Places for People > How to bike safely and confidently

Classes, online instruction, and rules of the road

BikeWalkKC offers classes and clinics throughout the year to keep you biking and walking safely and with confidence. Our Confident City Cycling and Maintain Your Ride sessions are designed to provide hands-on instruction and support. We've also created a series of short videos so you can practice in the comfort of your home. Join us for an upcoming course, or participate in one of our virtual sessions.

Understand the basics: Rules of the Road to know before you go

  • Remember, a bike is a vehicle, just like a car. Bike riders are subject to many of the same traffic laws as automobiles — like stopping at red lights, riding in the direction of traffic, and giving right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk. 
  • Behaving predictably and confidently is necessary while riding on city streets. 
  • Pedestrians always have the right of way; always yield to pedestrians. As our potential to cause harm increases on the street, so does our responsibility to others. Slowing down and giving someone the respect they deserve will go a long way towards fostering a sense of shared responsibility that will ultimately make KC’s streets better for people who bike, walk and even drivers.
  • Hand signals: Using hand signals is essential to let others know your intentions. 
  • Crosswalks: When riding your bike, don’t stop in the crosswalk. Leave them clear so pedestrians can cross easily.
  • Sidewalks: In many parts of the city, bikes are prohibited on sidewalks. If you are riding on a multi-use path (e.g. the Trolley Trail), always ride as far to the right as possible. Pass slower traffic on the left, use your bell or clearly say “passing on your left,” and give at least three feet while passing. 
  • “Salmoning:” When riding your bike, always ride in the direction of traffic -- and make no mistake, when you’re on a bike, you are traffic.
  • Red Lights and Stop Signs: No one can see how good-looking your bike is if you ride through intersections without stopping. See rule #1: a bike is a vehicle and riders should follow all posted road signs.
  • Lights and Bells: Front and rear lights are recommended (though not currently required by law), especially if you’re riding at night. Having a bell lets people know you’re approaching.
  • Helmets: Helmets are a good idea, but are not currently required by law. Pro tip: our bike shop business partners offer discounts on helmets and equipment for BikeWalkKC members!

Did You Know?

In many parts of the region, households spend more on transportation than housing.