Glossary of Biking Terms

The Biking Vernacular

As a community of bikers and drivers, we encourage everyone to become familiar with these terms. It helps make riding in groups easier and can help us spread the community and culture of biking throughout the city. Let’s ride safely together!

Bike Sharrow

A marker on the road to motorists that there will be cyclists on this street. Bicycle riders are allowed to use any road, but sharrows are usually present in areas of areas high in bike traffic.

Bike Lane

A dedicated pathway just for bike travel. Bike lane travel is always the same direction as car traffic and are provided on each side of the street.

Three Feet Rule

Drivers must keep a distance of three feet when passing a bike rider. This ensures the safety of the rider and the driver. It’s Louisiana state law!

Two Abreast

Bikes are allowed, by law, to ride two bikes side by side. They are not required to ride single file. They may choose to ride single file to allow cars to pass, but are not legally required to do so.

Ride to the Right

Bicycles are encouraged to “ride right” in the travel lane to make it easier for cars to pass. The exceptions are when preparing to turn left or when riding on the right side of the lane is unsafe – open doors, cluttered roadway.

Salmon Riding

When a bike rider is traveling in the opposite direction of traffic in a bike lane or on the street. Alway travel WITH traffic, not against it.

Door Zone

The space in the roadway taken up by a parked car’s open door. If a motorist opens their door, a passing cyclist can get “doored.” Always ride away from parked cars when possible and motorists should check their mirror and turn their head when opening the door to check for bikes and cars.

Dutch Reach

A practice where instead of using your near hand — usually the driver’s left hand — to open your car door, you use your far hand. Your right hand. In doing that, you automatically swivel your body. And you position your head and shoulders so you are looking directly out. You are very easily able to look back and see if there are oncoming bicycles or cars

Ninja Rider

It sounds cool, but it’s really not. A ninja rider is a night rider who wears dark clothes and doesn’t use bike lights. Not only a bad idea, but against the law in every state — a white front light and rear reflector or light are required.

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