top of page


The California Vehicle Code doesn’t just apply to motorized vehicles. It also encompasses bicycles and their riders.

With its year-round sunny skies and temperate climate, California is the perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities, such as biking. Riding bicycles is so commonplace in places like Glendale, California, that the city dedicated several plans to develop new bike paths through the area to further foster Glendale residents’ and visitors’ love of bicycles.

Maintaining your physical health and safety while riding bikes is essential, so California has some crucial laws to keep bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians safe. Glendale’s Municipal Code further fosters safe cycling within the city limits.

In this post, the Brand Law Group team discusses the important bicycle laws in Glendale, California. If you have questions about your specific situation, talk to a legal team member for personalized recommendations.

Bicycles and Sidewalks

Historically, much confusion arose around Glendale’s rules about riding a bicycle on a sidewalk in the city, as noted in the Glendale Safe and Health Streets Plan. Under the Glendale Municipal Code, cyclists cannot ride a bike on the sidewalk in a business district if there is a designated bicycle lane on the road. The exception is if the bicyclist is a peace officer or the sidewalk is part of a designated bike path

The California Vehicle Code generally defines business districts as those areas in which 50% or more of the property on one side of 600 feet of highway is dedicated to businesses. Bicycle Registration

Glendale requires that bicyclists, much like motorists, register their bikes with the city and obtain a “license plate” issued by law enforcement. The police department is in charge of giving you the license plate and putting it on your bike in an approved manner.

If you fail to register your bike or do not renew your bicycle registration when you are supposed to, the police can impound your bike.

Riding a Bicycle on or Near the Highway

The California Vehicle Code requires you to abide by the following rules when operating a bike on a highway:

  • The bicycle must have brakes that allow it to stop on dry, level, clean pavement.

  • The handlebars cannot be higher than the bicyclist’s shoulders.

  • The bicycle’s size must make sense for the person using it. The size of the bike cannot prevent the operator from being able to maneuver, stop, and restart the cycle safely.

Proper Bicycle Reflectors and Lights

California law requires that the bicyclist have sufficient lighting and reflectors to ride a bicycle when it is dark on the highway, a sidewalk, or a designated bike path. These include the following:

  • A lamp that emits white light in front of the bike and is visible 300 feet in front of and the sides of the bike. Alternatively, the cyclist can have a lamp or lamp combination attached to their person instead of a single light attached to the bike if it meets the lighting requirement.

  • A red reflector or flashing red light on the rear of the bike, and it is visible for 500 feet behind the bike.

  • A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, ankle, or shoe, and the reflector is visible for 200 feet to the front and rear of the bike.

  • Front and rear reflector tires. Alternatively, the bike can have white or yellow reflectors on each side in the front area of the bike and the rear area of the bike.

If you have questions about whether your bike meets Glendale’s or California’s laws, please do not hesitate to contact Brand Law and one of our attorneys will be happy to assist you.


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page