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As a cyclist it is important to ride safely and follow traffic laws. Each time you venture out you have the opportunity to influence opinions about cyclists in a positive or negative way. Try focusing on behaviors that build respect and safer interaction with other modes of transportation. Consider what those around you might be expecting and try to be predictable as you travel. 


Campaign Videos


Campaign Materials


Shared Use Path Map


Bicycle Registration


Things you can do to increase respect/safety:

  • Signal to others when turning or stopping.
  • Emphasize visibility. Use front and rear lights, especially after dark, and consider adding reflective stripes to your bicycle, backpack, or jacket.
  • Wear a helmet and use a mirror mounted on the helmet or glasses.
  • Make eye contact with other travelers as you interact.
  • Exercise care when approaching intersections with driveways, streets, and paths.
  • Look out for pedestrians and drivers and yield the right of way when applicable.
  • When possible, politely announce “on your left” or “on your right” or ding a bell when passing a pedestrian on a path or sidewalk.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and alert for potential danger. Eliminate distractions such as headphones and electronic devices.
  • Look out for parked vehicles pulling into traffic; vehicles doors opening into your path; and debris on the road.
  • Stop at stop signs and traffic signals. A bicycle painted on the roadway at a stop light means this signal is adaptive, and it will sense you waiting at the stop light.
  • Ride right, but far enough out in the lane that you are visible to drivers and can avoid parked cars, road debris, or storm drains. Avoid riding on sidewalks when possible or reasonable.
  • If riding on a sidewalk, yield to pedestrians. When possible, ride in the direction of vehicle traffic when you are on the sidewalk.
  • Use care when crossing streets or driveways, checking over your shoulder when possible. It’s not always easy for a driver to see a cyclist on a sidewalk or shared use path.
  • Be predictable - Check over your shoulder or look both ways before merging or swerving when possible.
  • Always carry some ID when you ride, medical alerts as needed.  
  • Always lock your bike up when it is parked and unattended. Register your bike in case it is ever lost or stolen. 
  • Keep your bike in good working order - take care of your bike and it will take care of you.
  • Select your route based on conditions. For example, if you are bike commuting in the morning, consider the traffic volume along different routes; if it is windy, consider how that may affect your speed and stability.
  • Ride with friends - it makes the ride more pleasant and can make it safer as well if you work at helping each other stay safe and engaged.
  • Remember: Traffic laws apply to bicycles. Be familiar with these laws and obey them.
  • Ride no more than 2 wide on roadways or paths unless set aside for exclusive use of bicycles. Single file when traffic is heavy.
  • There areas where riding on sidewalks is prohibited. Be familiar of the rules in specific areas of the city.
  • If a vehicle is stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross safely do not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
  • When you see an emergency vehicle approaching pull to the right side of the roadway and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed.


Information on Ames ordinances that apply to cyclists can be found in the Ames Municipal Code.


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