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  • Getting Started
  • Registering Your Bike
  • Where and How to Park
  • Where to Ride
  • Riding at Night
  • Lost and Abandoned Bikes
  • mBike - Bikeshare

Getting Started

Riding a bike is a great way to get around campus, College Park, and beyond! Here are a few simple things to help you get rolling:

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Choosing a Bike

There are many different styles of bicycle; how do you know which one is right for you? Simply put, you want a bike that is comfortable; a bicycle that you will want to ride! If you’re just starting out, there is no need to spend a lot of money. more »

Fitting a Bike

Bikes are measured in many different ways. Some will simply list Small / Medium / Large, while others will give sizes in centimeters or inches. The best way to fit a bike is to try it out. more »


In the state of Maryland, helmets are not required for bicycle riders 16 years of age or older. However, BikeUMD recommends that all people, regardless of age, wear a helmet when they bike. Helmets can be purchased from the DOTS office at Regents Garage or from the RecWell Bike Shop for a discounted rate of $20 each. more »

Basic Info (Our Elevator Pitch for Biking)

Bicycling is fun! It’s great exercise! It leads to less car congestion on campus! It makes you feel good! It helps you focus in class! It builds community! It connects you with your environment! It makes you feel alive!

Registering Your Bike

All bikes on UMD campus must be registered. Registration is FREE.

Why Register?

  • Provides a record of ownership that aids authorities in locating the owner of a stolen bike.
  • DOTS offers free lock-cutting service for registered bikes on campus.
  • Provides data that helps with planning and implementing bicycle infrastructure improvements on campus.

Bicycle registration is available to UMD students, faculty, staff and anyone with UMD identification.

How to register your bike:

Bike Registration Sticker

Where and How to Park

Knowing where and how to park your bike is just as important as knowing where and how to ride. After all, your bike is only a reliable form of transportation if you can rely on it to be where you last parked it! Bike theft is a big problem on UMD’s campus and across the region. Keep track of your bike by learning where and how to properly park your bike:

Where to Park

When on campus, endeavor to park your bike in designated bike parking areas only. There are several indoor bike parking rooms on campus and nearly every building has a bike rack. The majority of bike racks on campus are the inverted-U style rack, which can park a minimum of two, and often three or four bikes. You may view all of the bike racks on campus by opening the Interactive Campus Map, clicking on the “Layers” tab, and selecting “UMD Bike Racks” under the Campus Transportation sub-heading.

more »

How to Park

Your bike will never be 100% secure when parked on a bike rack. However, taking certain precautions greatly reduces the chances of your bike being stolen:

  • Always Park to a Secure Bike Rack - more »
  • Use a U-Lock - more »
  • Lock through the Frame of your Bicycle - more »
  • Secure Your Wheels - more »

If you have questions about where or how to best lock your bike, send an E-mail to and someone from the BikeUMD team will gladly assist you!

Where to Ride

Bicycles are traffic and bicyclists should behave and be treated as such.

The best place for you to ride your bike while on campus is in the road, following all traffic laws. There are shared-lane markings on many streets across campus. Bicyclists are allowed to use the whole lane and cars are required to give at least 3’ of room when passing.

    Bicycle riding is not permitted on sidewalks. Riding on sidewalks is dangerous for you and the pedestrians.  If the only way to access your destination is by way of a sidewalk, you must dismount your bicycle and walk.

    • You are safer on the road than on the sidewalks.  Cars are more predictable than pedestrians and the roads are less crowded than sidewalks.
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There are many multi-use trails on and near campus:

Riding at Night

It is important for bicyclists to be able to see and been seen when riding at night! If you are riding your bicycle after dark your safety depends on other road users’ ability to see you. Maryland state law requires your bike to have, at a minimum, a front white light visible from at least 100’ and a rear red reflector. In addition to this, BikeUMD recommends a rear flashing-red light and, if possible, additional reflective clothing or bike reflectors. Light sets are available for purchase from the DOTS office in Regents Drive Garage and the RecWell Bike Shop.

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Lost and Abandoned Bikes

Impounded Bikes

Bikes may be impounded immediately for improper parking including: being locked to trees, railings, gates, signs, impeding disabled access, or being a fire hazard.

Abandoned Bikes

Not only do abandoned bicycles represent an eyesore, but they take up valuable bike parking spaces, may present tripping hazards, and tempt thieves. Bike racks near classroom buildings are checked for abandoned bikes on an ongoing basis and the campus coordinates several abandoned bike sweeps each year. Abandoned bikes left on racks surrounding residence halls are removed every summer. Prior to removal, abandoned bicycles are tagged notifying the owner that the bike will be impounded if not removed within two weeks.

Stolen Bikes

If you think your bike was stolen, call the Department of Public Safety immediately at (301) 405-3555. Bikes that are locked properly with a u-lock are much less attractive targets for bike thieves.

Claim a Bike

If you think your bike was impounded for improper parking, appearing abandoned, or any other reason, follow the directions on the bicycle reclaim procedures document and check the impounded bikes database. All reclaimed bikes will be assessed a $35 bike impound fee.


Donate a Bike

Students, staff and faculty who no longer want their bicycles are encouraged to remove them from campus property. DOTS works with a number of local non-profit organizations and will accept donations to pass on to these charities.