New Hampshire Parks & Recreation
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User Information

In New Hampshire's State Parks and Forests you can encounter both on-road and off-road riding opportunities. We have provided the following information to help you understand some of the safety concerns regarding your sport. Please be courteous to other trail users - it goes a long way toward insuring that everyone has a good time out on the trail!


Bike Helmets are now REQUIRED for those under 16, beginning January 1, 2006.

Why? Bicycle crashes are a major cause of brain injuries. Helmets prevent 85% of these injuries and 75% of the deaths. Helmets should be buckled and worn properly to protect your brain.
Why? Brain injuries cause life-long problems and huge medical costs. Life will never be the same!
Why? Safe helmets can cost less than $10. Look for a sticker from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to be sure that it meets safety standards.

Helmets prevent BRAIN injuries!

This law is for kids riding bicycles on public ways.
Helmets protect ALL heads. ANYONE riding a bike, skateboard, scooter or
skates anywhere should wear a helmet.
Safety questions? Call NH SAFE KIDS at 1-877-783-0432.
Brain Injury issues? Call the NH Brain Injury Association at 225-8400.

On-Road Riding

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing so you will be seen.
  • Obey signs and rules of the road.
  • Be sure that your bicycle is in good working order.
  • Use hand signals.
  • Don't ride in heavy fog or other adverse weather conditions.
  • When taking a break, make sure you are off the highway.
  • Be predictable. Don't make sudden moves.
  • Drink plenty of water while riding and don't wait until you are thirsty for a drink.
  • When passing another cyclist on the road, make your presence known by calling out "On your left" as you approach.
  • Carry a spare tube and/or patch kit, tire pump, tire levers, and whatever tools you may need to remove the wheel.
  • Be extra cautious in passing or manuvering around parked cars. That door just may swing out into your path. It's best to be at least three feet away from parked cars and to ride slowly past.
  • Carry a snack for when you lose energy. Hint: energy bars, fruit, raisins and fruit bars work much better than candy bars.

For additional information check out the N.H. Department of Transportation's online (pdf) Road Warrior Brochure.

Off-Road Riding

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Riding with someone else is safer. If you like to ride alone, always carry identification. Be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you should be back. Then be sure to stick to that plan.
  • Always carry some type of pack or bike bag with supplies such as fresh water, snacks, a flashlight, a bike tube repair kit, tire levers, and an assortment of band-aids.
  • If you ride into the evening, be sure your headlight and tail light are working before you get on the trail.
  • If you ride on trails that are frequently shared with horses, familiarize yourself with Trail Etiquette for Multi-Use Trails.