Biking to work to reduce your carbon footprint? We’re all for it—so long as you’re not a jerk about it. You know the type: The cyclist zipping through traffic, sans helmet, headphones in and the volume turned up. Yeah, that guy’s a jerk. To avoid becoming that two-wheeling stereotype, take a peek at our guide for being a likeable, totally-not-a-jerk urban biker.
First, brush up on our city bike laws—especially these basics:
- You’re required to follow all traffic laws.
- You should always ride with the flow of traffic (unless otherwise indicated).
- Hand signals are mandatory when turning.
- Helmets must be worn by children under the age of 17.
- Bikes are allowed on all public rights-of-way except limited access highways. (Remember this?)
Now, get to know a few rules of the road that, while not enforceable by law, every cyclist should follow:
- Riding on the sidewalk is permitted in Boston, but the city (and pretty much every pedestrian ever) encourages street use. Translation: Get off the sidewalk.
- If you’re over 17, you aren’t required to wear a helmet—but just know that if you don’t, everyone on the road hates you.
- While you’re strapping on that helmet, throw on a shirt and reflectors while you’re at it. Road burn isn’t a good look on anyone.
- En route jamming to your Spotify playlist? Fine by us—just pull out that left earbud (that’s the ear facing traffic), and turn down the volume. Heck, they even make single earbuds for just this purpose.
- Cyclists are allowed to ride side-by-side so long as cars can get by. But here’s the thing, no car is getting by without its driver suffering a mild heart attack in the process. So do everyone a favor and get behind your buddy, single-file style.
For more rules of the road, head here.