When People Ride Bikes, Great Things Happen.   Courtesy of Bikes Belong (People for Bikes)

1. Guide to bicycle commuting 

Beautiful bicycle commuting
Why commute by bicycle? from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB)

"The simple answer is that it’s fun, it’s good for you, and it’ll save you a lot of money! Even better, it’s good for the environment, the economy, the community you live and work in, and for your employer".

Give respect to pedestrians, drivers, and other people bicycling. It's the right thing to do. Bad bicycling manners make bike riders targets of public anger and citations from the police. Respectful riding will help bicycling win respect: have fun!

Read more on Commuter Student Manual

2. Bike Equipment: Brakes, Handlebars, Lights & Reflectors

CVC 21201. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle on a roadway unless it is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

(b) No person shall operate on the highway any bicycle equipped with handlebars so raised that the operator
must elevate his hands above the level of his shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering grip area.

(c) No person shall operate upon any highway a bicycle which is of such a size as to prevent the operator
from safely stopping the bicycle, supporting it in an upright position with at least one foot on the ground, and
restarting it in a safe manner.

(d) Every bicycle operated upon any highway during darkness shall be equipped (1) with a lamp emitting a white light which, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle; (2) with a red reflector on the rear which shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle; (3) with a white or yellow reflector on each pedal visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet; and (4) with a white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle, and with a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles which are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need not be equipped with these side reflectors. Such reflectors and reflectorized tires shall be of a type meeting requirements established by the department.

(e) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp required by clause (1) of subdivision (d).

3. Biking on the Road

"Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle." Bicycle riders must obey the same rules as vehicle drivers. This includes stopping at red lights and stop signs.

California Vehicle Code: CVC 21200

When riding slower than the normal speed of traffic, you are required to ride as far right as “practicable” (meaning safe). You are not required to ride as far right as possible, which may not be safe.

Bicycles Allowed Use of Full Lane: CVC 21202

If a travel lane is too narrow to safely share side by side with a motor vehicle, you can prevent unsafe passing by taking the lane (riding near the center of the lane). On two-lane roads where it’s illegal or unsafe to pass, you must turn off the roadway at a designated or safe location to allow a line of 5 or more vehicles behind you to pass. 

Avoid the Door Zone CVC 22517

No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonable safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic.

Avoid Riding on Sidewalks

Each city in California has its own rules about riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Some cities allow sidewalk riding, some don't.

Sidewalk riding is a violation of the municipal code in Santa Barbara 10.52.130

You can file a Police Report: call 911

You have the right to file a police report if you've been involved in a collision resulting in injury or property damage. Take notes & photos. Get the police report number from police officers on the scene.

You also have the right to file a police report for cases of motorist assault.

Follow the Law

Your safety and image of bicyclists depend on you. You have the same rights & duties as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.

Be Predictable

Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride in a straight line and don't swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.

Be Conspicuous

Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. Use a front white light, red rear light and reflectors when visibility is poor. Make eye contact with others and don't ride on sidewalks.

Think Ahead

Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.

Ride Ready 

Check that your tires have sufficient air, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release levers are closed (ABC Quick check). Carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet. Eat before you are hungry, drink before you are thirsty and have fun!

Test your knowledge with a FREE Online Bicycle Education class.


6. What is the 3 Feet for Safety Act? 

Beginning September 16, 2014, drivers must give people riding bikes at least 3 feet of clearance when passing in the same direction.

7. Bicycle Safety Tips for Adults

Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
located at 506 E. Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Phone: 805 845-8955

Bici Centro is located at 434 Olive Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Phone: 805 617-3255

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