Bicycle Commuting

perUniversity employee riding their bicycle to work along Oakland Drive in front of the Music/Margo Jones building

Commuting by bicycle is a great way to save money, add physical activity into everyday life and save time searching for a parking spot. If you live within about five miles from campus, bicycling to campus can be faster than driving. These resources can help you get started.

Bicycle Routes

Map apps can sometimes suggest bike routes for you, but you can also check the website of the city or the local bicycle advocacy group for bicycle maps.

Bicycle Parking

Use these maps to figure out where you can park your bicycle. To prevent your bicycle from being stolen, review how to securely lock a bicycle.

How to Securely Lock a Bicycle

  • Use a sturdy u-lock, not a cable lock. Cable locks are easily cut within seconds and are not secure.
  • Lock to a designated bike rack. Locking to a sign, tree or railing is less secure, can cause damage to university property and may block wheelchair access.
  • Lock your frame to the bike rack, not your wheel. When only the wheel is locked, bike thieves will steal the rest of your bicycle and leave the wheel behind.
  • If possible, avoid storing your bicycle outside overnight even if it’s locked up. Bike thieves can cut almost any lock if they have enough time. If they can’t break the lock, they may steal other parts from the bicycle, like the seat, wheels, pedals, etc.
  • If you store your bicycle on a balcony, lock the bicycle frame to the balcony with a u-lock. Unsecured bicycles are commonly stolen from second and third floor balconies.
  • Plan ahead in case your bike gets stolen. Consider engraving your driver’s license number onto the bottom of the bicycle so you can prove it’s yours. Take photos of your bicycle that you can use to help people keep an eye out for your bicycle.

Bicycle Laws & Bike Safety

Bicycle Laws

When you ride a bicycle, you must follow the same traffic laws as when you drive a car. Following traffic laws makes you more predictable and less likely to be involved in a collision.

  • Obey all traffic signs and signals, including stop signs, stop lights, one-way streets, etc.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic, never against it.
  • Use hand signals to indicate when you are turning, stopping, or slowing so other road users will know what you plan to do.
  • At night, you must have a white front light and a red rear reflector at a minimum. However, a red rear light is also recommended.
  • Ride as far to the right as practicable (this doesn’t mean as far to the right as possible!). 
    • If there are two lanes traveling the same direction, ride in the right lane unless you are preparing to make a left turn.
    • If a lane is wide enough for you and a driver to safely be side-by-side (14+ feet wide), then you should ride about 1-2 feet from the curb. Avoid riding in the gutter.
    • If a lane is narrower than 14 feet wide, you may legally ride in the center of the traffic lane to encourage drivers to change lanes to pass you. Most traffic lanes on city streets are 10-12 feet wide.
    • If it is unsafe or impossible to ride on the far right of the road, then you’re not required to do so. This could be due to parked cars, glass or other hazards that could cause you to crash.

For more information about Texas bike laws, visit the Laws and Regulations FAQ from the Texas Department of Transportation.

Bicycle Safety

  • Be predictable. Obey all traffic laws. Signal your intentions to other road users. Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Check behind you before changing lanes.
  • Be conspicuous. Ride where people can see you and wear bright colors. Use a front white light and a red rear reflector at night. Avoid riding on sidewalks.
  • Think ahead. Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at right angles so your tires do not get caught in the rails.
  • Ride ready. Ensure that your tires are properly inflated, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release levers are fully closed. Carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet.
  • For more information about traffic principles, where to ride, lane positioning, changing lanes, and bike lanes, review Ride Better Tips from the League of American Bicyclists.

Page last updated 2:55 PM, January 11, 2024