Guide For Bicyclists
The Northwest Georgia region is a wonderful location for bicycling. Beautiful scenery, varied topography, and a variety of points of interest all contribute to a unique bicycling experience.
The bike routes displayed on the maps below are those identified in the North Georgia Regional Development Center Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Plan. The intent of the plan is to promote alternate methods for traveling to recreation areas, schools, work, and other activity centers.
These routes, although approved, do not yet contain the proposed improvements, such as additional lane width, dedicated bicycle lanes, etc. that is called for in the plan. “Share the Road” signs are installed in a few locations along the routes. Users should take this information into consideration, as well as each route’s rating for biking suitability and their own riding skills before deciding to use these routes.
Riding a bicycle is a big responsibility and all riders must learn all rules of safety before their first ride. Learn to ride the bicycle well before you venture onto the roadway.
Wear a Helmet
It’s just good sense. Helmets can prevent head injuries. Today’s helmets are light weight and comfortable, stronger and better looking. A helmet is as much a part of the bicycle as are handlebars and tires. The helmet should meet safety standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). State law requires all those under 16 to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
Follow the Rules of the Road
- Know your local traffic laws.
- Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits and lane markings.
- Signal in advance of a turn or stopping by using correct hand signals.
- Yield to pedestrians and to other vehicles as appropriate.
- Never wear headphones – they can hinder your ability to hear traffic.
- Ride on the right side with traffic flow – never ride against traffic.
- Ride single file in traffic; do not ride more than two- abreast at any time.
- Wear bright colored clothing that is highly visible.
- Equip the bike with reflectors on the front and rear. Rear reflectors should be red and at least 3 inches across. Also attach reflectors onto pedals and wheels.
- Use a bright, white headlight that can make you visible up to 500 feet away.
Share the Road
Both cyclists and motorists have a responsibility while on the road to be caring and courteous to one another and pedestrians. As road users, we must take the responsibility to respect the rights of all road users. Do your part by following these few simple rules:
- Reduce your speed when passing bicyclists.
- Don’t blast your horn when approaching bicyclists.
- Do NOT pass bicyclists if oncoming traffic is near.
- In bad weather give bicyclists extra trailing and passing room.
- Give at least 3 feet of passing space between you and the cyclist.
- Do NOT pass bicyclists if you will be making a right turn immediately afterward.
- Pay special attention around schools.
- Make eye contact, smile or wave to communicate with motorists.
- Be aware of pedestrians and other vehicles.
- Ride far enough out from the curb to avoid unexpected cars.
- Always check behind you before changing lanes.
- Use bells or horns to alert pedestrians and vehicles.
Bicycles and Georgia Law
Georgia law recognizes bicycles as vehicles and provides bicycle riders the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicle drivers. See Georgia Code Sections 36-60-5, 40-1-1, and 40-6-290 through 40-6-299 for details on these and all other laws pertaining to bicycling in Georgia.