Many of us spend as much time riding our bikes as we possibly can. It’s more than a hobby, it’s a passion that is difficult for those outside the cycling bubble to grasp. Regardless of how much saddle time we may actually be putting in week to week, it’s important to have a general understanding of the California and local municipal bike laws. It’s dangerous enough out there, so knowing the laws and how they apply to cyclists can help you out if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in an accident with a car.
State and Local
We at EB Cycling Law have gone ahead and compiled a list of major bicycle laws from multiple sources. The California Vehicle Code, the State of California DMV’s Sharing the Road resources, and one of our favorite organizations, the California Bicycle Coalition. Here is a detailed rundown of what you really need to know when it comes to riding a bike within the letter of the law here in California. Each city in California has its own regulations when it comes to riding a bike, and you can read about some of these laws here.
Know the Law and Follow the rules
For San Diego County, each respective city has its own regulations. There are a few to be aware of, especially when it comes to riding on the sidewalk. I personally believe that sidewalks are for pedestrians, and minimize my time riding on them. If you see me riding on the sidewalk it’s going to be a short distance, and only to access a coffee shop. Your mileage may vary.
As we all know, following these rules amounts to little if a driver is distracted or simply not looking out for cyclists. It is also important to keep in mind that many of the traffic laws that apply to cars apply to bikes. In my experience, those of us who spend more time on the road tend to stop at lights and stop signs more than novice riders. It’s not just a safety issue, but we are the company we keep. I expect cars to stop at lights and stop signs, and we should extend the same courtesy as cyclists. Okay, I’ll step down off of my soapbox now. Thanks for reading, stay safe out there, and keep the rubber side down!