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Trail Etiquette

1. Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.

2. Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

3. Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.

4. Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.

5. Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.

6. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding, and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.  

Please check this article on singletracks.com for the full list and more tips.

Road Safety

1. Put down the phone. We shouldn’t even need to say this, but talking on the phone, texting, or checking Instagram while biking are major no-nos. Also refrain from listening to headphones because they can make it more difficult to hear approaching cars and pedestrians.

2. Ride in a straight line. This one’s self-explanatory, but riding in a predictable fashion makes it easier for cars to go around (and not into) you.

3. Stay on the right side of the lane, in a single-file line with other cyclists (not two or three abreast). If the street is too narrow for cars to pass, cyclists are allowed to ride in the middle of the lane to increase visibility. Keep an eye out for parked cars (or rather, doors from parked cars opening into the street). Avoid the dreaded door-into-cyclist snafu by staying a little bit closer to the center of the street if there are parked cars. Also, move towards the left side of the lane when turning left.

4. Stay out of drivers’ blind spots, especially at traffic lights or stop signs.  

5. Always keep at least one hand on the handlebars. Save the “look, Ma, no hands!” tricks for the driveway at home.

6. Signal well and make eye contact with drivers before making a turn or slowing down.

7. Don’t drink and bike (duh).

8. Stay visible. Wear bright colors for daytime riding and reflective materials for night.

9. Consider sporting a mirror to keep track of cars behind you.

10. Travel with a mini tool kit. If your trek is more than 10 minutes or down a lonely stretch of road, you’ll thank us. Take the time to learn how to do a few quick repairs in advance of any big rides so you don’t get stranded!

11. Check local municipal and state traffic laws before hitting the road. Major cities and certain states have different regulations, so study up before rolling out.

Check this article on greatist.com for a more comprehensive guide.

 
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Utah Laws Regarding Bikes

Riding With Traffic

Ride in the same direction as traffic (41-6a-1105).

Ride as far to the right as practicable except when (41-6a-1105):

  • Passing another bike or vehicle
  • Preparing to turn left
  • Going straight through an intersection past a right-turn-only lane
  • Avoiding unsafe conditions on the right-hand edge of the roadway
  • Traveling in a lane too narrow to safely ride side-by-side with another vehicle

Ride no more than two abreast and then only if you would not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic (41-6a-1105).

In some instances where a usable off-roadway bike path has been provided, you may be directed by an official traffic control device to use the path rather than the roadway (41-6a-1105).

Signaling

To make a left turn, you have two options as a bicyclist:

Use the left turn lane or two-way left turn lane in the same manner required of motor vehicles (41-6a-801) or

Staying on the right side of the roadway, ride through the intersecting roadway to the far corner and stop. After it is safe and legal to do so, cross going in the new direction, continuing to travel on the right side of the roadway (41-6a-1108).

Always signal your intention to turn right or left, change lanes, or stop at least two seconds before doing so (41-6a-804). You do not have to maintain a continuous signal if you need your hand to control the bike. Once stopped in a designated turn lane you are not required to signal again before turning (41-6a-1109)

The acceptable hand signals are:

  • Left turn – left hand and arm extended horizontally
  • Right turn – left hand and arm extended upward or right hand and arm extended horizontally
  • Stop or decrease speed – left hand and arm extended downward (41-6a-804)
  • Motorists may not pass within 3-feet of a moving bicycle. Motorists may not attempt to distract a bicyclists (41-6a-706.5).

Is My Bike Street Legal?

  • You are required to have a white headlight, red taillight or reflector, and side reflectors, all visible for at least 500 feet (41-6a-1114) any time you ride earlier than a half hour before sunrise, later than a half hour after sunset, or whenever it is otherwise difficult to make out vehicles 1000 feet away (41-6a-1603).
  • You must have brakes capable of stopping you within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement (41-6a-1113).
  • You cannot have a siren or whistle on your bike (41-6a-1113).

For the full list of Utah Cycling Laws that is easy to understand check out bikeutah.org