The diversity of cycling in WA ranges from the professional groups of cyclists sweeping through the suburbs and river paths in their matching gear, to the MAMIL’s (middle aged men in lycra) frequenting the cafes to the 6 year old tearing around the pump track on his new wheels.
Perth conditions are great for cycling as we have such great weather for most of the year and if you want some hills to challenge the lungs and quads then you can head up to Lesmurdie or Mundaring.
Where can I ride?
Cyclists of all ages are permitted to ride on the footpaths in Western Australia. Cyclists of all ages are also permitted to ride on the roads, however the WA police recommend that children under nine do not ride on the roads unsupervised.
Bike paths, cycling routes and trails
Westcycle has a great list of suitable cycling paths and routes around Perth metro and regional areas. Check it out here.
There are a variety of cycling groups around from completely social to professional, depending on what your challenge is.
‘The Golden Oldies’ Over 55 Cycling Club is for mature age cyclists. It is welcoming, social and supportive and members ride for fun and to keep fit and healthy. They also have many social events and trips.
To use the roads lawfully in Western Australia, a bicycle must have a functioning rear wheel brake, a bell or other warning device, a red reflector on the rear, a yellow side reflector on each wheel and yellow reflectors on both side edges of each pedal.
When riding at night or in hazardous weather, cyclists must have a front white light and a red rear light that is visible from 200 metres.
When riding on roads, cyclists must wear an approved helmet with the straps fastened. A passenger in a trailer and a child in a child carrier seat must also wear helmets.
Cyclists must obey all the same road rules as other vehicles, including obeying Stop and Give Way signs and not riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are also a number of additional cycling rules. These include:
Cyclists must have one hand on the handlebars at all times while riding;
Cyclists must not ride within two metres of the rear of a vehicle for a distance of over 200 metres;
Cyclists must not hold onto another vehicle or be towed by it;
Cyclists are not permitted to ride on a freeway;
Cyclists must not ride with more than two cyclists abreast. When riding abreast, the two bicycles must not be more than 1.5 metres apart;
Cyclists must not ride recklessly or carelessly;
Cyclists must not ride in pedestrian malls or plazas;
Cyclists must use hand signals to turn left, to turn right or to stop
Penalties – Motorists
* Motorists failing to overtake a cyclist allowing a passing distance of 1 metre (up to 60km/h) 1.5 metres (over 60km/h) = 4 demerit points and $400 fine
* Entering a green bicycle box (at some intersections) = 2 demerit points and $200 fine.
Penalties – Cyclists
* Cyclists riding more than two abreast (with up to 1.5m between riders) = $50 fine Not wearing a helmet = $50 fine
* Failure to have at least one effective brake and working warning device (e.g. bell) = $100 fine
* Failure to have correct lighting for visibility = $100 fine
* Riding less than 2m behind a vehicle = $100 fine
* Passing on the left of a vehicle that is turning left = $100 fine
Motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians have a joint responsibility to share the road respectfully and safely and obey the road rules. Cyclists are vulnerable road users, so for their safety extra precautions and awareness are required from all road users alike.
Motorists responsibility with cyclists
If you’re a motorist, only pass a cyclist when you have a clear view of the road ahead and if there’s enough space for you to pass. You may legally cross continuous white lines to safely pass a cyclist. Remember to indicate.
When travelling on roads with a speed limit up to 60km/h, allow 1 metre between your vehicle and the cyclist to pass safely;
When travelling on roads with a speed limit over 60km/h, allow 1.5 metres to pass a cyclist.
Other laws for motorists sharing the road with cyclists:
Must give way to cyclists if crossing an on-road bicycle lane;
Before opening a car door, ensure there isn’t a bicycle rider in the way;
When turning left – if a cyclist is in front, allow them to pass before making a turn;
Must not enter the green bicycle boxes (at some intersections).
Cyclists responsibilities on roads
TIP: Riding two abreast makes people on bikes more visible. If you’re a cyclist who likes riding in a group, you shouldn’t ride any more than two abreast. When the road narrows, do the courteous thing and move into single file. It keeps everyone safe and allows drivers to pass you safely.
Must wear a helmet that is properly fastened;
Must have at least one brake and a warning device (bell/horn) working;
Must use a front white light and rear red light which can be seen for 200m during the night and in conditions of poor visibility. A red rear reflector visible for 50m is also required;
Can ride two side-by-side on the road, with up to 1.5m between riders;
Can’t ride less than 2m behind a vehicle;
Are not allowed to pass on left of a vehicle that is turning left;
Must give way to vehicles exiting a roundabout;
Should ensure visibility by wearing reflective or fluorescent clothing;
When travelling on the road, can be on the left of a road’s edge line.
Section 213 of the Road Traffic Code 2000 makes it compulsory for cyclists to utilise the bike lane where one is provided. These lanes are designed to make roads safer by providing a designated space for cyclists on the road. They are also designed to facilitate traffic flow and travel of both bicycles and other vehicle.
Register your bike
Join the free, award winning Bikelinc network, where you register your bike so that should it ever be lost or stolen then the police and your community can provide a much greater chance to help return your bike to you.