There are many ways to enjoy Spain. One of them, for the more sporty ones, is to travel through its towns and coast… on wheels. Not by car, no, but by bicycle. Spain is known for its wonderful trails and, bit by bit, the bicycle is becoming more and more popular as a means of transport in the cities.
We tell you what rules must be followed to ride a bicycle in Spain. Because sometimes you have to wear a helmet in the good life. 😉
How should I be equipped?
Cycling is not just about getting on the bike, pedalling and going forward. You have to prepare well, especially when it comes to protection. This is what you have to take into account when getting equipped to comply with the rules of cycling in Spain:
Wear a helmet, always
The use of a helmet depends on your age and where you are riding, but the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) recommends its use at all times. And so do we!
- On intercity roads and crossings, its use is mandatory (except in extreme heat conditions, long ascending ramps or for accredited medical reasons).
- On urban roads. It is mandatory only for those under 16 years of age.
Remember that the helmet must be approved. When it comes to your protection, do not be shy about buying a good helmet. Please note that you cannot connect the helmet to sound receivers or players. It is important to listen to what is going on around you.
Make sure you are seen clearly
When riding in low light hours, it is important to wear reflective clothing so that cars, motorcycles, pedestrians… can see you at a distance of 150 metres on intercity roads.
Just focus on pedalling
No distractions. The use of your mobile phone while cycling and the use of earphones connected to sound receivers or players is prohibited. Focus on pedalling. There is always time to check Instagram!
When you feel like enjoying some of the landscapes of our coast, stop without rushing. It is worth looking at them closely.
What rules should I follow?
Cycling is easy, but it is important to know what you can and cannot do. For your own sake, and for the sake of others. These are the rules of cycling in Spain:
On the road or in urban areas, always follow these rules:
- When cycling at night, through underpasses and tunnels, in addition to wearing a reflective vest, your bike must have a lighting system: a white position light at the front and a red one with a red reflector on the rear.
- If you take someone with you, they cannot be older than 7 years and the child must be seated in an additional approved seat.
- Naturally, the “don’t drink and drive” motto also applies to bicycles. The maximum alcohol level permitted is 0.5 g/l in blood and 0.25 mg/l in exhaled air.
- Signalling your manoeuvrers is essential to avoid any surprises. To turn to the right, extend your right arm horizontally with your palm downwards or use your left arm bent upwards and your palm extended. If you want to turn to the left, make the same movements as in the previous case but with your other arm. If you need to stop or slow down, indicate this by moving your arm up and down with short, quick movements.
How do I ride around town?
Whether you are in a town or a city, it is important not to be overconfident. There are vehicles and pedestrians everywhere! If you follow these rules, everything will be fine:
- Drive as close to the right of the road as possible. If you go in a group, you are allowed to ride in pairs side by side. If there is heavy traffic or any danger, you must ride in a row of one.
- You have priority over cars and motorcycles if you ride along a bicycle lane, a cycle path or a marked hard shoulder. In pedestrian areas, you must yield to them.
- Do not cross pedestrian crossings by bicycle. You must get off the bike and walk it.
- When overtaking, be very careful and make sure you can do it safely. The lateral distance from the vehicle you are passing should be at least 1.50 metres.
It is worth following these rules and discovering fantastic coastal towns, such as these in Alicante.
How do I cycle on the road?
Some roads have cycle paths. If you are not so lucky, remember to ride on the right-hand side of the road and, if that is not possible, do it as far to the right of the road as you can.
As on urban roads, to overtake you must signal it in advance, and make sure that the manoeuvrer is safe. The lateral distance from the vehicle you are overtaking must be at least 1.50 m.
Important: driving on motorways is completely prohibited. On dual carriageways, you can ride your bike as long as you are over 14 years old and you ride on the hard shoulder, unless there is a specific sign that prohibits it.
For more detailed information, please check the ‘Guía del ciclista’ (Cyclist’s guide) of the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT).
Now that you know the rules of cycling in Spain, there are many other sports that allow you to enjoy the good weather on the Spanish coast. Golf and sailing are our favourites! How about taking a boat along the most impressive navigable rivers?
As you can see, there is no room for boredom. At Sonneil we know how to enjoy the good life. Shall we help you?