Biking around campus with over 20,000 over students can be slightly terrifying and discouraging. But don’t worry, the A.S Bike Shop has some pointers to offer when you’re on campus to ensure you and other’s safety.

1. Traffic Laws

When you are riding a bicycle, one thing you must realize is that although the laws are slightly different than driving a car, many of the same laws still apply. According to California state law, when you a riding a bicycle, you are considered the operator of a “device” which basically means that many of the same laws you must abide to when driving a car apply.

  • The most important thing to do when riding is to ride predictably. The people around you are going to be constantly analyzing what you are doing to try and keep themselves safe, if you suddenly stop in the middle of the bike path because you see a friend or cute puppy, they are not going to be expecting that and this is when a lot of crashes happen.

 Would you cross a double yellow line into oncoming traffic to pass a motorist driving a little slower than you? Would you stop in the middle of the road for no apparent reason? Would you change lanes or turn without looking behind you? Would you drive recklessly, erratically, or on the wrong side of the road? Hopefully the answer to all these questions is ‘no’.

Ride your bike just like you would safely drive a car and be aware of your surroundings.


  • When you are using the roundabouts, you treat them exactly the same as you would if you were driving a car. Anyone currently in the roundabout has the right-of-way, so if you are entering the roundabout, you must yield to them. Once you enter the roundabout, it is always a good idea to be aware of who is around you, and signal when you want to exit so that people in the roundabout with you are able to predict what you are going to do.

2. Security

When at UCSB, one of the things you will find yourself doing multiple times a day is locking and unlocking your bike.

  • You want a U-Lock. Regardless of what other people might tell you, cable locks are nowhere near as safe as a U-Lock is. With simple cable cutters, you can cut many cable locks. If you want to be extra cautious, U-Locks with an additional cable to secure the wheels are even better.

Locking Your Bike

To understand this, you must realize there are three main parts to your bike, the bicycle frame, and the two wheels. Contrary to popular belief, it is actually quite easy to remove the wheels from the frame, and because of this you will want to do your best to lock as many parts as possible. If you have a U-Lock, it is recommended that you lock your bike in a way that the frame and also one of the wheels is locked to the rack.

Also another important thing to bike security is the more your bike stands out, the more likely it is to get stolen. Although that shiny pink and chrome fixed gear bike might look cool to your friends, it will also look cool to possible thieves looking for a new bike.

3. Planning your day

  • When you are planning out your day, it is always good to give yourself plenty of time to bike to class, especially at the beginning of the year. It is very likely that at the beginning of the year you will end up lost on the bike paths at least once, and you don’t want this to happen 2 minutes before your next class starts. Also, when you are late the class, if you are flying down the bike path you are more likely to get injured, as you and others around you will have less time to react.

Bike accidents happen quite frequently at U.C.S.B. To avoid them, try planning out your day beforehand. A good rule of thumb is leaving 10-15 minutes before your class. You’ll be able to skip a good amount of bike traffic because other students will still be in class.