The City of Chico encourages the use of bicycles for transportation, recreation and fitness. The City’s Traffic Division provides accommodations for bicyclists on many roads, like the numerous bike racks in the downtown area and the dozens of bike paths and bike lanes throughout the city.
Bicycle Friendly Community
In 2019, the City of Chico was ranked in the top 15% of over 500 US cities in their Places for Bikes city ratings.
Interactive Chico Bike Map
Updated in 2023, the interactive map linked below shows Chico’s existing bike path locations.
Chico Bike Maps Available for Download
Chico Bicycle Plan 2019 Update
The Chico Bicycle Plan 2019 Update was adopted by Chico’s City Council on April 16, 2019. This Plan provides guidance for implementation of the City’s General Plan goals relating to bicycling, sustainability and complete streets. To view/download the document, click here
View the proposed bicycle facilities in our Google Earth 3D Map
Per the California Vehicle Code, bicyclists may choose to ride on the road or on any sidewalks EXCEPT where prohibited by local ordinance. In Chico, bicycle (and skateboard) riding is prohibited in the Downtown core (from 1st St to 5th St and from Wall St to Salem St) per local ordinance. PLEASE WALK YOUR BIKE on sidewalks in the downtown core! Except for very young bicyclists, it is generally safer to bicycle the road rather than on the sidewalk. However, if you feel it is unsafe to ride on a particular roadway (outside of downtown), you may ride on the sidewalk, but remember that pedestrians always have the right-of-way and be sure to use caution at all driveways and intersections as motorists will not be expecting bicyclists to appear “out of nowhere!” Before using a bicycle on the roadway, familiarize yourself with bicycle safety practices and always follow the rules of the road. Remember, bicyclists on the roadway have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicle drivers.
Additional informational links for biking in Chico:
Bicycle Licensing and Registration
Bicycle theft is a problem nation-wide. Many stolen bikes are recovered but the owners cannot be identified. You can improve your chances of recovering a stolen bike by registering or licensing it NOW! The City of Chico offers FREE ONLINE bike registration for an unlimited number of bikes, as well as a physical license that requires a fee and must be done in person. Click here to learn more about registering or licensing your bicycles.
Bidwell Park Trail Information
Trails in Lower Park are open year-round. Trails in Middle and Upper Park will be closed to bicyclists during and after significant rainfall. Click here for current trail closure information.
Health Benefits on the Job
Bicycle commuting can get you to work on time just as well as driving and will put you in a better mood too. Consequently, some experts link higher fitness levels to higher work place productivity. And bicycle commuting is a great way to squeeze regular exercise into a hectic schedule. Just use your commuting time to stay in shape. Forty minutes of brisk cycling can burn more than 400 calories. Use the Chico Bike Map to create a safe and pleasant route to your workplace.
Benefits to You and the Community
Bicycle commuting helps to reduce roadway congestion. Many streets and highways carry more traffic than they were designed to handle, resulting in gridlock, wasted time and energy, pollution, and driver frustration. Even the most powerful sports car crawls along slowly in congested traffic, while bicyclists ride around it. And bicycling requires much less space per traveler than automobiles. At the end of your trip, finding parking for your vehicle can be frustrating. But you can park a bike quickly and close to your destination, avoiding parking congestion in difficult places like downtown or the campus area. Additionally, add up what you spend getting to work or school every day by car and then compare that cost to cycling. Bicycle commuting saves you parking fees, fuel cost, insurance premiums, and auto maintenance costs.
Benefits to the Environment
Autos are the single largest source of U.S. air pollution. Short trips, those trips under three miles that are easily completed using a bicycle, are up to three times more polluting per mile than long trips. That’s because sixty percent of the pollution created by automobile emissions happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively.
More bicycle use means less benzene, cyanide, lead, carbon monoxide, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), sulfates, and ozone in the air we breathe. And since the bicycle season matches the ground-level ozone season, by biking instead of driving you contribute to pollution prevention when it is most needed.
Chico is a fantastic place to make a contribution to the environment, for our flat landscape, cycle friendly roads, and community size make cycle commuting easy. Please see our Bicycle Plan for more information on City facilities.