Bike paths are available in many towns for slower-paced touring or for a relaxing afternoon ride. These are paved areas which wind along the highway and/or through wooded areas and can connect you from town to town without having to brave the motor traffic.
The bike paths run from Kitty Hawk Elementary School along US Highway 158 to the Southern Shores Town Hall, then north along NC 12 to the Duck line, and is about five miles in length.
This path begins at the Southern Shores Town line and continues into Duck Village.
From Duck through Sanderling, this path is approximately 5 miles long.
This path is located on The Woods Road and is 2 miles long.
Kill Devil Hills
This path begins at West First Street and follows Colington Road (by the Wright Memorial), then continues east to the beach road.
The multi-use path runs from Bainbridge on the ocean side of Virginia Dare Trail south to the end of Old Oregon Inlet Road in south Nags Head.
Winding from Washington Baum Bridge to William B. Umstead Bridge, this path is approximately 6 miles long. Scenic and well shaded in most areas, it is a pleasant ride and a good way to tour beautiful downtown Manteo and historic sites on Roanoke Island.
NC Bicycle Laws and Guides for Beach Area Riding
Bicyclists in ever-increasing numbers are sharing Outer Banks roadways with motorists. The NC traffic laws define the rights and duties of bicyclists as well as the motorists with whom they share the roadway. Bicycles and mopeds are vehicles, and subject to the same laws. A special safety problem here is the mix of bikers and motorists from many different cities and states with different rules, customs, and expectations.
The following summary of the laws and good practices may by useful in keeping you safe and out of trouble with the police and motorists:
Bicyclists, including moped operators, have the right to ride on any public-maintained roadway, whether or not designated as a bicycle route. But, please, ride predictably and courteously to keep traffic moving safely and to avoid accidents.
Bicyclists must ride on the right, in the same direction as the flow of other traffic. Never ride on the left against the flow of traffic. Bicyclists should remain within 4' of the right hand paved edge of the roadway. They have the right to be there, and the responsibility to stay there. A bicyclist is not required to ride on the shoulder, paved or not, since the shoulder is not legally defined as being part of the roadway. (But remember, whether the bottle hits the stone, or the stone hits the bottle, it's going to bad for the bottle!)
While bicyclists should ride as far right as practicable, they may ride well out into the traffic lane under the following conditions:
If he/she can maintain a speed not less than 10 mph under the posted speed limit, or the same speed as other vehicles on the roadway;
If the right-hand edge of the roadway is in poor condition (gravel, potholes, etc.); and
In order to rightfully claim a right-of-way to prevent being squeezed by passing two-way traffic.
Bicyclists must ride single file on any roadway shared with motorists. Avoid swerving and other sudden changes of direction or speed. And keep the kids off the high speed highways, even if they are experienced bicyclists with good traffic sense. Be sure to have a rear view mirror if you're going ride on the highway.
Minor-age or slow adult bicyclists: ride on the sidewalks (there are precious few of them in Dare County); it's not recommended for fast adult bicyclists and may be unlawful unless the sidewalk is specifically and legally marked as a bikeway which meets the bike way safety standards. And pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks.
Motorists may approach and pass a bicyclist only at a safe lateral distance and with reasonable and proper speed. Overtaking motor vehicle traffic must treat bicycles as legitimate vehicles, and pass only when it is safe to do so, clearing the bicycle by at least 2'. (But keep a close watch on pickup trucks, RVs, and boat trailers; their ideas of adequate clearance and safe passing procedures often differ from cyclist's needs.) Stay alert!
Bicyclists must use hand signals for turns and stops. Bicyclists must obey stop lights, stop signs, and other traffic signals, just as motor vehicles do; no buzz ing through after a quick glance. (You can't have it both ways-- if you want the right to be treated as a vehicle driver, then you have to act like one.) If the bicyclist dismounts and walks beside the bike, the biker is then (and only then) a pedestrian, and subject to pedestrian rules instead. Intersections are a major location of serious bicycle accidents.
Bicyclists may choose to make a left turn from the appropriate lane, like a vehicle, with hand signals, or may dismount and walk the bicycle across the intersec tion, like a pedestrian.
Bicyclists must keep at least one hand on the handle bars at all times. No riding double except on a bike specially designed or equipped to carry more than one rider (tandem bikes or adult bikes with child seats). Hitching rides on moving motor vehicles is dangerous and unlawful.
When on a designated bike path, the cyclist has the right of way over motor vehicles turning into or coming out of parking lots or driveways. But remember the stone and the bottle. Motorists might not be aware of that right-of-way law, and even if they are, they might not see you. Brightly colored clothing??
In case of a bicycle accident involving death, injury, or property damage, the bicyclist must stop and report the accident to the police.
Riding at night requires a lighted white light in the front (visible 300'), and either a lighted red light and/or a red reflector in the rear (visible 200'). (But better to put the bike away at dark and not put your life in the hands of the motorists on dark, narrow, unfamiliar, and crowded roads.)
Watch for sand on the roads. (A thin layer isn't too bad, but if it is more than that, it can lead to loss of control. Most shoulders are soft sand, and generally unrideable.)
Adequate bicycle parking devices are still scarce on the Outer Banks. You'll find some at the beach access areas and at a few of the shopping centers. Thefts can occur, so carry a lock and do the best you can.
This article contains primarily Dare County bike path information. Other paths are beingconstructed on the northern Outer Banks in Currituck County. You may bike on most roads in North Carolina. See North Carolina Bicycle Laws and Guides above for details.
Special thanks to the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce for providing the information contained herein.