Bicycles have been in Idaho since territorial days. Unlike horse-drawn conveyances, bikes were not replaced by automobiles.
In May 1911, the Boise Evening Capital News was effusive about the future of the bicycle. “No question about it—the bicycle is coming into its own again. Its fine record in the war, its many-sided utility in modern business, its wonderful influence for health, coupled with its undoubted economy and convenience—all have combined to make it even more desirable than before.”
A.P. Tyler, the local Firestone dealer was enthusiastic about bicycles, and the “Non-Skid” tires Firestone was selling. “I look for a big year for the bicycle trade generally. (Bicycles) meet a distinct need in our modern life—as the only really practical self-propelled vehicle.”
Fast forward to 1982 when Idaho showed its love for bicycles in a unique way. The Legislature that year was revising traffic rules and decided to stop cluttering up judicial calendars with “technical violations” of traffic control devices, i.e., stop signs. That was the invention of a law that has become known as the Idaho Stop. Bike riders in Idaho can treat a stop sign the same way drivers treat a yield sign. That is, if the coast is clear they can roll right through it. A later revision to Idaho code made it legal for bike riders to treat a stop light the same way vehicle drivers treat a stop sign: Stop, check to see if the way is clear, then proceed.
Several other jurisdictions across the country have tried implementing the Idaho Stop for bicyclists. To date, Idaho is the only place it is legal statewide.