Cycling rules

Are you a bicycle lover, do you use it every day, do you know the most important rules? If you don't know what you can and can't do in cities like Barcelona or Madrid, this post is of interest to you. For today, we have prepared the "Rules for cycling".

Cycling Madrid

Let's start with some important details about the regulations in Madrid. According to the regulations, if you live in this city and you ride a bicycle, you should know that:

Madrid's"Sustainable Mobility" Ordinance states that you can ride on the carriageway, in dedicated lanes or in areas designated for this purpose.

More details on the circulation can be found below:

  • Carriageway: The central part of the lane shall be occupied, but the remainder of the lane may be used to accommodate traffic or road conditions.
  • Free access to the Low Emission Special Protection Zones(ZBEDEP) of the Central District and Plaza Elíptica.
  • Streets: on streets where pedestrians and bicycles coexist, it will be possible to cycle in both directions.
  • Pavements: You cannot ride on pavements unless they are sidewalk-bikes (max. speed 10km/h) or a child under 12 years old (5km/h and accompanied by an adult on foot).


  • It is not compulsory to ride on the cycle lane unless expressly indicated.
  • On streets with more than one lane in the same direction, the lane furthest to the right and closest to the bus lane should be used.
  • Bicycles may only ride in the left lane if they have to turn left.
  • In principle, it is not allowed to cycle on the bus lane unless the signs permit it.
  • Take special care when driving through tunnels in the city of Madrid, as it is compulsory to use front and rear lighting as indicated in the General Traffic Regulations.

"No Se Puede:

  • Driving on the M30 and its accesses.
  • Cycling in parks at a speed of more than 15 km/h.
  • The circulation of bicycles on pavements, streets and pedestrian areas is prohibited. If they are accessed, they must be dismounted.
  • Driving with a blood alcohol level higher than that permitted by the ordinance or having consumed drugs.

Finally, the following should be clear:

  • Two cyclists are allowed to cycle in parallel in the same traffic lane. Read exceptions.
  • Helmets are compulsory for children under 16 years of age or for drivers of bicycles used for economic transport activities.
  • It is not mandatory to wear reflective clothing although it does help others to see you better at night.

To find out all the rules for cycling in the city of Madrid, visitthe Madrid City Council Portal!

Regulations in Barcelona

Do you know where you should cycle when cycling in Barcelona?

The cycling rules state that you can cycle on carriageways, cycle lanes, single platform streets, pedestrian zones and specially designated roads such as 30 zones.

Cycling in Barcelona
        • Roads:
              • Drive in the lane closest to the pavement. Remember! Do not drive in the bus lane if it is not indicated that you can do so.
        • Single platform streets and pedestrian zones:
              • Pedestrians have priority over bicycles, but bicycles have priority over others.
              • If the signalling allows it, you can drive in both directions.
              • You must drive more than one metre away from the facades.
              • If there are a lot of pedestrians, and it is not clear that you can ride safely, get off your bike!
        • Bike lane:
              • Cars, motorbikes and mopeds are not allowed in this lane.
              • Pedestrians are not allowed to walk or run in the cycle lane.
              • If there are vehicles cutting off your direction of travel when making right or left turns, the bicycle will have priority.
        • Streets and zones 30:
              • Streets and single lane areas where motorbikes and cars cannot overtake bicycles.
              • It is compulsory to drive in the direction indicated, provided that there is no lane that determines this.

Now you must be wondering, what about the pavements, you can't drive on pavements, except in the following cases:

  •   If the pavement is longer than 5 m and has 3 m of free space to pass.
  • When it is night time and the pavement is 4.75 m long and has 3 m of free space to pass.
    • What do we mean by night? The time between 22hrs and 07hrs.
  • Children under 12 years of age, accompanied by an adult, may walk on the pavement provided they respect the right of way of pedestrians.

Important! If there is a cycle lane, regardless of what has been mentioned about the width of the pavement, you must ride in the cycle lane.

What should we "NOT" should we do?

  • Go only on one wheel.
  • Take advantage of the momentum of vehicles. Do not hold on to cars while driving.
  • Circulate without hands.
  • Any element that makes it difficult to ride the bicycle.
  • Listening to music with headphones when cycling.
  • It is forbidden to drive zig-zagging between moving cars.

Besides... What else is there to comply with?

  • The bell is mandatory as well as the night lights (front white and rear red).
  • Children under 16 years of age are obliged to wear a protective helmet. For other users, it is recommended.

Other things you should know

  • Bicycles can be towed by an approved trailer for transporting things, animals or people.
  • If you bring children under 7 years old, they have to go in an additional seat.
  • Indicate your manoeuvres in advance.

For more information on cycling regulations, please contact us !visit the Barcelona City Council website!

We hope you found the information in the "Rules of the road for cycling" post useful, see you next time!

If you are interested in the topics of electric mobility, health and wellness or travel, you will be able to find out more!visit our blog!

Until the next move!



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