Are these Hudson Valley Cyclists Breaking the Law?
Want to start a heated argument? Ask someone in the Hudson Valley how they feel about cyclists.
Cyclists in the Hudson Valley, NY
It seems like gorgeous scenery and rolling hills go hand-in-hand with serious cycling. When I spent five years living in Sonoma County, CA, the only thing more common than vineyards were people in body-hugging spandex pedaling their hearts out all around wine country. No surprise, non-cyclists had the same exact feelings about them as they do here in the Hudson Valley.
These photos were recently posted in a Hudson Valley Facebook page with the caption, "Another Sunday with these geniuses riding 2-4 wide... I’d like to share the road, not ride behind you at 14 mph because have to ride shoulder to shoulder... Wtf". The comments came rolling in from both sides.
The Great Cycle Debate
"No common sense… and they can’t stay in a straight line…I couldn’t pass them with my truck and trailer. Stuck doing 25 in a 45. Annoying", commented one frustrated motorist. "It’s a shame that these free-spirited, fun-loving bicycle riding, gangsters ruin the day of someone driving a gas guzzling, planet killing vehicle... Patience is a measure of intelligence. Grow some" countered a passionate cycling supporter. Whether you prefer two wheels or four, the question still remains: is what they were doing legal?
Cycling Laws in New York State
Another commenter hinted at the letter of the law regarding cyclists on public roads. "Isn't there a law that you ride single file on the road?", asked a neutral party. The answer is a little more complicated than you might think.
According to New York State law, cyclists are legally allowed to ride with a maximum of two people side-by-side, as they are doing in the pictures above. The law changes, however, when a motor vehicle needs to pass:
Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall ride, skate, or glide single file when being overtaken by a vehicle.
And that's the trouble. While common sense and courtesy should obviously come into play, it can be difficult to tell certain factors, like how soon a cyclist is aware that a car is behind them, or how long it would take for them to fall behind or ride ahead of their cycling pal to fall into a single file formation. One Facebook commenter felt like they had the solution: "Get an airhorn. It’s funny and they move quickly", they quipped.
One thing cyclists and motorists can both agree on: a great brewery makes everything better. Check out some of the best in the Hudson Valley below:
25 Wineries and Breweries to Visit in the Hudson Valley
15 Dog-Friendly Winery and Cideries in the Hudson Valley