8 Tips For Bike Riding In The Bay Area
Environmentally friendly transportation is more than just a trend – cities all over NorCal are updating their infrastructure to make biking a long-term strategy. If you’ll be biking in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area, check out these tips for cycling safely:
Make Sure You’re Visible
There are certain times when you must have a light on your bike (more on that later), but it’s always a good idea to remain visible. In a city as foggy as SF, reflectors, and lights keep you safe on a daily basis.
Leave One Ear Free
It’s illegal to bike while wearing two earbuds in California. You can have one earbud or earphone playing while you ride, but the other ear must be free to hear oncoming traffic or other obstacles. Fines are over $100 for wearing both earbuds!
Signal All Turns
If you’re new to San Francisco biking, get familiar with hand signals. These signals let cars know when you’re merging or turning and could save your life.
Stick to the Right When Possible
California law dictates that cyclists stick to the right side of the road whenever possible. There are, however, exceptions. If you’re on a narrow street or there is an obstacle in the bike lane (such as a bus or street sweeper), you can “take the lane” and ride with other vehicles until a bike lane becomes available.
Use a Light at Night
Cyclists in the Bay Area must use lights and reflectors at night. Requirements include a headlight, reflectors on the pedals, and reflectors on the side of the bike.
Stop for Pedestrians
Some states give cyclists the right of way when they meet other pedestrians on the road. This is not so in California. If there are people walking through the crosswalk or along the side of the road, you are required to yield.
Investigate Local Sidewalk Laws
Riding on the sidewalk is a murky topic in the Bay Area. Some cities let bikers ride on the sidewalk and others don’t. In San Francisco, only cyclists under the age of 14 can use the sidewalk. In Oakland, bikes that have wheels no larger than 20” in diameter and a bike frame 14” or shorter may use the sidewalk. Check out local ordinances before you leave the road for the sidewalk.
Get New Fenders
The Bay Area gets a lot of rain, so fenders are a must. Bike fenders for the front and rear protect tires from rust and your legs from becoming soaking wet during an afternoon ride through puddles.
If you’re looking for a new bike in San Francisco, you’ve come to the right place. Our bicycles are great for urban use in the Bay Area and can also come in handy on your trip to Tahoe. Browse for a women's city bike or check out our men’s city bikes. You can customize your bicycle until it’s the perfect bike for you!
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