Is It Illegal to Stand While Pedaling a Bicycle in Indiana?
We've all done it. You're riding your bike around the neighborhood, your favorite local park, or a particular trail, and you find yourself facing some type of hill or incline. So, to give yourself a little extra boost, you raise your rear end off the seat and stand up to pedal in order to put all your body weight into every push and help you get up the hill a little faster and/or easier. But, by doing so, we may be violating an Indiana ordinance.
What Indiana Law Says About Standing Up to Pedal a Bike
While scrolling through the r/Indiana on Reddit recently, the headline of a particular post caught my eye. It read, "Apparently in it's illegal to stand up and pedal a bicycle." The post was shared Reddit user, draca101 from the Cycling sub-Reddit and cited Indiana Code 126.96.36.199 which states,
IC 9-21-11-3Operation; seats; passengers
Sec. 3. (a) A person propelling a bicycle may not:
(1) ride other than upon the permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle; or
(2) carry any other person upon the bicycle who is not seated upon a firmly attached and regular seat on the bicycle.
(b) A person may not ride upon a bicycle unless seated under this section.
I totally understand the reasoning behind the second line stating a bicycle operator can't let someone ride along if they aren't also sitting on some type of seat that's connected to the bike. The state is just trying to prevent unnecessary injuries. But, the first and the third line in particular certainly read like you must be seated anytime the bike is in motion, which I interpret to mean that if you stand up to pedal, you're violating the code.
This guy may or may not be breaking Indiana state law, but is definitely breaking the laws of physics.
It is entirely possible that I and the Reddit user who wrote the original post in the Cycling sub-Reddit are misinterpreting what the code means, but let's say we're not. I'm guessing the chances of a law enforcement officer giving you a ticket for standing up while pedaling your bike are pretty slim. Unless you're riding in a way that could be dangerous to people around you, for example, riding really fast through a crowd on the sidewalk, an officer wouldn't bother wasting their time or yours to stop you and give you a ticket for not being seated on your bike.
With that said, maybe you should stay seated just to be safe. Better yet, just stay home and binge-watch a show and save yourself the trouble altogether.