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!).

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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.😳

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**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!)