bike headlight!

    Sunday, September 25, 2016

    Photos from the Inaugural Lake to Lake Harvest Bike Tour

    The first annual Lake to Lake Harvest Bike Tour on September 17, 2016 was a success! Despite rainy weather, there were 60 riders who participated. Thanks to Bike Medina County for organizing the event (including Lynne from the Century Cycles store in Medina), and to Petch (also from the Medina store) for the photos!