Riding with the traffic flow, NOT AGAINST IT, is so important that we list these ten reasons why:
1. It's illegal. NY State traffic law requires all cyclists to obey traffic laws, including one-way signs, traffic signs and signals, etc.
2. Traffic signals and signs are oriented toward the other direction, so you can't see them. (Also, warnings such as "Bump", "Hidden Driveway", "Blind Persons' Crossing", "Road Closed Due to Alligators", or "Nudist Camp Next Right" will not be visible.)
3a. Motorists don't expect traffic to come from the wrong direction, so they don't look for it, and are likely not to see you in time to prevent an accident. (See cartoon drawing)
3b. You are more likely to get "doored", i.e., injured by a car-door opened suddenly in your path, because the car driver is looking in his sideview mirror for approaching vehicles and doesn't see you approach from the wrong direction
4. If you do have a crash against oncoming traffic, add the speed of the car to your own speed to create a serious accident (30 mph car plus a 15 mph bike equals a 45 mph crash.) If you have an accident and you are both traveling in the same direction, subtract the two speeds (30 mph car minus 15 mph bike equals a 15 mph accident.)
5. Lawyers do not like to admit that their client did anything dangerous or illegal in an accident. If you are going the wrong way and have an accident, your attorney does not have a powerful argument in court. Moreover, if you hit a pedestrian, you don't have a leg to stand on.