Rules of the Road

In North Carolina, bicycles are legally considered vehicles, so cyclists have full rights to use the road. Just remember, they are also subject to the regulations governing the operation of a vehicle and must obey all traffic laws.

If you're riding on any sidewalks in Cary, use caution and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.  

Bike Prep Checklist

For your safety and the safety of others, always check your bike before departing. 

Bicycle Tire TubeTIRES are sufficiently inflated, no tears or cuts. 

Bicycle brakesBRAKES are working and centered on rim.

Bicycle chain and sprocket CHAIN is clean and runs smoothly

bicycle quick release levers  QUICK RELEASE LEVERS are closed

Bicycle Front Forks and cables CABLES are taut with no crack, crimps, rust, or dirt

Bicycle ToolsTOOLS and supplies you'll need are packed

How to Ride

  • Be a defensive and predictable rider.
  • Ride on the right -- the same direction as traffic.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Ride no more than two abreast.
  • Cross railroad track at right angles. 

How to Pass

  • When passing another bike, give them plenty of space -- a minimum of 2 ft. (or 4ft. in a no-passing zone) is the law.
  • Allow some space when riding past parked cars. You never know when a door might open. 

Hand Signals 

When to Yield

  • Yield the right-of-way when you enter the road or change lanes.
  • If you're riding your bike on any sidewalk within Cary, use caution and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. 

What to Wear - You and Your Bike

  • At night, bicycles must be equipped with a front light and red rear light or reflector both visible from 300ft.
  • Wear a protective helmet with a secure chin strap (see diagram below for correct fit).
  • Wear bright clothing so people can see you.

Getting the Right Fit

Use the Eyes, Ears, Mouth Check to ensure your helmet fits. 

Person wearing properly fit helmet, straps below ears and under chin, front aligned with center of forehead

Eyes. When you look up you should see the front rim of the helmet, sitting one-two finger widths above your eyebrows.

Ears. The side straps should come to a "V" just below each ear.

Mouth. When you open your mouth wide, you should feel the helmet push down on your head. 

It's the Law!

Every person 15 years of age or under riding a bicycle, skates, skateboard, scooter, or other similar vehicle on a street, sidewalk or greenway, must wear a protective helmet with the chin strap securely fastened under the chin.

Love Your Bike? Lock it Up.

  • Lock your bike in a well-lit and visible location (try out the lockers at the Cary Depot).
  • Make sure your bike doesn't block sidewalks, paths, doorways, or other vehicles.
  • Lock your wheel and bike frame to a sturdy base rack or post.
  • U-locks are best, followed by heavy duty cable locks.
  • Write down your bike's serial number here and take a picture so you can share it with the police if it's stolen. 

 Bicycle locked through center rail and front wheel



Bike Rack Request

Cary has an adopted bicycle parking ordinance to require bicycle parking spaces as part of all new development. To make a bike rack request at an existing location, please contact Todd Milam.


Todd Milam
Facilities Planner
Transportation & Facilities Department
(919) 462-3945