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Section 1 - Bicycling in Oregon

People ride a bicycle for many reasons. People depend on bicycles for physical and mental health, community connectedness and 
reliable transportation. Bicycling in Oregon takes place in quiet neighborhoods, on busy streets, along scenic travel destinations, 
through high and low elevations and everywhere in between.

You have a right to ride your bicycle on Oregon’s roads, streets and highways. In Oregon, a bicycle is legally considered to be a vehicle. When riding your bicycle on a road, you have the same rights and duties as people who are driving cars. With a few exceptions, the rules of the road for people driving apply to you. Consult the Oregon Driver Manual to become familiar with these rules.

Whether you are just learning to ride a bicycle, celebrating hundreds of road miles, or want a quick review on the rules of the 
road, this manual is for you. Having information about your rights and responsibilities while bicycling in Oregon is an essential tool.

How Oregon Law Defines a “Bicycle”

Oregon law defines a “bicycle” as a vehicle which is designed to be operated on the ground on no more than three wheels. The wheels must measure at least 14” in diameter. The vehicle must have a seat for the rider and be propelled exclusively by human power.

Image - A bicycle is a human-powered vehicle.
A bicycle is a human-powered vehicle.

E-Bikes and E-Scooters

“Electric assist bicycles” - also called “e-bikes” - are bicycles that are operated by pedaling, but get an extra boost from an electric motor. Electric assist bicycles are considered a bicycle in the Oregon Vehicle Code, but there are a few different rules that apply to electric assist and e-bikes. The minimum age to operate an e-bike is 16. People riding e-bikes may ride in bicycle lanes and on paths, but not on sidewalks. If there is not a bicycle lane, you can ride an e-bike or e-scooter in the lane with traffic. Cities, counties, and land owners often have their own rules about where e-bikes are allowed (especially in parks and on trails). Check the rules for your area before purchasing or using an e-bike.

Electric scooters, or “e-scooters”, are subject to the same rules as e-bikes, except people of all ages must wear a helmet while riding 
an e-scooter and travel at a max speed of 15 miles per hour. 

Information on pocket bikes, mini-motorbikes, motor-assisted scooters, mopeds, Segway's and similar motorized vehicles that do not qualify as e-bikes is available at: www.oregonwalkbike.org under “Oregon Laws and Regulations.”

Skateboards, Non-Motorized Scooters, and Skates

Skateboards, non-motorized scooters and skates are allowed in bicycle lanes in Oregon. Skateboards, non-motorized scooters and 
skates can be used on sidewalks in Oregon unless prohibited by local rules. When riding on the sidewalk, be considerate of people 
who are walking and let people know when you are approaching to pass them.

Mobility Devices

People who use mobility devices such as wheelchairs or motor assisted scooters are also allowed to use bicycle lanes and paths 
under Oregon law. These devices may move slower than bicycles, so be considerate when sharing the bicycle lane and passing.


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