Cycling Safety in France
The incomparable thrill of discovering all that France has to offer by bicycle is meaningless if you are not safe. France might be renowned for many small, beautiful and quiet roads, but there are still rules that need to be followed.
The majority of motorists are respectful towards cyclists, and you are more likely to hear a gentle 'beep' to warn you that they are approaching than an irate blare of the horn. It is still best to be aware and expect the unexpected.
All the bikes and accessories supplied by BikeHireDirect comply with French safety standards, and below we have listed some of, what we think are, the most important pointers to cycling safely and legally in France.
To be safe...
- Always wear a helmet
- Always be alert
- Always wear bright coloured clothing
- Always check the weather forecast
- Always observe the highway code
- Always respect others, and the environment
- Always leave a safe distance when following another rider
- Always leave plenty of room when overtaking
- Always maintain a reasonable speed
- Never weave between cars
- Never use your phone when cycling
To obey the law and avoid being fined…
- Always come to a complete stop at a ‘stop’ sign or red light
- Always give way other vehicles at an intersection with a ‘cédez le passage’ sign
- Always give way to traffic coming from your left at a roundabout
- Always cycle on the right hand side of the road, and if there is a cycle lane, use it
- Always use front and rear lights, and wear a reflective vest at night or when visibility is poor
- Never cycle more than two abreast when in a group, and at night always ride in single file
- Never ride on the pavement, unless you are under 8 years
- Never cycle on the motorways
There is an excellent network of 'Voie Vertes' across France, which are specifically for the use of cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders, and other non-motorised users. They are often disused railway lines, and tend to have good rest areas and facilities. There is an unofficial code of conduct for these routes, which is basically common sense...
- Always keep in mind that different users will have different expectations and speeds
- Always keep to the far right of the track
- Always warn slower users that you are approaching
- Always take your rubbish with you
- Always respect the property and 'tranquility' of private property owners alongside the tracks
- Always keep pets on a lead
- Always be alert for service vehicles that may need to use the tracks
- Always be respectful of fishermen when cycling alongside the waterways
- Never take up the full width of the track if in a group
- Never park in the middle of the track