Bicycling in Currituck County

February 10, 2009

Bicycling in Currituck County, especially along the Outer Banks, is like nowhere else. Why spend money on gas, when you can hop on a beach cruiser and tour Currituck County via the many winding bike paths that border the beautiful and historic North Carolina shore? With several bike paths and wide paved shoulders on the roads throughout Currituck County, you are certain to find an interesting place to bicycle.

Currituck should be on every cyclist’s list of east coast rides. The Outer Banks are flat and without hills to climb. The only hazard you will find is an almost constantly blowing wind off the ocean. When the wind is from the east, it can bring a lot of sea spray inland, so be certain to give your bicycle a good bath after riding in the spray, or if you have been riding in the surf.

For faster and more experienced riders, many places have wide paved shoulders to provide safe separation between cyclists and motor vehicle traffic. Fast cyclists are cautioned about using the multi-purpose paths because of the presence of walkers, joggers, roller-bladers, and children on bicycles. The shoulders of the roads are a better choice when the foot traffic is heavier than the road traffic. Also, make certain to ride on the right, not on the left.

In Corolla, there are many bike paths, some of them narrow and some wider. NC Highway 12 begins at the north end of Corolla, where the road ends and the beach begins. Just two miles south of there is Currituck Heritage Park, which is home to The Whalehead Club, the Historic Village and the Currituck Beach Light House. South of the park is a combination of separate multi-use southbound paths paralleling NC-12.

In the southern half of the Currituck Outer Banks, beginning just north of the Hampton Inn, there is a separate series of narrower paths on the ocean side of scenic NC-12. Keep your eyes open so you don’t miss the connecting paths that will continue southward into the Sanderling section of Duck. The total length of the path in Currituck County is twelve miles.

North Carolina Bicycle Laws

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.

When riding on the highways, remember Currituck County is a busy tourist area in the summer. There will be plenty of people from out of town who will be driving and perhaps not watching out for cyclists. Cycle with great caution; be sure to always watch out for people who may not be watching out for you.

Following are some important rules to remember:

· Cyclists have the right to ride on North Carolina roadways, whether they are designated a bike path or not, except for limited access Interstate Highway style roads.

· Cyclists must always ride on the right side of the road, going in the same direction as the traffic.

· Cyclists are not required to ride on the shoulder of the road, but must ride as far to the right as is practical.

· Cyclists should ride in single file.

· Keep children off of the main roadways.

· Cyclists must use hand signals to indicate movements.

· Cyclists must obey traffic lights and stop signs.

· Cyclists and passengers under the age of 16 must wear an approved protective safety helmet

· Riding at night requires the bicycle to have a front lighted lamp and a lighted red light or rear reflector.

· Cyclists should always wear bright clothing and a helmet when riding on the highways.

There are additional rules governing cycling in Currituck County. Visit the North Carolina Bike Laws Page from the NCDOT website for a complete list.

VisitCurrituck is the official tourism guide for Currituck County and the Currituck Outer Banks.