Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Wrong-Way Riding

Riding the wrong way – against traffic – is one of the most hazardous acts for a cyclist. Yet, many inexperienced cyclists do it, chiefly because they believe that being able to see traffic oncoming will allow them to react better.

This is, of course, false. Two objects moving toward each other at any speed will have a more forceful collision than two objects traveling in the same direction. It is also illegal road use in Minnesota.

Which doesn’t explain why when I saw a dude on a bike going the wrong way in the shoulder of Central Avenue shortly after it crosses under US10 in Blaine the cop he rode by had no reaction. That part of Central is a crapshoot at best, but going against traffic there is like waving a neon sign that says I WANT TO DIE K THX.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.


  1. Its not only going the wrong way on roads but also going on busy roads. I’m blown away by people biking on Lake Street during rush hour. Its like they want to get run over.

    On topic it appears that the park board is actually enforcing the one way paths around Lake Calhoun at least. Twice in the last month I’ve seen police on bikes go after those biking the wrong way.

  2. I agree Tim, why ride down Lake St. when the Greenway is RIGHT THERE and would probably save them some time and hassle?

    Cyclists have the right to be on any road, busy or not, but I don’t know why you wouldn’t take advantage of our great trail system whenever possible

  3. I can think of a few instances where I might opt street rather than trail system, but Lake Street versus the Greenway’s not on the list save if I’m going to a specific business on Lake Street.

    I think a lot of people who have taken to bicycles in the face of gas prices haven’t scouted for better routes or don’t know they exist.