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Welcome to the MN Bicycling Handbook

The handbook is free of charge to individuals and available in large quantities for organizations.

The Minnesota Bicycling Handbook is meant to help bicyclists use Minnesota’s roads and trails safely and enjoyably.

Although it includes information about many Minnesota traffic laws, it is not a legal document or a substitute for the Minnesota Statute 169.222 “Operation of a Bicycle.” For the current Minnesota Traffic Regulations, visit this site. A bicyclist should never jeopardize their safety for the convenience of others.

The 2021 handbook is made possible with support from AAA Minnesota-Iowa, Anoka County TMO Commute Solutions, Bike Thief River Falls, Brazil Law Group, Dero, Discover Austin Minnesota, Digi-Key, Hennepin County, Minnesota Bike Law, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Pedal Fergus Falls, Ramsey County, Quality Bicycle Products, Three Rivers Park District, University of Minnesota Park & Transportation Services, and Visit Fergus Falls. 

Copyright 2021 Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. Cover photo Walter Griffin Photographer. The content of The Minnesota Bicycling Handbook (MBH) may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. Some of the content of this publication is subject to a copyright of the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB),, whose content is used by BikeMN with the express written consent of the LMB. The MBH is based upon the LMB’s “What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know” publication.

Download the Handbook in English, Spanish, and Somali.

MN Bicycling Handbook

Tips for Riding Legally and Safely

Smart Cycling Program

Anyone can ride a bike, right?

Anyone can ride a bike, right? It’s true. Most people can get on and pedal, but many have never been taught to “drive your bike.” At BikeMN, we believe that […]

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Minnesota Bike Law FAQ

We've decoded the law so that you can learn your rights.

The following is a summary of the Minnesota Statutes (2017) pertaining to bicyclists. For more details concerning the following laws and penalties, please visit 1. What is the definition […]

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Tips for Fitting a Bike Helmet

Protect your melon!

Helmet Position Your helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead – one or two finger widths above your eyebrows. Side Straps Adjust the slider on […]

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Proper Bike Fit

What does the proper saddle angle have to do with fun bicycling?

The suggestions listed below are “rules of thumb” for a good bike fit. Frame SizeStraddle the bike. There should be 1-3″ of clearance between the frame and your crotch. Saddle […]

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Guide to Buying a Bicycle

Learn how to find the right bike for you!

Buying the right bicycle requires a little homework. The payoff will be a trusted friend that will deliver many years of fun, help you stay healthy, and reduce pollution – […]

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What If There’s a Crash?

Know your rights and respect your self.

Bicycle crashes do happen, but most crashes actually do not involve vehicles or other people. Typically bicyclists lose control on a bad surface or hit a fixed object. Sometimes collisions […]

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People Friendly Driver

A pilot project for a new program for educating all motorists on safe driving behaviors around people who are walking or biking.

A program and curriculum for educating all motorists on safe driving behaviors around people who are walking or biking. Why People Friendly Driver: Problem Statement In Minnesota, more than 90 […]

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Dealing With Dogs

No matter how pet-friendly you are, dogs can be a major problem for bicyclists.

Dogs can sense fear, so try to remain calm if you encounter an angry canine. You’ll feel more confident, and the dog likely will sense this too. Dogs tend to […]

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Theft Prevention

Don't let a criminal ruin your day.

Any lock can be broken, given enough time and the right tools, but there are ways to reduce theft risk.  Precautions If possible, take your bike indoors with you. Your […]

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Dealing With Road Rage

What to do when the "temperature" rises.

If a motorist makes you feel threatened or attempts to harm you (including throwing something at you or passing too closely): At the Scene Never assault your assailant physically, verbally, […]

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Rules for Paths & Trails

A handy guide for trail etiquette and safety.

Guidelines for Multi-Use Trails and Paths Paths and trails are often shared by users of all ages and abilities, including bicyclists, walkers, joggers, parents pushing strollers, roller-bladers, and pets. The […]

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Weather Considerations

Beat the sleet with these weather-riding tips.

We all get caught in challenging weather at some point. Aside from having the proper clothing and safety gear, there are some challenging weather situations that you should be aware […]

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Night Riding

Be safe! Be seen!

You can never be too visible on a bicycle. In addition to bright lights, bright and reflective clothing makes you more visible – and safer. Always wear proper safety gear, […]

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State Parks & Bike Routes

Learn about bicycling in Minnesota's state parks and national routes.

State Parks Bicyclists are allowed to ride into state parks on designated roads and paths for free. When arriving at a state park by bicycle, park staff will always do […]

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Bicycle Road Markings & Signs

What does all of that paint on the road mean?

Bike lanes and bike-related road markings continue to spring up across the state. Each city must comply with Minnesota MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) standards for facilities. However, […]

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Commercial Vehicles

Do you know where the "no zone" is?

With large vehicles like trucks and buses, bicyclists should assume, if you’re on their side of the road, that you are in a blind spot. Blind spots are often alongside, […]

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Dangers of Sidewalk Riding

Counterintuitively, sidewalks are an unsafe place for bicyclists.

Sidewalk riding is very dangerous — you are invisible when on sidewalks! Motorists are looking in the road and not for sidewalk traffic moving at high speeds, such as bicyclists. […]

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Dangerous Behavior

Whether you're on your bike or in your car, avoid these moves.

Bicyclists’ Rights and Responsibilities When riding a bicycle on Minnesota roads follow the same rules as motorists. Bicyclists can be ticketed for violating traffic laws (see Minnesota Bike Laws). All road […]

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Rules of The Road

Everything you ever wanted to know about lanes and bicycling in traffic.

Bicycles are vehicles in Minnesota and all the other states. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as the drivers of other vehicles. Motorists who don’t follow the rules of […]

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Fixing a Flat

10 steps to get you rolling again.

01. Basic Tools Spare tube Tire lever Pump or inflator Crescent wrench (if wheels are bolted on) Patch kit (not pictured) 02. Release Brakes Graphic A. On side-pull brakes, there […]

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Hand Signals

How to legally signal your intent!

Obey all traffic signs and signals. Cyclists are not exempt from traffic laws. Signal your intentions clearly and early. Signal right turns by extending your right arm OR upturning your […]

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Before You Ride

How to do an ABC Quick Check

A is for Air Inflate tires to pressure listed on tire sidewall. Use tire gauge to ensure proper tire pressure. Check for damage to tire tread and sidewall; always replace […]

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Anatomy of a Bike

Breaking down your bicycle

Saddle Stem Handlebars Brake/Shift Levers Headlight/Reflector Front Brake Tire Rim Spokes Front Wheel Hub Pedals Crank Arm Chain Ring Chain Rear Derailleur Casette/Freewheel and Rear Wheel Hub Fender Rear Brake […]

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Safety Equipment

All the gear to get you there!

Basic Bicycle Safety Equipment 1. Wear a properly fitted helmet every time you ride. Wearing a helmet can reduce the severity of head and brain injuries. (See Tips For Fitting a […]

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