<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1738529553100152&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Subscribe to Email Updates

Riverwest 24 Hour Bike Race and the Three Foot Rule in Wisconsin

By Keith Stachowiak on July 23, 2015 // Leave a Comment

bike-race-wisconsin-bike-lawsGear up for a full day of biking fun!

Riverwest 24 is only a few days away. If you live in Riverwest, you’re probably busy preparing for or participating in the big event. If you’re not from the Riverwest area or don’t know where the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee is located, you may not have heard of this annual bike ride.

Riverwest 24 Race Event Details

The Riverwest 24 is a celebration of Milwaukee’s Riverwest Neighborhood located just west of the Milwaukee River and east of Holton Street. The race begins on July 24, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. and lasts until July 25, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers, residents of Riverwest, and local businesses, the bike ride includes local bands and block parties along the route and is sure to be an exciting and fun event for all.

The rules of the race are relatively simple. Each bicyclist or team of cyclists must stop at four checkpoints throughout the neighborhood and have a manifest card punched at each checkpoint. Stopping at all four checkpoints completes one lap. In addition to the required checkpoints, there are bonus checkpoints along the suggested route which count as an additional lap. In order to promote a friendly, fun, and safe atmosphere, any bicyclist can be given a Dunce Lap penalty for riding innapropriately. The penalty requires the bicyclist to ride an additional lap before continuing on in the race. The individuals and teams with the highest number of laps including bonus checkpoint laps wins the race at the end of the 24 hour time frame.

Wisconsin Bicycle Road Rules You Should Know

While the race is a celebration of Milwaukee’s Riverwest Neighborhood, safety is a major priority for the event organizers and participants. Because the race will take place in the streets of Milwaukee, all traffic laws apply. This includes obeying traffic signals, properly equipping your bike, and using turn signals, to name a few.

From the perspective of operators of motor vehicles, the laws must also be followed. In Wisconsin and many other states, operators of motor vehicles must maintain a safe distance when passing a bicyclist traveling in the same direction.

  • Wis. Stat. § 346.075(1) specifically provides that “The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall exercise due care, leaving a safe distance, but in no case less than 3 feet clearance when passing the bicycle and shall maintain clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle .

I implore drivers to be extra vigilant of this rule especially during the Riverwest 24. From the standpoint of the participants (and I will only be a spectator), a 3 foot rule from parked cars also applies, and prevents riders from being “doored.”

  • Wis. Stat. § 346.80 requires all bicycle operators to “exercise due care when passing a standing or parked vehicle or a vehicle proceeding in the same direction, allowing a minimum of 3 feet between the bicycle and the vehicle, and shall give an audible signal when passing a bicycle rider proceeding in the same direction.”

The Riverwest 24 website says, “[RW24] is a way for our neighborhood to welcome new people, strengthen relationships within the community (and beyond), and show everyone why Riverwest is amazing.”  Do your part to make this event a success by obeying traffic laws and raising awareness about the three feet rule. Stay safe this weekend and enjoy one of Milwaukee’s hidden gems, the Riverwest 24.

If you are a cyclist, you might find these additional articles of interest:

At Murphy & Prachthauser we practice personal injury law the way it should be practiced – motivated and equipped to do our best for you. We take pride in being good lawyers who help people.

If you have a case you would like to speak to a lawyer about, please contact us to schedule a free consultation and get an experienced team of lawyers working on your behalf. 

Free Auto Injury Case Consultation