Bicycles and motorbikes
Many Victorians get around on two wheels every day. It can be an economical way of commuting, as well as having a lower environmental impact.
It's also a very social form of transport, with both motorbike riders and bicycle riders getting together for organised or informal rides most weekends.
But every road user – motorists, motorbike and bicycle riders – needs to understand that those on two wheels are usually more vulnerable. This is why we offer RACV Bike Assist – roadside assistance for bike riders.
We also offer a range of advice for cyclists and motorbike riders to help keep you safe on the road. For starters, however, as a cyclist or a and motorbike rider, it's important to keep yourself visible as much as possible to motorists and behave predictably. Motorists should also be aware of the possibility of a bike or motorbike rider being around and drive accordingly. And people using shared paths along our rivers, creeks and foreshores can make the most of the experience by respecting each other's presence and staying safe and alert.
RACV has a range of policies, programs and initiatives to promote the benefits and safety of motorbikes, bikes and their riders. It's all about sharing roads and paths to the mutual benefit of one and all.
RACV's top bike FAQs
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about bike riding:
- How much space should passing drivers give cyclists? In Victoria, there is no minimum passing difference, so be aware of motorists on the road. As a rule of thumb, we recommend motorists leave one metre when overtaking a bike, and 1.5 metres when driving at speeds over 60km/h.
- Can you ride on a footpath? If you are an adult riding with a child younger than 12 years of age, you can ride on the footpath. However, adults on their own and riders above 12 years old need to ride on bike paths or on the road.
- How do I indicate? On a bicycle, you can indicate any turns to other cyclists and motorists by stretching out your hands - hold your right hand at a 90-degree angle from your body for a right turn, and your left hand at a 90-degree angle for a left turn.
- How can I stay safe on the road? There are a few simple rules to keep in mind to stay safe while riding your bike. The first is to wear a helmet - in Victoria, the law is to wear a helmet whenever you are riding a bicycle or motorbike, whether you are on the road or not. Second, wear bright or reflective clothing, to ensure you stand out to motorists. Third, always ride with lights, whether it's day or night - this is another way you can ensure you stay out.
- Are there special road rules for bikes? Bike riders are required to obey all the same rules as motorists. However, there are specific rules for bike - you can learn more about these from VicRoads.
Learn more about cycling safely in our cycling news and advice portal.
Top bike facts in Victoria
Did you know...
- 15% of Victorians ride a bike at least once a week, while a further 9% ride fortnightly to monthly.
- Of those who ride a bike (or are open to it), only 6% don't have a bicycle in their household.
- Over half of non-cyclists have a bike in their household.
- The top reasons for riding a bike were physical health and fitness (33%), the fun and enjoyment of riding (23%), and weight management (10%).
- The top reasons why people don't ride bikes is because their trips are too far to ride by bike (12%), they are intimidated by cars on the road (10%), and other forms of transport were much quicker.
Find out more in our 2017 RACV Bicycle Market Research study.