Bicycle rights and responsibilities

Both cyclists and motorists forget the details from time to time, so here is a review of the most common rights and responsibilities of Cyclists and the California Vehicle Code where it appears.

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. CVC 2120
That includes stopping at stop signs.

Roadway: Bicyclists traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic must ride as close to the right side of the road as safely possible, except when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, or if the lane is too narrow. CVC 21202 Bicyclists should take the entire lane where the pavement is too narrow or risk being “mirrored” by a daydreaming motorist (happens all the time, near misses at Aliso Bridge, Temple Hills, Park Avenue).

Direction of travel: Bicyclists must travel on the right side of the roadway in the direction of traffic, except when passing, making a legal left turn, riding on a one-way street, riding on a road that is too narrow, or when the right side of the road is closed due to road construction. CVC 21650
Motorists should share the road here, this is the space cyclists are given, so show some patience and slow down.

Sidewalks: Individual cities and counties control whether bicyclists may ride on sidewalks. CVC 21206
In Laguna Beach riding on sidewalks or the Boardwalk is illegal MC1002020

Brakes: Bicycles must be equipped with a brake that allows an operator to execute a one-braked-wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement. CVC 21201(a)
It makes just plain good sense to have brakes when riding around Laguna.

Lights: At night a white headlight visible from the front must be attached to the bicycle or the bicyclist. CVC 21201(d) and CVC 21201(e)
To be visible to motorists sharing your lane, a taillight is more important than a headlight.

Reflectors: At night bicycles must have the following reflectors:
Visible from the back: red reflector
Visible from the front & back: white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe or ankle. Visible from the side: 1) white or yellow reflector on the front half of the bicycle and 2) a red or white reflector on each side of the back half of the bike. These reflectors are not required if the bike has reflectorized front and back tires. CVC 21201(d)

Helmets: Bicyclists and bicycle passengers under age 18 must wear an approved helmet when riding on a bicycle. CVC 21212

Alcohol and drugs: Bicyclists may not ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. CVC 21200.5
If you’re drunk, you’re busted.

Pedestrians: Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within marked crosswalks or within unmarked crosswalks at intersections. Bicyclists must also yield the right-of-way to totally or partially blind pedestrians carrying a predominantly white cane or using a guide dog. CVC 21950 and CVC 21963

Parking: Bicyclists may not leave bicycles on their sides on the sidewalk or park bicycles in a manner which obstructs pedestrians. CVC 21210

More bike racks would help here.

Les Miklosy

Laguna Beach