Biking in New Haven

Biking is a healthy, fun and economical way to travel around New Haven, and Yale is a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly University. Here are some tips for staying safe and traveling by bike! 

Bike Safety Tips

Like anywhere, some New Haven streets are better for cycling than others. Plan your route before you cycle using the New Haven Bike Map. You can also view a map of bike racks, bikeshare stations, bike repair stations, and shower facilities across campus here.

Take a one-hour bike safety course through Yale Environmental Health & Safety. The course includes helpful bicycling tips, bicycle maintenance info, and the proper use and sizing of helmets. Participants will receive a coupon for a free helmet upon completion of the course.

You can also register your bike in the National Bike Registry here, in case it is stolen.

For great bike-safety tips, visit the Yale Smart Streets site to learn how to co-exist on the road with drivers and pedestrians. 

Know the laws for bicyclists.

  • Biking is not allowed on sidewalks. 

  • Bikes must be equipped with lights and reflectors for riding at night. 

  • Do not ride more than two-across and communicate your directions with hand signals. 

  • Always lock your bike to a non-moving fixture. We recommend U-locks and wheel-locking mechanisms to prevent theft. Check out this map of bike racks within the Yale campus. 

Bikeshare programs

Bike sharing is an innovative transportation program that allows users to rent a bicycle from any designated location, and then return the bicycle to any designated drop zone within the system’s service area. 

The Yale Bikeshare and Bike New Haven are the two services in New Haven, which operate separately and work in slightly different areas of New Haven. [NB: Bike New Haven service is suspended during COVID-19.]

Pricing varies based on the type of membership. For the Yale Bikeshare program, a single day (24 hours) costs $4.99. More complete membership plans are also available, providing unlimited free one-hour rides with a $3 charge per additional hour.

There are eight Yale bikeshare locations on the central and medical campuses. Bike New Haven locations also include East Rock, Wooster Square, and other neighborhoods.

Places to Explore by Bike

East Rock Park

For a challenging ride with beautiful views of New Haven as a reward, ride to the top of East Rock. The park is closed from sunset to sunrise.

Farmington Canal Trail

The Farmington Canal Trail is part of the larger East Coast Greenway Initiative, and runs from Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven to Southwick, MA. Try riding a short segment after class, or a longer weekend day trip! 

New Haven Biking Events

Several regional bike races occur annually, including the New Haven Grand Prix, the ConnectiCare Gran Fondo, and the Closer to Free Ride (benefitting Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center).

Every year, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas takes place on the New Haven Green and offers bike rides around the greater New Haven area. Past events have included a murder mystery bike tour, trips to a Strawberry picking festival, and historical rides around New Haven! 

Bike Shops

College Street Cycles

252 College St.

Devil’s Gear Bike Shop

137 Orange St. 

Bradley Street Bicycle Co-op

138 Bradley St.

Bike Communities in New Haven 

Yale Cycling Team 

Yale graduate and professional students can race on the Yale Cycling Team, and are encouraged to come out and ride! Saturday rides leave from the intersection of Orange and Cold Spring Streets each Saturday morning around 9:10 AM.

New Haven Bicycling Club 

The New Haven Bicycling Club includes cyclists from commuters to racers and puts on frequent rides and events in the community.

New Haven Bike Party

New Haven Bike Party hosts themed and costumed bike ride events around town. This is a great opportunity to meet other bikers and explore New Haven! Find the New Haven Bike Party on Facebook or visit their WordPress site.

Bradley Street Bicycle Co-op 

The Bradley Street Bicycle Co-op sells bikes and offers open repair shop hours to members. Volunteer mechanics get a free membership. Additionally, BSBC sells bike parts, makes coffee, and is a great part of the cycling community in New Haven.