Riding Safely in SB

Whether you're riding to work, school, or for fun, you should know the rules of the road for cyclist. You can take the time to read the California Vehicle Code that Pertains to Bicycling. But here are some very important parts:

Riding on the Road:

"Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle." Bicycle riders must obey the same rules as vehicle drivers. This includes stopping at red lights and stop signs.

California Vehicle Code: CVC 21200Sharrow.jpg

 When riding slower than the normal speed of traffic, you are required to ride as far right as “practicable” (meaning safe). You are not required to ride as far right as possible, which may not be safe.

 Bicycles Allowed Use of Full Lane: CVC 21202

If a travel lane is too narrow to safely share side by side with a motor vehicle, you can prevent unsafe passing by taking the lane (riding near the center of the lane). On two-lane roads where it’s illegal or unsafe to pass, you must turn off the roadway at a designated or safe location to allow a line of 5 or more vehicles behind you to pass. 

Avoid the Door Zone CVC 22517

No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonable safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic.

Avoid Riding on Sidewalks

Each city in California has its own rules about riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Some cities allow sidewalk riding, some don't.

Sidewalk riding is a violation of the municipal code in Santa Barbara 10.52.130

You can file a Police Report: call 911

You have the right to file a police report if you've been involved in a collision resulting in injury or property damage. Take notes & photos. Get the police report number from police officers on the scene. You also have the right to file a police report for cases of motorist assault.


Every bicycle operated upon any highway during darkness shall be equipped (1) with a lamp emitting a white light which, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle; (2) with a red reflector on the rear which shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle; (3) with a white or yellow reflector on each pedal visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet; and (4) with a white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle, and with a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles which are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need not be equipped with these side reflectors. Such reflectors and reflectorized tires shall be of a type meeting requirements established by the department.

A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp required by clause (1) of subdivision (d)


Become a confident rider in Santa Barbara, take on of our classes, here's a video to get you started:

Hey, if you liked that video, check out this video:

SBBIKE also offers a three part course where you can learn all about the best bike for you, riding your bike with confidence, basic maintenance, and some skills for bike riding in the urban environment and beyond. Learn more here.


  You can also take the "classroom" portion by taking our online Ride Safely Quiz, and then you can complete the hands-on and on-road part with SBBIKE, offered free every other month.



Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition
Phone: 805.845.8955
Mail: PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190
Location: 506 E. Haley Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93103