Sharing the Road: Cyclists and Drivers

The Outer Banks is an extremely popular place during the summer months. Locals, vacationers, and seasonal workers all enjoy the beautiful weather and activities that are available given the area’s amazing landscape. In addition to the traditional Outer Banks activities such as surfing, fishing, and other watersports, bicycling has always been one of the most popular activities and the most fun way to get from point A to point B on our beaches. With that said, it is important that all who frequent the roads and bike paths of our beach towns do so in a safe and cautious manner. To find out how you can bike around the Outer Banks safely, read below!

Avoid Riding on the By-Pass

When the “By-Pass”, also known as Highway 158 or South Croatan Highway, was first built into its current 4 lane design, the road was extremely convenient for motorists due to limited stop lights and cross walks. While it’s still the most convenient way to travel up or down our beach, it has become increasingly populated with stop lights and pedestrians. The increased traffic due to the Outer Banks growing popularity and stop lights that congest traffic, create a dangerous route for cyclists. With that said, it is best to stay on the bike path that runs parallel to the Beach Road (South Virginia Dare Trail) while in Nags Head. In Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, and Duck, Corolla, and even Hatteras Island there is either an expanded shoulder or separate path for cyclists along most parts of Highway 12. Avoid riding directly in the road whenever possible!

Ride on the Right

In situations where it is absolutely necessary to ride on the street, (side streets, community roads, etc.) be sure to always ride on the right side of the street. Riding a bike with traffic has proven to be the safest way to travel on roadways. However, when walking along the road, walk against traffic so you can see cars coming your way! As always, wear a helmet when on a bicycle!

Tips for Motorists

When driving along the Outer Banks it is increasingly important to always be on the lookout for cyclists and pedestrians. It is often tough to see cyclists at night if they are not wearing reflective or brightly colored clothing. Always stay alert and exercise caution. If both motorists and cyclists practice safe transportation habits, we can create an environment that is biker-friendly and safe for everyone! Keep in mind that drivers are required to share the road with cyclists, so they do have a right to the roadways. Treat cyclists with respect!

If you would like to enjoy a relaxing ride thru one of our beach towns, be sure to take advantage of our selection of Outer Banks bike rentals! Bike safely and enjoy your time on the OBX!