Archive for the “Bicycling FAQ” Category

Missouri Bicycle Laws

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The streets are our largest public space. People riding bicycles and driving cars should be held accountable for following the rules of the road and ensuring that the streets are for everyone.

AdvocacyIcon2 Summary of Missouri Bicycle Laws:

  • Bicycles are vehicles under Missouri law (307.180) and cyclists have the same rights and duties as operators of other vehicles (307.188)
  • Cyclists shall ride as far right as is safe except when making a left turn, when avoiding hazardous conditions, when the lane is too narrow to share with another vehicle, or when on a one-way street (307.190)
  • Cyclists may ride abreast when not blocking other vehicles (307.190)
  • Cyclists may ride on the shoulder of the road, but are not required to (307.191)
  • Cyclists shall ride in the same direction as traffic (307.191)
  • Cyclists shall signal when turning (307.192)
  • Bicycles shall be equipped with brakes (307.183), a white front light, and a rear red light or reflector (307.185)
  • Motor vehicles shall not park or idle in bicycle lanes (303.330)
  • Operators of motor vehicles shall maintain a safe distance when passing cyclists (300.347)
  • Cyclists shall not use the sidewalk in a business district (300.347)
  • If a red light does not change for a completely stopped cyclist after a reasonable time, the cyclist may proceed if there is no approaching traffic (304.285)

For a more comprehensive list of Missouri Bicycle Laws click here.

Do bicyclists have to wear helmets in the state of Missouri?

While there is no Missouri state law requiring bicycle helmets, many St. Louis municipalities including St. Louis County require cyclists under the age of 16 to wear a helmet.  Trailnet recommends that all bicyclists wear a helmet while riding.

Does Trailnet teach kids how to ride a bike?

As much as we would like to give individualized support to people of any age new to riding a bicycle, we do not have dedicated staff to handle these requests.

Review Bicycle Magazine’s great tips on getting started.

Trailnet offers BikeSmart classes, geared for riders of all levels ages 13 and up, designed to build confidence and get anyone ready to ride more often. Classes are led by a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor.


Are there resources to help me set up a Bike Rodeo for my organization?


Trailnet has League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors on staff to help you organize and produce a Bike Safety Rodeo for large events and summer camp activities (for a fee), but for smaller groups it can be more cost effective to organize a safety event yourself.

Visit An Organizer’s Guide to Bicycle Rodeos, Safe Kids Worldwide’s Bike Rodeo Station Guide, or Minnesota Safety Council’s Bike Rodeo Planning Guide for resources to help you plan and carry out a Bike Safety Rodeo.


At what age should my child be allowed to bike on the road?


Generally a child should be at least 10 years old before being allowed to ride in the street, especially without parental supervision. However you should never allow your child to ride on the road without going over the basic bicycle skills together and assessing your child’s ability to react thoughtfully to vehicular traffic.


What are the basic bicycle rules I should teach my child?


The most basic bicycle rules you should be teaching your child include:

  • always wear a helmet while riding a bike
  • follow the same traffic rules as a car, such as stopping at stop signs and signaling prior to making turns – even if riding on a sidewalk
  • ride in the same direction as traffic, NOT facing traffic
  • never make sudden moves while riding in the street; cars need to be able to predict a rider’s actions
  • bicycles must always yield to pedestrians, even on a sidewalk

Utilize additional resources to teach your kids bike safety from the International Bike Fund or the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

How do I dress for a ride?

You don’t need any special gear or clothing to go for a bike ride. Jeans and a t-shirt, a dress and heels– you can get started in anything. Short trips can easily be reached in whatever you would wear normally.

Of course, you can’t control the weather. If it’s especially hot, you can either carry a small towel or a change of clothes to freshen up in no time once you reach your destination. In the fall and winter months, layering is key. Even though it’s cold, you can still work up a sweat, so strive for moisture-wicking fabrics like spandex or merino wool.

For longer, more strenuous rides a shirt made from performance fabric and padded shorts are a must. The shirt will wick the sweat and make your ride cooler. The shorts will prevent “saddle sores” and reduce chafing.

How many people bike in St. Louis?

One of the greatest challenges facing the bicycle and pedestrian field is the lack of documentation on usage and demand. Without accurate and consistent demand and usage figures, it is difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes, especially when compared to the other transportation modes such as the private automobile.

Each year in September, Trailnet takes part in a Bicycle and Pedestrian Count in attempts to provide some documentation.


How do I find other riders?

There are many ways to meet other riders in the St. Louis region.

  • Join one of Trailnet’s scheduled rides. Before most Bicycle Fun Club rides, there is a “no-drop” group ride on the short route that starts at 8:30 a.m. You can also meet new riders on Community Rides, low-stress group rides that highlights gems of St. Louis.
  • Join our partner shops’ free weekly rides.
  • Attend a Trailnet event to meet others interested in biking in St. Louis
  • Strike up conversations with your co-workers; if you ride your bike to work, leave your helmet hanging on your coat hook, and speak up about issues like bike parking and shower facilities at your workplace as a way to start a conversation.

Where do I buy a bike?

Local Shops

** 2014 Trailnet bike shop sponsor

Online forums (local)