Bike Safety

ABC Quick Check

A if for Air

  • Inflate tires to rated pressure as listed on the sidewall of the tire.
  • Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure.
  • Check for damage to tire tred and sidewall; replace if damaged.

B is for Brakes

  • Inspect pads for wear; replace if there is less than 1/4" of pad left.
  • Check pad adjustment; make sure they do not rub tire or dive into spokes.
  • Check brake level travel; at least 1" between bar and lever when applied.

C is for Cranks, Chain and Cassette

  • Make sure that your crank bolts are tight; lube the threads only, nothing else.
  • Check your chain for wear; 12 links should measure no more than 12 1/8 inches.
  • If your chain skips on your cassette, you might need a new one or an adjustment.

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Bicycle Safety Equipment Requirements Reflectors
The California Vehicle Code (VC 21201, 21204) requires that bicycles be equipped as follows:

  • Brakes
    Must allow one braked wheel to skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
  • Handlebars
    Must be set so rider’s hands are no higher than his/her shoulders when holding the normal steering grip area.
  • Seat
    Bicycle must have a permanent and regular attached seat.
  • Bicycle Size
    Must be small enough for rider to stop safely, support bike in an upright position with at least one foot on the ground, and restart safely.
  • Night Riding
    When riding during darkness, bicycles must be equipped with the following:
    • White headlight, attached to the bicycle or the rider, that illuminates the road and is visible from a distance of 300 feet to the front and the sides of the bicycle.
    • Red reflector mounted on the rear of the bicycle that is visible from 500 feet to the rear.
    • White or yellow reflector mounted on each pedal that is visible 200 feet to the front and rear of the bicycle.
    • White or yellow reflectors on each side, forward of the center; and white or red reflectors on each side, rear of center. Side reflectors are usually mounted on wheel spokes. Bicycles with front and rear reflectorized tires that meet DMV requirements don’t require side reflectors.

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Bicycle Maintenance

Bicycles require routine maintenance to assure proper operation.

  • While riding, listen for sounds of rubbing, squeaks and rattles and immediately investigate their sources. Slipping (free wheeling) or difficulty changing gears may mean that gear cable tension is too loose or too tight (multi-speed bikes).
  • Check for loose tension on the drive chain and be sure to check your brakes.
  • Use a tire gauge every few days. Proper pressure is indicated on the tire sidewall or in your bicycle manual. Check for cracks, cuts, bulges. Remove imbedded stones, nails, glass, etc.
  • Adjust seat and handlebars to fit.
  • Oil and clean moving parts, keeping oil off rubber. Wipe off excess oil.
  • Tighten and/or adjust loose parts. Make sure handle grips are glued or tightly secured to handlebars.
  • Where possible, store your bike indoors; moisture will cause rust.
  • Keep your bicycle clean by wiping dust away with a soft cloth. Wipe it dry when it gets wet.

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Theft Precautions

    Bike locked
  • Always lock your bike when leaving it.
  • Lock your bike to a fixed, immovable object, such as a bike rack.
  • Lock your bike in a visible, well-lit area.
  • Jot down the make, model, and serial number of your bike and keep it in a safe place. If your bike is stolen, you will need to identify it.
  • Use a U-shaped high security lock and/or heavy duty case-hardened chain and padlock to secure your bike.
  • Always secure your components and accessories, especially quick-release components, with a secondary lock.

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Bike Helmets

Never ride your bicycle without a helmet. Wearing a bicycle helmet is not only smart- it’s required by law if you’re under age 18. Vehicle Code Section 21212 prohibits persons under 18 from riding or being a passenger on a bicycle without wearing helmets meeting specified standards (ANSI or SNELL).

Bicycle helmets can reduce serious head injuries in a crash, but they must fit properly to protect your head. Select the smallest helmet shell size that fits comfortably over your head. Leave two-fingers width between your eyebrows and the front of the helmet. The helmet should be level with the ground when you’re standing upright. If your helmet is tilted toward the back of your head, your forehead will be exposed to injury. The straps on the helmet should be joined just under each ear at the jawbone; and straps should be snug enough that you can’t remove the helmet without releasing the buckle. Keep helmets away from heat and sunlight when not in use. Helmets should be replaced after the impact of an accident or even after several years of wear and tear.

Every autumn the city holds Roseville Bikefest, a free family bike safety event. The public can attend for helmet fitting, bicycle safety checks, and to learn important bike safety information. Visit for event details.   


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Bike and Bus

Did you know that you can take your bike on Roseville Transit buses? All buses have front-mounted bike racks that are convenient and easy to use. Commuting by bike and/or bus is a great idea and it reduces the number of automobiles on the road, which helps improve air quality and relieve traffic congestion in the region. Watch this video clip on using bus bike racks. For information on Roseville Transit call 745-7560 or visit

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Hand Signals

(Vehicle Code Section 22111)

All required signals given by hand and arm shall be given in the following manner:

Left Turn
Left hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle.

Right Turn
Left hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle or right hand and arm extended horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.

Stop or Sudden Decrease in Speed
Left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.

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Road Tips

The following recommendations are based on state law, local ordinances, good cycling practice, and common sense. When in doubt as to the correct or legal action or maneuver to make in any given cycling situation, remember that in California every bicyclist riding on a street or highway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle. Furthermore, experienced bicyclists know that they fare best when they are treated as drivers of vehicles.

Obey Traffic Signs and Signals
Cyclists must drive like motorists if they want to be taken seriously. Doing so is also the safest behavior. When approaching a stop sign or red light, you are required to come to a complete stop (cease forward motion) and proceed only when safe to do so.

Use Hand Signals
Signal to other drivers; your movements affect them. Hand signals tell everyone what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, courtesy, and self-protection.

Use “Loop” Vehicle Detectors
Some traffic lights will only be triggered by traffic passing over buried induction “loop” detectors or being in the right position to activate video detectors.

Some intersections have special symbols which indicate the optimal position for your bike to activate the signal; other detectors can be recognized by filled-in cuts in the roadway. Ride over the cut line for best response. If our bike doesn’t trip the signal, wait for a motor vehicle to come up from behind or dismount and cross as a pedestrian.

Watch Your Speed
Observe posted speed limits and obey the basic speed law. Never ride faster than is safe under existing conditions.

Don’t Weave Between Parked Cars
Don’t ride the curb between parked cars. Motorists may not see when you try to move back into traffic.

Follow Lane Markings
Don’t turn left from the right lane. Don’t go straight in a lane marked “right turn only.” Stay to the left of the right turn only lane if you are going straight.

Choose the Best Way to Turn Left
There are two ways to make a left turn. (1) Like a motorist: Signal, move into the left lane, and turn left. In a left turn only lane, stay to the right of the lane to allow any motorists (2) Like a pedestrian: Ride straight across the far-side crosswalk, dismount, and walk your bike across.

Be Careful When Passing On the Right
Motorists may not look for or see a cyclist passing on the right. Watch for any signs that the motorist might turn into your path.

Respect Pedestrians’ Rights
Pedestrians in a crosswalk have the right of way. Don’t cross sidewalks via driveways without yielding to pedestrians. Be especially aware of pedestrians with disabilities.

Watch for Cars Pulling Out
Make eye contact with drivers. Assume they don’t see you until they stop.

Scan the Road Behind
Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving left. A rear-view mirror is a good idea, but don’t rely on it alone in difficult traffic conditions.

Ride in a Straight Line
Ride to the right of faster traffic in a straight line about a car door’s width away from parked cars.

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City of Roseville
Alternative Transportation Division
316 Vernon Street, Suite 150
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 774-5293
(916) 746-1333 Fax
(916) 774-5220 TDD

View Roseville's Parks, Trails & Bikeways Map