Santa Cruz has a large number of people who use bicycles as a primary mode of transportation, but taking to the road without a little bit of knowledge and preparation is probably not a good idea. Here are some general tips for riding in town:

  • Always take proper safety precautions. Wear a helmet and bike reflectors, as well as a reasonably bright light if you intend to be out after dark. Many streets in town do not have street lights, and light is just as important for helping you see the road in front of you as it is to help other cyclists and driver see you.
  • Always lock your bike when you leave it unattended, or lock it in one of the bike lockers located around the downtown area Location map.  Don't leave your bike parked at the Santa Cruz Metro Center for long periods of time, unless you park it inside a bike locker. Rumor has it that bike thefts there are common. If you want to rent a bike locker, you need to purchase a Bikelink card. You can buy these from the Santa Cruz Parking Office or via the internet at Cost for renting is 3¢ per hour.
  • Be aware that many Santa Cruz streets, especially in residential areas, are cracked, full of potholes and in disrepair. Therefore, try to ride roads during the daytime before riding there at night so you know what areas to avoid. Also, this will help identify what streets to avoid in general.
  • Road construction and repairs occur frequently in town, and often two roads will be reduced to one, and the bike lane will be removed completely from access until construction is completed. Therefore, keep an eye on the newspaper for what construction is currently going on and where, and avoid those areas.
  • If you are taking your bike up to the UCSC campus, consider riding to the Santa Cruz Metro Center (if you are not too far away) and load your bike there. This way, you have a much more likely chance of being able to load your bike on a bus, since many people use this service.

Organizations and Clubs



Bike Parks

Bike Shops/Manufacturers

See: Bike Shops

Bike Tours



Santa Cruz County Bikeways map

Other Resources

Note: Contrary to what the above guide says about traffic signals with video detection, you need to be in the traffic lane to be able to be detected.  The City of Santa Cruz has repositioned these camera to view the traffic lanes in order to detect automobiles and NOT towards the bike lane area for detecting bicycles, as when it was originally installed.

Cycling Services for UCSC Students, Staff and Faculty

  • Bike Shuttle — A free service provided by TAPS to transport riders and their bikes from either downtown or the Westside to lower and upper campus.
  • Drop-in Bicycle Maintenance — A free service provided by the UCSC Recreation Office on Thursdays from 2-5PM during the school term near the basketball court next to the East Field House.
  • Bicycle licensing — A free service provided by TAPS at the Recreation Office, Mon. - Fri. from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on the upper level of the East Field House, as well as during Drop-in Bicycle Maintenance (see previous item). Unlicensed bikes on campus are subject to citation (although this is rare in practice), and registration increases the ability of authorities to recover a lost or stolen bike.
  • Bike Coop — A "not-for-profit, full-service, cooperatively-run bike shop" in the rear of the Student Union/Redwood Building at the Student Union.

Related Links