Cycling is an affordable, fun way to get around and is also great for staying fit and healthy. Find out how you can cycle savvy.

Girl riding a bike at night

Remember to check your bike lights before daylight savings ends on Sunday 5 April.

Top tips

With an increase in the number of people choosing to cycle to get around, awareness, respect and courtesy are key behaviours that will help people get where they’re going safely. 

Here are a few general tips to help things go smoothly:

Be aware and ride in control

  • Control your speed so you can react quickly if needed.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, checking behind as well as ahead of you.  Watch for car doors opening, uneven surfaces, and people walking or scooting.
  • Make extra checks around intersections where people driving may turn across cycle lanes.
  • When riding through queues of stationary or slow-moving cars, scan ahead for gaps where turning vehicles may unexpectedly cut across your path.  Slow down and be ready to stop quickly.

Be seen

  • During the change of seasons, be prepared with working lights on your bicycle so you can be seen.
  • Bike lights in flashing mode are more noticeable and use less battery power.
  • Reflectors, reflective strips, reflective bag covers and reflective ankle bands can help you be more visible.
  • Consider wearing brightly coloured clothing or high visibility accessories.

Be predictable, communicate and be prepared

  • Be predictable and confident - make eye contact with others, use clear hand signals to indicate when turning, and avoid weaving when riding alongside parked cars, staying at least a metre away to be clear of the "door zone".
  • Ring your bell when approaching people you plan to pass on bikes, scooters or those on foot.
  • Thank people you're sharing space with.  Positive interactions go a long way to building a considerate culture to make getting around more pleasant for everyone.
  • Plan your route – choosing which way to cycle is often quite different from the route people normally drive. Check out our Cycle Map(external link) to plan your route according to your cycling confidence levels.
  • Check your bike is in good working order – brakes effective, tyres fully pumped and plenty of tread to help avoid punctures, chain oiled for an easier ride, lights and reflectors well placed.
  • Wear an approved helmet that fits well and make sure you’re clued up to follow the road rules(external link).

Check out our Bike easy helmet and bike check [PDF, 8.2 MB].

How to use a cycleway

Cycleways are a proven way to improve the health of a city, reduce congestion and reduce the cost of infrastructure. So whether you are biking, driving or walking, please take care around the new cycleways.

Things to be aware of when using a cycleway

Hook turns

Hook turns are a safer way for people on bikes to turn right at an intersection.

  1. Stay in the cycle lane as you enter the intersection and stop in the green hook turn box.
  2. Wait until the traffic signals on the other side of the road turn green and then cycle across the intersection keeping left.

Hook turns can be done at almost any intersection, including ones with or without the marked stopping area.

 

Greenway with shared lane

Shared lane markings, called sharrows (share arrows), indicate the most sensible place to bike on the road. They are often used on roads without dedicated cycle lanes, to help people cycling and driving share space.

Sharrows direct people cycling to ride towards the middle of the road to avoid opening doors from parked cars, pinch points and stormwater grates. For people driving, sharrows are a prompt for where you can expect to see people cycling.


Sharrows are a common feature along cycle routes, especially through neighbourhood greenways which are the sections that follow quieter 30kph streets.  In these areas, everyone can move around more comfortably in a slower environment. 
 

Cycle priority crossings

Green-painted cycle priority crossings, and paired cycle priority and pedestrian crossings mean that drivers must give way to people on bikes and on foot (including on scooters and skateboards).

People crossing need to check before entering the priority crossing that any drivers coming have seen them and are able to stop.

 

Driveways

Driveway safetyDrivers must give way to people on bikes and on foot (including on scooters and skateboards) when entering or leaving a driveway. If possible, people should drive forwards out of their driveway.

 

If a two-way cycleway runs in front of a property, cyclists can be coming from both directions.

Remember to not park on the cycleway.

Two-way path or cycleway

Share the space

Stay left if you are walking or riding on a two-way shared path or two-way cycleway.

In-lane bus stops

Give way to bus boarders resizeIn-lane bus stops require that people on bikes stop to give way to passengers getting on and off the bus.

 

Bus passengers should stand on the footpath rather than the cycleway while waiting for the bus and check for people on bikes before boarding or exiting.

Traffic signals

Look for the cycle light resizeTake care to follow the designated cycle traffic signals.

 

Target the diamonds to trigger the lights. When a bicycle rides over the white diamonds, this triggers the cycle traffic lights at the crossing.Target the diamonds to trigger lights

Railway crossings

look for trainsOnly cross at designated crossing points.

At a controlled crossing, cross only when red signals have stopped flashing, the barrier arms have lifted and the bells have stopped ringing.

If the railway crossing is not controlled, look as far as you can up and down the railway line to check for trains.

Cycle smart

Two women on Uni-Cycle cyclewayCycling requires a certain amount of skill.

If you’re not experienced at riding in traffic, take the time to build your confidence on quieter roads. The best route to ride is often different from the route you'd drive.

Practice your skills and plan your route to make use of cycleways or streets with less traffic and lower speeds. If possible, find an experienced cycling friend or colleague to ride with. 

Check out the official New Zealand code for cyclists(external link) to help build your confidence and skills, or the NZTA cycling website(external link) for great information on cycle safety.

Our friends at Wellington City Council have put together seven light-hearted videos(external link) with great tips for cycling. 

Taking your bike on the bus