- Observe trail rules and signs (View Hours and Rules).
- Stay on designated trails.
- Be courteous to other trail users by using a bell prior to passing.
- Stay to the right when practical.
- Minimize trail erosion by avoiding muddy trails and shortcuts.
- Use trash cans where available or carry litter with you.
- Respect private property and route closures.
What to Wear
- Dress appropriately for the location, time of year and planned activities.
- San Jose 300 days of sunshine annually, be prepared with sunglasses, sunscreen, and/or hat and other protective wear.
- Wear reflective material at night.
- Bicyclists and skaters should wear a properly fitted helmet. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash. Learn more about bicycle helmet fitting.
- Read The Top 10 Do's and Don'ts for Walking Tips from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
- Learn about Cycle Safety Tips from San José 's Department of Transportation.
- Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
- Use a front light and a red reflector or flashing rear light, and use retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment and clothing.
- Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horse back riders.
- Stay to the right unless passing.
- Do not block the trail - pull off the trail when stopping.
- Slow down when approaching other trail users or street crossings.
- Anticipate riders around corners.
- Use a bell or horn, or call out when passing others.
- When cycling on street to a trail, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
Repair and Maintain Your Bicycle
The BicycleTutor.com website offers free online videos that help you repair and tune up your bicycle. These tutorials listed below (and many more) will help keep your bike in great shape so you won't miss a moment of urban trail riding.
Basic Bike Repair Tools
- How To Check For Chain Wear
- How To Adjust V-Brakes
- How To Adjust Sidepull Caliper Brakes
- How To Replace a GripShift Cable
- How To Remove Surface Rust from Chrome
- How To Replace Handlebar Grips
- How To Recondition RapidFire Plus Shifters
- Visit Planet Bike for even more educational videos
Commuting Along the Trails by Bicycle
The 511 Bicycling organization is a great resource for planning your bike commute. The commuting tips preparation list includes:
- Find your route in advance and get a bike route map of your area
- Tips for avoid bike/auto collisions.
- The Valley Transportation Authority has many excellent resources for trip planning in Silicon Valley and Santa Clara County.
- Consider finding a biking buddy to commute with
- Make sure your equipment is in good shape (see the links above)
- Find out where the bike racks are at your work site. Are there lockers, showers or other amenities to help you with your bike commute?
Bike Skills Classes at the City of San José
The City of San José Bike and Pedestrian Program offers free Bicycling Skills classes for adults and teenagers (with an adult). Topics covered are:
- Traffic laws for bicyclists
- Signaling, changing lanes and other basic skills needed
- How to take a bike on mass transit
- Selecting your route
- Fixing a flat tire.
- The classes are offered approximately 4 times per year. Check the class site for date of the next class.
- Walk, run, or ride with a partner.
- Headphones should be played at a low volume so you are well aware of your surroundings.
- Only use one headphone jack when riding a bike (vehicle code).
- During and after storms, watch for flooded trails and under-crossings. View a list of creeks that are flood prone.
- If you are alone on the trails, avoid unfamiliar areas.
- Let someone know where you will be and when you intend to return.
- Carry a cell phone.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Trust your instincts and avoid areas where you feel uncomfortable.
- If you think you are being followed, go to an open business or a lighted house.
- Report suspicious behavior to the police by calling 911.
- Be aware of trail hazards such as loose gravel, glass, holes, ruts, and low-hanging branches.
- Do not use under-crossings during high water events.
- Trail conditions can vary depending on the time of year. Flooded or muddy areas can be hazardous.
- Keep your distance from wildlife.
- Do not feed wildlife.
- Mountain lions and coyotes are occasionally sighted in the more rural areas or the trails. If you see a mountain lion or coyote that is sick, injured or behaving aggressively toward people or pets, call 911 immediately. If you see a mountain lion near a park or trail, call (408) 793-5510 (Park Concern Hotline).