California Bicycle Laws

California: A bicycle state of mind

Coastal roads that leave riders breathless. Mountain passes that make us gasp. Urban environments that motivate and challenge the cycling commuter. That’s California. Whether you’re a family bicyclist toting kids to school, a single track purist, an all-weather commuter, a fixie whipper, or a spandex-clad roadie, California’s terrain beckons you. California still has a long way to go as a cycling paradise, though. Motor vehicle and bike conflicts can happen. Understanding the law and your rights improves your odds, however. That’s why we’ve provided an overview of the California vehicle codes and laws governing cycling.

California Bicycle Helmet Law

Want to spark an argument, or at least get a debate going? Bring up the subject of bicycle helmets. Want to really turn the heat up? Start talking about mandatory bicycle helmet laws. While advice abounds from cyclists and non-cyclists alike about the necessity of wearing a helmet while riding, there is, as in physics, an equal and opposite reaction against that advice.

California Bicycle Rules of the Road: Stop Signs and Traffic Lights

There is probably no bicycling issue more divisive than how cyclists behave at stop signs and traffic lights. When drivers complain about cyclists, they will almost always repeat the old chestnut that “cyclists never stop at stop signs.” This is an especially remarkable complaint in California, when you consider that drivers here practically invented the “California stop.”