Is It Legal to Cycle on The Highways in California?

In most cases, it’s illegal for cyclists to ride on California’s highways. There are, however, a few freeways that allow for legal bicyclist travel.

Almost all of these bicyclist-friendly highways are located in SoCal’s famous desert areas and include roads like I-8, I-15, I-10, and I-40. To see the exact locations of these approved-biking stretches, please consult this link on the California Association of Bicycling Organizations’ website.

Please keep in mind all of the cyclist-approved roads mentioned above are only legal at the state level. California Vehicle Code §21960 gives local authorities the ability to change their policies on freeway cycling at their discretion.

This means the highway you’re cycling on could be legal at the state level but illegal at the county level. For this reason, cyclists interested in biking any of the routes listed above should inquire about local laws and contact area representatives.

Also, considering most of these approved roads are in desert areas, it’s highly advised cyclists take extreme precautions when out cycling. Please let friends and family know where you’re traveling to and your expected time of arrival. Health officials also recommend carrying plenty of water, snacks, and a fully charged cell phone to prepare for an emergency scenario.

Cyclists who are traveling along one of these highways into Arizona should familiarize themselves with freeway legislation in this neighboring state. In general, Arizona allows cycling on freeway shoulders outside of the big cities like Phoenix and Tucson. However, it’s a good idea to contact the Arizona Department of Transportation before heading on your chosen freeway.

If you do happen to be injured in a bicycle accident, research more information about retaining a bicycle attorney. At Bay Area Bicycle Law, we understand the pain and suffering you are going through. Because we are a full-service firm, we handle all the legal legwork necessary on your behalf, so that you can focus all of your energy on healing and recovery. We want to make your life easier, and we will fight to make sure you receive the help you deserve.

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