The Michigander Bicycle Tour

Mon July 13 - Sat July 18, 2020 Traverse City, MI US 49686 Directions
Rules of the Road

Excerpt from Rules of the Road for Michigan Bicyclists by Bryan Waldman
Sinas Dramis Law Firm | 


Cyclists Have an Absolute Right to Use Michigan’s Public Roads

However, they must also obey the same rules. The Michigan Vehicle Code clearly states that each person riding a bicycle upon a roadway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle. Additionally, when using the roads, a cyclist is required to follow certain laws intended to ensure that cyclists use reasonable caution and safe bicycling practices.


These laws include the following provisions:
  • If traveling below the normal speed of traffic, a cyclist must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the road, unless:
  • Passing another bicycle or a vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  • Conditions (such as potholes or ruts in the pavement, uneven roadway services, debris, drain openings, parked or moving vehicles, animals, pedestrians, other obstacles) make the right- hand edge of the roadway unsafe or unreasonably unsafe for bicycle users.
  • If the lane is too narrow to permit a vehicle to safely overtake and pass a bicycle.
  • When preparing to turn left
  • When operating a bicycle in a lane in which traffic is turning right, but the cyclist intends to proceed straight through the intersection.
  • When riding on a one-way highway or street that has two (2) or more lanes. In this situation, the cyclist may also ride as close to the left curb or edge of the roadway as practicable.


Riding Two (2) Abreast

Cyclists must not ride more than two (2) bicycles abreast.


Riding Bicycles on Sidewalks

Bicycles may be ridden upon a sidewalk, but cyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and are required to give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian. Further, official traffic control devices or local ordinances may restrict bicycles on sidewalks in some areas. Additionally, a cyclist lawfully operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or a pedestrian crosswalk has all of the rights and responsibilities applicable to pedestrians using that sidewalk or crosswalk.


Use of hand signals while riding a bicycle
  • A cyclist is required to signal:
  • A left turn by extending his/her left hand and arm horizontally.
  • A right turn by extending his/her left hand and arm upward, or by extending his/her right hand and arm horizontally.
  • A stop or decrease in speed by extending his/her hand and arm downward.
  • Lights When Riding a Bicycle at Night
  • If riding one-half hour after sunset, or one-half hour before sunrise, a cyclist must use lights. The law requires that a light system for bicycles must, at a minimum, include a white light which is visible from five hundred (500) feet to the front and a red reflector on the rear which is visible from all distances from one hundred (100) feet to six hundred (600) feet when directly in front of lawful low beam headlights. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred (500) feet may be used in addition to the red reflector.


Riding Double on a Bicycle

A bicycle may not be used to carry more people than the bicycle is designed and equipped to carry. In other
words, riding “double” is prohibited.


Brakes on a Bicycle

A bicycle must be equipped with a brake which enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.


Riding a Bike While Attached to a Vehicle - Prohibited

A cyclist may not attach himself or his bicycle to a streetcar or a vehicle upon a roadway.


Carrying Packages While Cycling

A cyclist may not carry any package that prevents him/her from keeping both hands on the handlebars.


Limited Access Highway

A cyclist may not ride on a limited-access highway. A limited-access highway is defined as “a highway, street, or roadway in respect to which owners or occupants of abutting lands and other persons have no legal right or access to or from except at such points only, and in such a manner, as made to be determined by the public authority having jurisdiction over such highway, street, or roadway.”


Parking a Bicycle

A bicycle may be parked on a sidewalk, except in places where it is prohibited by an official traffic control device. However, a bicycle may not be parked on a sidewalk in a manner that impedes the lawful movement of pedestrians or other traffic. Likewise, a bicycle may be parked on a highway or street in any location where parking is allowed for motor vehicles, may park at any angle to the curb or edge of the highway, and may park abreast of another bicycle. However, a bicycle may not be parked on a highway or street in a manner that obstructs the movement of a legally parked motor vehicle. Further, local ordinances may limit the location and manner of bicycle parking.


Bicycle Helmets and Cell Phones

There is no law that requires Michigan cyclists to wear helmets or prevents them from talking on cell phones while riding. However, it is obviously safe practice to wear a helmet and avoid cell phone use while riding a bicycle.



The Michigander Bicycle Tour takes place on trails and back roads open to cars, please ride safely, legally and defensively. We do our best to ensure the ride is well marked and as safe as possible, but always remember that safety depends on you.


Tour Rules
  • Wear a bicycle helmet when riding, no exceptions.
  • Carry ID and relevant medical information
  • Rules of the road apply; same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle, obey all traffic signals.
  • Ride single file where necessary, maximum of two abreast when conditions allow, do not impede traffic
  • Ride as far right as is safe. 
  • Do not blindly follow those in front of you at crossings, look both ways before proceeding every time.
  • Pass on the left only, ring a bell (preferable) or announce “on your left” when approaching others.
  • Use hand signals to indicate road hazards, stopping, slowing, right and left turns
  • Prepare properly – nutrition, hydration, training, sun protection and sudden changes in weather conditions
  • Respect others always.
  • No headphones while riding
  • No texting/no talking on cellphones while riding



The Michigander Bicycle Tour SAG support & safety services are provided on the designated, marked route ONLY.


SAG Stop, Snacks and First Aid

Rest stops will be located on the Tour route approximately every 10-15 miles. Complimentary fresh ice water, Gatorade, granola bars, fresh fruit and more will be available as well as restrooms and/or porta johns. It is not unusual for other light snacks to be available from our team of generous volunteers.


SAG Sweep

The SAG Sweep are cyclists that monitor the route in shifts to ensure you and your bicycle are doing well on the ride. They wear safety armbands, if you need assistance, pull off to the right on the trail and tap your helmet or flag them down. They are also able to communicate with the volunteer crew including the Mobile Bike Repair, First Aid Team, SAG Vehicles and SAG Stop crew on your behalf.

If at any time you are having a medical emergency that requires immediate attention, do not wait, call 911.


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