Bike Etiquette 8 Rules: How To Bike Ride Best

The most crucial bike etiquette rules. The appropriate behavior when riding a bike. Avoid any embarrassments.

bicycle

What bike etiquette is

Bicycle etiquette is the set of rules to properly ride a bike.

General bike etiquette principles

Bicycle etiquette is based on two major underlying principles. 

  • Ensure road safety.
  • Facilitate traffic.

Apply extra care in circumstances that can present additional risk. 

  • Challenging weather.
  • Crowded areas.
  • Rush hour.
Bike etiquette.How to ride a bike. Etiquette principles to respect others while riding a bike.

Bike etiquette rules

1) Where it is appropriate to ride a bike 

Research and follow the local rules. Some cities regulate the use of bikes. 

In some towns, bikes may be required to ride only on bike lanes when one is available. Similarly, some towns require you to wear a helmet, while others do not.

As a general rule, when possible, ride on bike lanes. If you ride on the road, be respectful of traffic. Ride on the side of the road. Never ride a bike on the sidewalk.

Obviously:

  • At night, turn the lights on.
  • Do not ride a bike after drinking alcohol or while intoxicated.
  • Respect the speed limits.

2) How to manage your belongings on a bike

Bikes are not appropriate for carrying bulky items. 

You can carry bags or backpacks, as long as you can carry them on your shoulders. Avoid larger bags that can cause you to lose balance.

3) Bike seating etiquette

Sit on the seat. Keep both your feet on the pedals. Hold the handlebar with both hands. 

Avoid any other position. You risk losing balance or control of the bike, or to harm others.

4) How to dress on a bike

Avoid clothes that can be too revealing. Some skirts or trousers risk showing more than we would like.

Do not wear heels or uncomfortable shoes. You risk losing balance or being unable to ride properly. 

5) Bike riding etiquette: respect others

Never ride on the sidewalk or in traffic-free areas. 

Always keep a minimum distance between yourself and others. At least one meter on your sides, 2 or 3 meters on your front and back. 

When you are about to turn, signal it with your arm. Do not make sudden turns or stops.

6) Bike rules for kids

Make sure that your kids follow the same bike rules as adults. 

Keep your kids under control. Do not let them ride a bike on the street unattended. Always have them wear a helmet and elbow and knee protection.

7) Bicycle etiquette for pets

You should not ride a bike with your pet on it. You risk your and your pet’s safety.

8) Bike etiquette when you are not riding

Park the bike where it does not impede traffic or transit. Lock it in a designated area. Do not leave it in front of a door or in a narrow passage.

Do not bring your bike into closed places. Such as stores, bars, or the office

bike etiquette mistakes

Bike etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst bicycle etiquette mistakes. 

  • 10/10. Not respecting road rules.
  • 10/10. Riding a bike while intoxicated.
  • 8/10. Carrying bulky or heavy items on a bike.
  • 7/10. Wearing too revealing clothes on a bike.

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