Cycling Etiquette

Rules of the Road

  • Riding with TBN, helmets are mandatory
  • Follow the Rules of the Road as defined in the Highway Traffic Act—a bike is a vehicle.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals. This includes traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Signal all turns and stops. Give adequate warning to cyclists behind you by calling out "stopping" when you intend to stop.
  • Stay to the right, except to pass. Pass on the left side only. Do not pass on the right.
  • Do not cross the yellow centre line at any time.
  • Make left turns from the center of the road or left turn lane. If unsafe to do so, walk bike across at a light.
  • Keep your place in traffic. At a light, don't squeeze in between waiting cars and the curb; wait behind the car that arrived there ahead of you.


  • Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
  • Never ride on the right side of a vehicle, especially a truck. A cyclist is invisible to many truck drivers and this has led to many accidents, and even fatalities.
  • When passing a rider, allow at least two bike lengths before cutting back in.
  • Communicate with your fellow riders, using proper cycling terms, such as "On your left," "Car back," etc.
    • Car back ... move to single file on the right hand side of the road or shoulder. Give way to the car... they are bigger than you and they will win.
    • On your left ... allow the person coming up behind you to pass safely within the lane; not crossing over into the other lane. If necessary move to the right.
  • Be patient, and do not cross busy roads until you can do it safely.
  • Try to avoid riding alone. Find someone who rides at your own pace. In case of emergency there is someone there to help.
  • Make sure your bike is in good working order. Always carry a spare tube and a few basic tools.
  • When stopping to regroup don't block the road.
  • Ride in control of your bike at all times. (e.g. Being able to stop within a reasonable distance.)
  • It is legal to ride two abreast, but on busy roads, ride in single file. Never ride three abreast.
  • When climbing hills, avoid following a wheel too closely. Many riders often lose their momentum when rising out of the saddle on a hill, which can cause a sudden deceleration.


  • At all times be respectful and considerate of other riders.
  • Do not take actions that have the potential to injure other riders, such as riding with hands off handlebars.
  • Always ride in a straight line. Ride far enough out from the curb to maintain a straight line, clear of sewer grates, debris, potholes, and parked car doors
  • Ride predictably and do not wander over the road.
  • Do not use Aero bars in a group.
  • Point out and call out serious road hazards ahead.
  • While you are not expected to conduct repairs for other riders in distress, stop in case you can provide some form of assistance.
  • If you come up on a rider, say 'on your wheel' to let him/her know that you are there. Before you draft, get his/her permission; it might be that she/he prefers to ride alone, or does not want an unknown rider on his/her wheel.

Group (Pack) Riding Etiquette

  • When riding socially with a group, it is usually expected that each group member will take a turn pulling at the front; however, if you are not up to pulling, remain at the back of the group so that you do not interfere with the rotation of other riders.
  • If you are not pulling, and the group expresses the wish that you not ride with them, respect their wishes.
  • When you take a turn pulling, ensure that your pace is the one that has been established by the group. If you want to go faster, do a normal turn at the front before jumping off.
  • Do not overlap wheels. A slight direction change or gust of wind can easily cause you to touch wheels and fall.
  • Signal your intentions to the riders behind you. Learn the signals used by the group you ride with. If you don't know the signals, ask.

Contents Copyright © The Toronto Bicycling Network Inc.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software