Madrid is (not) a city for bikes
This page is intended to help our visitors and tourists to ride a bike in Madrid.
Here we include the most relevant information available in English (or billingual) about cycling in our city.
Madrid cyclists guides
(october, 2016 Edition)
(billingual PDF Spanish/English)
- Segregated cycle routes: streets with separated lanes for cyclists.
- Recommended itineraries: suitable routes for riders, according to their features of comfort and safety.
- Cyclist Green Belt of Madrid: it is a segregated pedestrian and cycle route which surrounds Madrid City. It provides connections with other segregated cycle routes and recommended itineraries.
- APR (Residential Priority Areas): These are areas within the city with restricted access for motor vehicles, with low traffic density and limited speed, very suitable for bikers.
- Bikecitizens – cities Madrid: What are you waiting for? Get on your bike and explore Madrid.
- Cycling in Madrid: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The source that inspired this page.
New rules in the Sustainable Mobility Ordinance: Madrid announces new rules of the road in bid to banish traffic from center.
Bicycles will be able to turn right on a red light where so indicated. They may also move against the traffic on residential streets with speed limits of 20km/h or under, and on shared-use lanes. The 30km/h speed limit on many streets also seeks to favor shared road space between motorists and cyclists. The latter will also be allowed to lock their bikes to street furniture as long as they don’t block the way for pedestrians.
ON THE STREET
- If you ride on road, use the centre of the lane. In case of more than one, use always the far right lane, without considering the bus lane if it exists, unless there are specific signals allowing you to circulate on it.
- Use the left lane only in case you want to turn left.
- Bicycles shall not drive on the bus lane.
- Do not run in parallel with other cyclists.
- You are on a vehicle, you have rights and obligations: respect signs, traffic lights and others.
- Never hold on to any other vehicle to be towed.
- Do not wear headphones.
- And never use your mobile while riding.
ON THE SIDEWALKS
- It is forbidden to drive on the sidewalks and pedestrian areas.
- If you need to use any sidewalk or other pedestrian area you must get off the bike and walk pushing your bike.
- Who has priority?
- On the side path lanes, pedestrians have priority over cyclists. Cyclists must give way to pedestrians, adapting speed to theirs.
- On cycle lanes, cyclists have priority. Pedestrians have to use the enabled crosswalks. In case of lack of crosswalks, pedestrians must avoid hindering cyclists when crossing.
- In cycle crossings without traffic lights, bikes have priority over other vehicles. Remember to cross with caution and at a moderate speed.
Make yourself visible:
- Remember to use duly approved reflective elements.
- Install a bell on your bike; it will serve to alert other users of your presence.
- If you drive at night or in bad weather conditions you need to have front light and rear reflector. You can put reflective elements in the spokes and pedals too.
- Reflective elements make you visible even in daylight.
- Bike mirrors increase your safety.
- Children under 16 must wear a helmet.
- Wearing a helmet is recommended but not mandatory for adults (16 or more) in urban areas.
- A helmet is required if you are cycling by roads outside a settlement/town.
- (Note that many web pages contains outdated information about this.)
Cycling in the city is not dangerous as far as you follow few basic rules:
- Drive maintaining a straight and predictable line, signalling clearly your turns with your arms.
- Fit the appropriate speed.
- Try to anticipate drivers’ maneuvers.
- Pay special attention at crossings. Many drivers do not signal their turns to the right, cutting off your way and putting you in danger.
- Do not relax and be ready to brake, especially when riding among cars. Note that in case of accident bikes and cyclists are the weakest player.
- Do not drive too close to parked cars to avoid opening doors.
- Adapt to the speed of the street where you ride in, and, if possible, choose streets suitable for riders.
- Watch to road: there may be bumps or slippery surfaces.
- When you ride on pedestrian priority areas, you must keep in mind their priority, adapting your speed at theirs.
- Safety is based on active protection measures: moderated speed, driving attention, bringing forward your movements and those coming from others, signalling your turns…
- Pay special attention when raining.
- Keep your bike in good condition to increase safety: brakes, transmission, axis, wheels and lights.
- Insurance is not mandatory but it covers any damage you might cause to others.
Biking is practical, fun and educational: children who are used to biking will be the cyclists of the future.
- Always use a certified child-safe, seat.
- Only kids up to 7 years old can be transported by an adult using an extra seat or trailer approved for the transport of persons.
- Children under 16 must wear a helmet, whether riding on their own or as a passenger.
- Trailers are only allowed on bike paths.
WHERE TO PARK
Parking the bike properly:
- You must park your bike in a bike rack or other cycle parking.
- Do not use parking lots reserved for other vehicles like motorcycles or disabled people vehicles.
- If you do not find a bike rack, you can park your bike on the sidewalk only if it is more than 3 meters wide, and always parallel to the curb.
- Never bind a bike to a tree and always without hindering public transport, crosswalks, etc.
- Madrid offers you bike racks around the city, especially located next to the major trip generators such as schools, parks, cultural centres and sports facilities.
- For more information, check the bike parking section in the Oficina de la bici website (in Spanish).
- Park your bike in populated and well-lit places.
- Note your bike’ serial number: it will be easier to recover if it’ stolen.
- Lock the bike properly. U-shaped locks are recommended, but you can supplement it with others.
- POLICE: 092
- EMERGENCY: 112
Cycle ways infraestructure
The bikeways in the city can be classified into six types:
- Bike tracks
- Bike lanes
- Car-shared lanes
- Bike sidewalk-paths
- Shared-use paths
Every road has its rules: