Woman with blue helmet rides bycicle in Brunswick, Melbourne

Cycling in Victoria

Riding a bicycle is one of the simplest, most accessible forms of transport for many Victorians. Bike riding is a healthy and sustainable form of transport that offers environmental and congestion benefits when replacing traditional motoring-based transport.

RACV recognises the value of cycling for the wider community, and the importance of safe, connected infrastructure that can enable more people to choose to ride.

Our research seeks to understand issues across Victoria and underpins the advocacy we undertake. We also publish advice regarding road rules and tips for safe riding.

Priority routes

RACV has identified priority cycling routes across inner and middle-metropolitan Melbourne in a bid to promote safe and active options for Melburnians to move around the city. 

This new research identifies 17 priority cycling corridors that will benefit high numbers of riders that commute to work and education if they are improved and completed. RACV’s research considered relevant data such as population, employment, school enrolments and the reported history of bicycle crashes to establish a shortlist of corridors.

The corridors are based upon those already developed by the Department of Transport, in conjunction with VicRoads and Councils. Some of the priority corridors are well served with quality infrastructure, such as Canning Street and Gardiners Creek Trail, whereas others have no or low quality infrastructure.

Watch the video to see the top ten routes.

Market research

In February 2017, RACV commissioned market research to learn more about Victorians and their bike riding behaviours, experiences and opinions.

The key research finding are outlined in this report and are based on the responses of a representative sample of more than 800 Victorians who completed a 15-minute online survey. Watch the following video to learn more:

Bicycle market research report
Helmet standard graphic

1. Standard

Make sure the helmet meets Australian Standards by looking for a sticker inside the helmet and buying from a reputable retailer.

Helmet fit graphic

2. Fit

Make sure the helmet fits properly, snug but not too tight. The front of your helmet should be one or two fingers above your eyebrows. The ‘Y’ of the helmet strap should join just under your ears and both arms of the strap should sit flat against your head. When the straps have been correctly adjusted, you will not be able to pull the helmet forward off your head.

Illustration for helmet safety featuring quality information

3. Quality

Select a high-quality helmet, preferably an in-mold helmet with shock absorbing foam.

Helmet visibility graphic

4. Visibility

Select a high-visibility helmet with bright, contrasting colours and reflective strips.

Helmet replacement graphic

5. Replacing your helmet

Replace your helmet if you fall off your bike and your helmet hits the ground.

Keep safe when bicycle riding by ensuring that children understand and follow road rules when riding on roads and road-related areas like bike paths, bike lanes, shared and separated footpaths.

For more information about transporting a bike on your car, see the section bicycle carriers.

  • Supervision

    • Parents should spend time supervising children while they develop the necessary skills to be able to ride in a straight line, brake properly and corner safely.
    • Choose a flat, open space away from traffic with a surface that is suitable for children to practice.  
    • It isn't recommended that children under 13 ride on the road without adult supervision.
  • Safety tips

    • Teach children to cycle safely from an early age such as making a shoulder check behind them before they signal and turn.
    • Remember to be clearly visible to motorists by wearing bright clothes.
    • Ride on bike paths - children are safer away from the road environment.
    • Watch out for cars going in and out of driveways when riding on footpaths.
    • Replace helmets that have been involved in an accident or dropped from a height, even if there is no visible damage.
    • Maintain and check bikes on a regular basis.
  • Safety equipment

    • Bike riders are required to wear a securely and correctly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet.
    • Helmets should have a sticker showing the Australian Standard AS 2063, AS/NZS 2063.
    • A bicycle must have a bell, horn or similar warning device and at least one effective brake.
    • When riding at night or in poor light, stay visible with front and rear lights and a rear red reflector.
  • Bicycle safety checklist

    Getting the right bike: stand your child over the bicycle with both feet on the ground. For medium or lightweight bikes there should be at least 2cm between the crotch and the crossbar (or where crossbar would be). For BMX and mountain bikes, there should be at least 5cm between the crotch and crossbar.

    • Seat: adjusted to correct height and comfortable.
    • Brakes: brake blocks should be fitted correctly and not worn down.
    • Chain: oil frequently and check that the chain is not too loose.
    • Tyres: look for bald spots, bulges and cuts. Tyres should not 'squash' when squeezed.
    • Pedals: check that they spin freely.
    • Bell or horn: should be loud enough for others to hear.
    • Reflectors and lights: should be secure, properly aligned, clean and working.
  • Bicycle rules

    • Children can ride on footpaths up to the age of 12 as can the adult riding with them.
    • Children under 13 years of age can ride on footpaths, as can anyone older who is supervising them. Riders 13 years or older can only ride on footpaths if they’re accompanying and supervising a child under 13. Riders aged 18 or older can ride on the footpath if they have a child in a child bike seat or pedalling on a hitch bike. There are limited medical or other exemptions. Find out more.
    • Help your children cross roads safely by walking bikes across roads and using pedestrian crossings.
    • When riding, children should be facing forward and have both hands on the handlebars.
    • Give way to pedestrians when bicycle riding.
    • It’s important to remember that bike riders need to follow all the same road rules as motorists.

We advocate for improved transport services for all Victorians, including those who ride a bicycle. Market research shows that nearly half of RACV's Members ride, with one in five doing so at least once a week.

Advocacy for enhanced safety and improved cycling infrastructure is undertaken by representing RACV Members and working with organisations such as Bicycle Network Victoria and the Amy Gillett Foundation on specific projects to ensure the needs of bicycle riders are met. 

We support bicycle riding by:

More information about bicycles rules can be found at VicRoads.

More from News and Lifestyle