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Only Two Wheels

Boise's bike laws

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The City of Boise is known as a bike-friendly kind of place, but the city also has its share of bike regulations--some of which are a little unusual.

Here's what you need to know.

3 Feet to Pass: In order for a driver to pass a cyclist on a roadway, he or she must provide 3 feet of space between the vehicle and the biker. Drivers who fail to yield to those riders can be ticketed by Boise Police.

The Idaho Stop: Essentially, the rule states that cyclists can treat stop signs as yield signs. When approaching a four-way stop or other intersection, cyclists may proceed through without stopping if the coast is clear. However, should a rider fail to yield in these situations, the cyclists is in the wrong.

Helmets: Surprisingly, helmets aren't required when riding a bicycle, although it's not a bad idea.

Bike Lanes: If there is a bike lane, Boise requires bikers to use it unless it is obstructed in some way.

Crosswalks: Cyclists must abide by the same considerations as pedestrians and must yield to anyone walking.

Gear: Boise requires certain safety equipment, including brakes and a permanent seat.

Flashers: Once it gets dark, bikers must have a red reflector on the rear, visible from 300 feet away, and a forward-facing white light visible from 500 feet away.

Handlebars: Riders must not only have them but keep at least one hand on them, and no one can ride on them.

Hitching a Ride: Bikers can't re-enact scenes from Back to the Future by grabbing onto a Jeep's backside in some Marty McFly style nonsense.

Flow of Traffic: Cyclists must ride with the flow of traffic, except where road markings or signs permit, as in the case of contra-lanes.

Pull Over: If a biker is delaying vehicle traffic with no option to get around, the cyclist must pull over.

Sidewalks: You can ride on the sidewalk, but only when pedestrian traffic dictates that your metal steed will not be bowling for helpless persons on foot. Also, cyclists may not jump back and forth between sidewalk and roadway.

Groups: Cyclists may not ride more than single-file when a driver is approaching from behind.

Parking: Don't chain your bike in a way that it blocks vehicle or pedestrian traffic. Alternatively, don't park your bike in a way that it hurts foliage, like downtown trees and bushes.

Size: Bikes can't be too big or too small to operate safely.

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