Biking is among the healthiest outdoor exercises you can engage in. It is also fun, and it allows you to bond with nature. As long as you have a quality bike, you can travel miles and miles away, enjoying the cool breeze or warm sunshine outside. Some people even use it as their primary means of transportation, thus saving some bucks at the end of the day.
One of the best things about the Golden State is that it is easily explorable by bike. California is full of biking paths, cycling tours, and events. You can also cycle on the road, even though protected roads are often considered safer. If you are considering cycling in one of the areas of the blue state, here are six things you should know about biking in California.
1. Wearing a Helmet
California is one of the states that have some strict laws that affect bikers. Wearing a helmet is essential. Whether you are on a street or a road, a public path or a trail, it is always essential to ensure you have a helmet. This does not only apply to the rider but also children restrained or those being towed behind the bike.
The fine for not having a helmet is relatively small, but the stakes are very high when you are involved in an accident. This is especially because, in most cases, a majority of bicycle users end up being blamed for causing bike traffic accidents. As Jim Pocrass and his team of LA bike accident lawyers provide more info, bike collisions often need good legal representation. A good accident attorney can help you navigate the complexities involved and ensure you or your loved one are fairly compensated after being involved in a bicycle accident. Nonetheless, the case becomes even easier to navigate if you had a helmet on at the time of the accident. If you are riding in California, grab your helmet before heading out.
2. Ride in the Direction of the Traffic
Most states haven’t clearly stated which direction is safest for riders while riding in traffic. In California, however, the laws state that riders should always ride in the traffic direction and on the right-hand side of the road. However, this law exempts those riding on one-way streets, narrow roads, or when the right side of the road is closed.
3. Use the Bicycle Lane
Most highways and streets in California have included bicycle lanes for bikers. This makes it easier for both the motorists and bikers in the state. These lanes are meant to separate motorists and bikers in traffic to avoid the unexpected. You are advised to keep in the designated bicycle lane unless when trying to turn, pass, or avoid a road hazard. If you are biking in California, you should know where the bike lanes are to be on the safe side, both on the law and for your safety.
4. Always Ride On the Extreme Right
As a biker, you know that there are times that you can’t catch up with motorist speed unless you are using an electric bike. Therefore, you are required to always keep right. When riding on with traffic, it is always advisable to ride on the extreme right. That way, speeding motorists can safely evade you, and also it makes it easier for you to jump into the sidewalk or the bike lane when you need to. So, if you are on the same road with traffic, keep your distance from other motorists for your own safety.
5. Where to Ride Moped and Electric Bikes
Different bike types are available depending on the speed you can ride them at. Type 3 bicycles (with a speed of up to 28mph) are not to be used on bike paths or lanes. These types of bicycles should be used on the main roads or on the bike lanes where the authorities have allowed. Every rider should have a helmet, and they are not to be used by riders under the age of 16 years.
6. Riding on the Sidewalk
There is no specific law in California governing whether or not bikers can use the sidewalk. This has been left for the city and county authorities to decide. Therefore, if you are riding, be keen to check whether you are allowed to ride on the sidewalk or not. Some of the local authorities treat this harshly, and you don’t want to pay fines for something you can avoid.
And that’s just about it. It is really crucial to be informed about the rules, opportunities, and interesting things about cycling in the location you are about to explore. The above are just a few things you should have in mind before cycling in California.