Cycling on the wrong side of the road Meme

Last Updated on May 26, 2022 by FAB Jim The Cyclist

Cycling on the wrong side of the road meme

When cycling you should always ride the direction of traffic for yours and others safety.  There are many reasons why you have to do this.

Reasons why cyclists ride in the same direction of traffic


Most states have laws stating that cyclists need to ride with the direction of traffic.  If there is some sort of accident and you are riding on the wrong side of the road it will be legally your fault.

Photo by Brett Sayles on


Pedestrians walk against traffic; this gives them lots of time to see cyclists coming.  If pedestrians don’t see you coming, they could easily accidently step in your way causing you to collide or turn into a car trying to avoid the pedestrian.

Other cyclists

Now if cyclists are passing each other in different directions this could again cause a collision or lead to one cyclist turning into traffic to avoid a collision.

Passing vehicles

If you are going the same direction as traffic there will be fewer passing vehicles, and they will be going slower relative to your speed.  If going against traffic their speed will be amplified by yours, and you will have more pass due to driving into them rather than away.  The force of impact if hit by a car going the opposite direction is also much greater as your speed it added to theirs rather than subtracted if going in the same direction.


While driving, I recently had to pass a cyclist going on the wrong side of the road at night on a dark road.  I just suddenly saw a headlight in front of me on my side of the road.  I didn’t know if it was a bike, motorcycle, or car with a headlight out.  It made me very uncomfortable not knowing if there would be a collision. 

Turning vehicles

Cars making a right turn will not expect a quickly approaching cyclist on their side of the road.  They are looking to their left to make sure the turn is clear.  They could easily turn right into a cyclist. 

Photo by Imad Bo on


Cars leaving their driveway won’t be looking for cyclists on the wrong side of the road.  They likely won’t see you and will back out right in front of you. 

So please follow the rules of the road and ride on the right side of the road in the US

Published by FAB Jim The Cyclist

Jim has over 40 years of experience with bicycles and loves road and mountain biking and just going for calm cruises. He is a mechanic who has built custom bikes and is also very interested in bike history.

8 thoughts on “Cycling on the wrong side of the road Meme

  1. Also, if you cycle on the same side of the road as cars, the force of collision is less. A car coming at you at 60 kph will be more impactful if you are doing 20 kph toward them. I never understood why older cyclists prefer to ride in the opposite direction to traffic or why they ride on sidewalks on wide streets in cities and towns. Cheers. Allan

  2. Good advice.

    I believe though one of the problems is a bike lane right lane on busy streets poses high risks ot cutting off bikes when making right turns.

    Wish instead there could be a way to separate all streets to one way for either bikes or carsw only.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  3. A counter argument A problem lies though can you really trust what’s coming behind your back? . The bike lanes can also feel too narrow to separate bikes from cars. My helmet also limits my peripheral vision behind me.

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