What are the rules concerning cycling in New Zealand? We summed up the most important ones for you.
1.Left side of the road For those coming from a right hand side country…. Pay attention, but you’ll get used to it. Take extra care at roundabouts!
2.Helmet mandatory Also a bit of getting used to (coming from a country where it is not mandatory), but really much safer! If you rent a bike, you alway receive an helmet.
3. Lights Lots of rental bikes don’t come with lights. Ask yourself if you are going to cycle in the dark or through dark tunnels. Do take some (head)lights then.
4. Good brakes and a reflector Sounds logical, but still!
5. Don’t carry any person on the back Unless that person (a child) is in a seat with foot support. Children on the back also need to wear helmets.
6. Signpost with your hands To go left or right, signal with your hand. To signal slowing down or stopping, raise your right hand. As a stop sign. Particularly handy when cycling in town.
7. Priority rules Give way to traffic that goes straight in case you want to turn off. If you turn off right, give way to traffic coming towards you, even if they turn.
8. Use bicycle lanes Often at traffic lights and busy crossings. Lots of rules
Bicycling is still in its infancy in New Zealand. Drivers all of a sudden have to share ‘their’ road with those weird cyclists. But also the other way around of course. Their were times that we sat with sweaty hands on our bikes. Especially when cars narrowly pass you at 100 kmph. To channel things in the right direction the New Zealand government set up rules of behaviour. Want to know more? Check the New Zealand Transport Agency web site.
The Nieuw-Zeeland Cycle Trails All Trails mostly are bicycle (or hikers, horses) only. So no cars allowed. Or on quiet rural roads. Sometimes you can’t escape a short stretch of tarmac. Time to pay extra attention.
Tip! Take a fluorescent vest with you and wear it if you have to share the trail with cars. We have to admit, it’s not very elegant, but you really are so much better visible. And you’ll see, you won’t be the only one(s)!