Rides — Riding Tips
The following are some riding tips which will hopefully let you enjoy safe cycling. Some of this was based from the RTA’s CycleWays maps. Call 1 800 060 607 to get your own free set. Otherwise, get an electronic version right now from the RTA.
As a cyclist, you are a legal road user. This gives you the same rights and responsibilities as other road users. Make sure you understand the rules and follow them. For a full list of the traffic rules, see the RTA.
Keep as close to the left hand as possible and safe. Do not ride on the gutter — drivers won’t see you and will squeeze past you. Do not weave in and out of parked cars, and keep away from opening doors. While approaching parked cars, check if there is a driver inside, and if there is exhaust coming out.
If there is one, use it! This may be safer than the road.
Passing on the left
You are allowed to pass stationary cars when approaching an intersection, as long as it is safe.
Pedestrian CrossingsYou must give way to predestrians on crossings, just like cars and motorbikes.
You must signal what you are doing, whether turning or stopping, while making sure you keep control of the bike while doing this. One of car drivers’ favourite complaints is that cyclists are ‘unpredictable’, and this can cause accidents.
It is legal to ride two abreast, although in some cases riding single file may be the nice thing to do, to let cars pass you.
Bus and Transit Lanes
You are allowed to ride on bus and transit lanes, but not on ‘bus only’ lanes.
New to Cycling
Get your confidence up by riding on off-road cycleways and empty car parks. Get in touch with your local bicycle group (like CAMWEST!), and go on rides with them. These are not ‘athlete’ clubs. They’re just a bunch of people that love cycling and want to help others enjoy it too. See our Rides and the About Us section.
Children need special supervision. If they are under 12, they are allowed to ride on footpath, as well as adults supervising them.
You don’t have a choice about this one — you must wear one. Get a lightweight one, and make sure it fits you well.
Make sure you have some kind of bell to warn pedestrians you’re coming. You can get some great compressed-air horns, to make your presence felt to car drivers.
Make sure they are working, and that you know how to use them. If braking hard, shift your weight back so you don’t go over the handlebars.
At night, it’s crucial to be seen. Think “Christmas tree”. Use a red light at the back and a white one at the front. The flashing LED lights are great — very visible, and they last for ages. It’s also good to have a red reflector at the back, just in case.
Be seen! Wear bright stuff, white or yellow. You can get reflector vests from most bike shops.
Learn to look after your bike. Check your breaks, tyres, chain, and lights. Use your local bike shop.
Always lock your bike with a good lock to an immovable object. Use bike lockers at railway stations. Keep the bike’s serial number and a description, just in case you need to give details to the police. If your bike is stolen, let us know and we will publish a notice on our web site to warn other riders to keep an eye for it.