Bicycle Safety

Where to ride bikes

Bikes may be ridden in any roadway or area where motorized vehicle operation is permitted.

State law does not prohibit riding bicycles on sidewalks, however, many local ordinances do. The City of Oxford, for example, prohibits bicycle riding on the sidewalks in the uptown business district. Any bicycle ridden on a sidewalk must be operated with due regard for the safety of others. Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks, so bikes must yield to them at all times. Riding bikes is not permitted anywhere that signs prohibit it.

Miami University maintains a bike trail in Peffer Park, located on the west side of U.S. 27, just south of the Art Museum. The trail begins and ends in the southwest corner of the parking lot. All other campus trails are protected nature preserves and biking on these trails is strictly prohibited. Anyone caught riding bikes on any protected trail are subject to arrest and prosecution for criminal trespass, in violation of section 2911.21 of the Ohio Revised Code. THIS LAW IS STRICTLY ENFORCED.

Recommended safety tips

Always check your bike carefully before riding it. Make certain the chain is on and all nuts and bolts are properly tightened. Be sure the seat, handlebars, and any quick release parts are secure. Inspect your bike thoroughly for any damaged or defective parts which may cause an accident once you are riding.

Wear a helmet to protect your head in case of an accident. Eye protection is also recommended to keep bugs, dirt, and other debris from getting into your eyes.

Equip your bike with the proper safety attachments, including an audible warning device, a headlight and a tail light. Oxford City Ordinances require this equipment, as does State law.

Obey all traffic laws when riding your bike, and remain alert for potential hazards. Drains can trap your wheel and cause an accident. Motorists opening a door into the roadway can also cause injury. Be aware of vehicles passing you, and always check over your shoulder before crossing a lane of traffic.

Theft prevention of Bicycles

ALWAYS lock your bike up when leaving it unattended -- even just for a few minutes. We recommend using a kryptonite type lock, being sure to loop it through the frame, the front wheel, and the bicycle rack. Although not "theft proof," we find fewer bikes are stolen when properly secured with a kryptonite lock.

Bicycle racks are provided for your convenience and are the only legal places to secure a bike. Bikes locked to a handicapped ramp, or otherwise blocking ingress or egress to or from a building, are subject to removal and/or citation.

Bikes and the law

Section 4511.55(A) of the Ohio Revised Code requires persons riding bicycles in a roadway to do so in compliance with all applicable motor vehicle laws. This means cyclists must ride on the right hand side of the road (not against the flow of traffic) and also obey all traffic control devices such as stop signs, stop lights, and one way signs. A good rule of thumb when riding your bike in a roadway is to do as just as you would drive your car.

When riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, traffic control devices (such as one way signs) do not apply. Cyclists must, however, come to a complete stop at the curbside before entering or crossing the flow of traffic in a roadway.

Section 4511.53 of the ORC prohibits passengers from riding on bicycles, and requires all bikes to have a firmly attached seat. The same section also prohibits carrying anything on a bike which requires two hands to hold. Section 4511.55(B) prohibits more than two bicycles from riding abreast in a roadway.

Bicycles are a convenient, practical, and efficient way to get around campus, as well as an enjoyable and healthy means of recreation. The University Police encourages the use of bicycles, especially instead of driving a car; we ask only that cyclists respect the nature preserves, and abide by all other laws enacted for their own safety and that of everyone else.

If you have any further questions about bike riding on campus, feel free to e- mail them to or call 513-529-2222.