American state sets out plans to ban cyclists from riding on rural roads

Cyclists in Montana could soon be unable to ride on roads without a shoulder or cycle lane

Cyclists could soon be banned from using roads such as this
(Image credit: Google Maps)

Cyclists could be banned fromm a large proportion of Montana's roads if the state legislature passes a controversial bill.

The draft bill will make it illegal for cyclists from all two-lane rural roads without a shoulder or cycle lane running alongside, effectively banning cyclists from a large number of the state's roads, forcing them onto trails instead.

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The bill will also mean that cyclists are not allowed to ride side-by-side, making them to ride in single file no matter how big the group.

Understandably, the state's cycling community are not happy about the proposed changes, which would effectively ban road riding outside of towns.

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"When you want to go on a ride, you want to get out of town. You want to go on these rural highways, but you just wouldn't be able to do that anymore," local bike shop owner Shaun Radley told NBC Montana.

"I worry more about my kids and some of the juniors that we hang out with and talk to. If they grow up and there's no road riding, then you're talking about a side of the sport really that's almost dying. That's hard to swallow."

The legislation, which also applies to pedestrians, is still being drafted after receiving a mixed response from local people.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.