Hiya GT!

I have a question for folks who bike regularly, that’s a bit of a safety question, but also just a curiosity/“Why do people do this?” question, that I admit, I’m having a hard time understanding, because I don’t bike regularly.

The question:

As a biker, why (typically!) would someone choose to ride on a 2-lane road in a no-passing zone, in a stretch of road with road shoulders too narrow to ride on, (necessitating roadway riding), when asphalt bike trails are available *directly* next to the road (and sometimes with that trail having a concrete median/guardrail on the side nearest the road, for extra safety)?

With the understanding that it IS 100% legal to ride on the road, of course!

But why would the road be preferred, over a parallel trail?**

As someone who is not a biker, but who tries to drive as safely as I can around bicyclists, I’ve been really curious about this—especially lately, when it seems to occur pretty regularly on one specific stretch of my commute (and usually nowhere else!).


It’s happening in an area with some pretty blind, narrow curves, and the trail is literally 5-or-so feet away, so I’m just super-curious as to why most folks choose the safer trail, but a few folks *consistently* ride on the roadway, and try to squish themselves into that 1 1/2-2 feet of shoulder space, as cars pass disturbingly close to them (if there is traffic moving in both directions!).

Obviously, I understand too, that in plenty of areas there *aren’t* trails directly next to the road—so my question *isn’t* about that at all!😉👍

It’s specific to the stretches where there *is* a trail directly parallel.🤔

One of my reasons for curiosity, is that as a younger person who had to bike on narrow roads with 90° curves (one of which was blind), a lot of us in my hometown (myself included, obviously!) were absolutely *thrilled* when we got our own local bike trail, so that we *didn’t* have to worry that we’d get hit by cars & trucks anymore. So the behavior of the bikers I’m seeing lately is just baffling to my past experiences.😳


**A real, honest-to-goodness 6'+ wide asphalt trail, *not* a sidewalk! (It’s *100%* not a sidewalk!)

We have a pretty extensive trail system, statewide really, thanks to a former US Rep who was a biker himself, and who heavily influenced funding for Bike trails throughout the country (and especially here in MN!)