Sedona AZ (May 11, 2016) – Are you tired of sitting in Sedona traffic? Consider changing your mode of transportation. There are no traffic backups in the bike lanes. Some people believe riding a bicycle on the road is dangerous. However, I believe riding a bicycle in Sedona is fun and safe if you follow a few simple rules. The League of American Bicyclists advises that riders follow the law, be predictable, be conspicuous, think ahead and be ready.
Follow the Law
Your safety and the image of bicyclists depend on you. Show respect for other users of the road and you’ll earn respect back. Cyclists are allowed to use all roads in Sedona and according to Arizona State Statute (ARS) 28-812 cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs, ride with the flow of traffic and use the rightmost lane. When entering a roundabout, yield to vehicles in the roundabout. Wait for a gap in traffic and merge into roundabout traffic to the right. Watch out for vehicles crossing your path to enter or leave the roundabout. Exit the roundabout on the right.
Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride straight, use hand signals and check behind you before turning or changing lanes. A cyclist weaving in and out of cars on the road or cars in a parking lot is unpredictable. On a shared use pathway always slow down when approaching pedestrians and give a verbal greeting when you are about to pass. The pedestrian you are courteous to on the pathway may be the driver who treats you well when you are cycling on the roadway.
Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. Make eye contact with others and ride on the right with the flow of traffic. Never ride against traffic on the road, in a bike lane or on a sidewalk. Don’t ride on sidewalks. Sidewalks are designed for slow moving pedestrian traffic, not fast moving bicycles. Motorists are not looking for bicyclists riding on the sidewalk and they will not expect you to be riding the wrong way. Statistically you are much safer riding in the bike lane with the flow of traffic than riding on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic. Use a light when riding at night. ARS 28-817 requires any bicycle used at night has to have a front white light and a rear red reflector or red light.
Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look ahead for road debris, potholes and other hazards. Cross cattle guards and railroad tracks perpendicular to the metal bars. Be aware of your surroundings and ride defensively.
Before heading out, check that your tires are properly inflated, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release levers are closed. Carry tools and supplies appropriate for your ride and wear a helmet. Cycling gloves and shoes will provide additional comfort.
Finally, motorists must be aware of bikes and follow state laws pertaining to bicyclists. ARS 28-735 states that drivers may come no closer than three feet when passing a bicyclist. Slow down and don’t pass the bicyclist until it is safe to do so. Be watchful at intersections. Yield to bicycles as you would any other moving vehicle. ARS 28-815 states drivers must not operate, park or leave an automobile in a bike lane. Drivers are required to yield to bicyclists as they approach right turn only lanes.
Any thoughts on creating a paved biking trail system throughout Sedona, Cottonwood, Cornville??
Other towns I have lived in all have these paved trails for walking, jogging, biking/cycling and they are fabulous for all ages and away from cars. So children and elderly can use them safely.
I would love to see that a part of our fabulous towns.
Dr. Lori Krauss
Thank you Doug and Sedona.biz for posting this article. Cyclists and motorists need periodic reminders regarding safety.
As a Sedona resident of 20 years, avid cyclist, road bike tour operator and now starting an e-bike touring company, I witness a lot of confusion about how to ride a roundabout. In paragraph two you address roundabouts but there is a key piece of information missing. Cyclists need to “take the lane” starting when the bike lane ends on approach to the roundabout and stay in the center of the lane while in the roundabout then back into the bike lane when it resumes.
Cyclists who ride on the right of the lane thus allowing cars to pass them while in the roundabout are not riding lawfully and endanger themselves and drivers. If cyclists are uncomfortable riding in the center of the lane in a roundabout they should use the pedestrian crosswalks. I learned this from ADOT way back when they began work on the 179 project.
I use very clear hand signals to drivers letting them know what I am doing and seldom have any issues with drivers. I also understand your article can only go so in depth on any one issue.
Thanks again for posting and here is a link that goes into more depth on how to cycle a roundabout.
Why can’t bicycles use the sidewalks? Very few pedestrians use the sidewalks. Count the number of bicycles and pedestrians on west 89A, and then count the motor vehicles. Many thousands of cars and trucks are crowded into narrow lanes nor wider than a truck. Bicycles are slow, light and can stop on a dime, but they wobble and frequently crowd the motor vehicles. Separated bike lanes, away from motor vehicles, would be an answer, but costly. We need many real actions now on 179 and 89A — not more costly studies!
Can common sense prevail over a militant few?
In Arizona you risk your life if you’re in the traffic lane. People aren’t used to bikes and don’t look out for bikers (even tho you make eye contact with them), elderly people are on the road and there is too much traffic everywhere.
I have numerous friends who’ve been hit by cars (and one killed) while biking or on scooters.
I am all for bikes – I mostly ride everywhere, but please don’t say that biking in Sedona is safe… that’s nonsense, unless you’re riding on the sidewalk.