Bicycle Operations Guidelines

Bicycles are an efficient way for students, faculty, and staff to get around campus.  If you are one of the many people at the College who ride a bicycle, please take a few moments to become familiar with this information.  At Middlebury College we encourage the safe and courteous use of bicycles.  It is unlawful to operate a bicycle in a manner that could endanger pedestrians, other cyclists, and motorists.  A bicycle is considered a vehicle.  When riding on town streets, you must obey all traffic laws.  Please be particularly cautious at intersections, especially those surrounding the College. 

Bicycle Parking Regulations

Bicycle parking regulations are in effect at all times, including holidays and summer months.  Bicycle parking is available at bicycle racks located throughout the College, including the residence hall areas.  Bicycles are to be parked only in these areas and should be properly attached to racks.  As a courtesy to fellow cyclists, please use only one space. 

Bicycles must not be parked or stored:

  • On any access rail, ramp or blocking an entrance or exit to any College building. Carelessly placed bicycles can cause injuries and prevent accessibility to a building.
  • Against or fastened to any water, steam or gas pipe, any electrical fixture, ornamental bench, trash can or emergency safety device.
  • Against or fastened to any tree, plant, bush or foliage.
  • In any handicap area.

Any bicycles found illegally parked or attached to access handrails will be cut off and impounded.  There will be a $50.00 impound/release fee for all impounded bicycles.  Bicycles can only be released during the Access and Parking Office business hours.  All fees must be paid via the Cashiers Office or the Public Safety Storefront.

For your Bicycle's Security

Students, faculty and staff that use bicycles on campus are required to register their bicycles with the Department of Public Safety.  The owner must register online and will then be issued a Middlebury College decal containing a license number.  The owner must affix the decal on the frame of the bicycle, preferably under the seat post.  

Bicycle owners should use a sturdy, good quality "Krypton" U-Lock.  This type of lock can be purchased at a local bike shop.  Although cable locks are often used, they do not provide adequate security (by the time you finish reading this sentence, your cable lock can be cut and your bicycle stolen).  Most bicycles that are stolen at Middlebury are ones that have been secured with poor quality locks and/or have been improperly secured or not secured at all. 

  • Retain the original purchase documentation for the bike, including the serial number.
  • If possible, take a photo of your bike.  It can help with recovery if your bike is ever stolen.
  • Always lock your bike.  Optimally, bikes should be locked around the frame and through both wheels, as well as secured to a bike rack.  Leave as little space as possible inside the U-Lock to minimize the space for thieves to insert their tools.
  • Do not lock your bike to a tree, bench, or handrail.
  • Invest in a strong bicycle lock or strong padlock and chain.  Chains should be case-hardened steel with links at least 5/8 inch in diameter.
  • Whenever possible, keep your bicycle inside. Many residence halls have designated bike rooms.
  • If you leave your bicycle outside, keep it in a well-lit and heavily traveled location.
  • Find out if your parents’ insurance policy covers your bicycle.  If not, consider insuring it.
  • Public Safety or Facilities Services will remove bicycles locked to handrails or in walkways and will fine the bike owners.

If your bicycle is missing or stolen:

  • Contact the Department of Public Safety immediately.
  • Be on the lookout for your bicycle.  If you locate it, contact the Department of Public Safety.
Where do I find my bike's serial number?

The majority of serial numbers are located under the bottom bracket where the two pedal cranks meet. Simply turn the bike upside down and record the number. If there is no serial number in this location, check places like the headset at the front of the bike or the rear stays.

 

The best chance for recovering a stolen bicycle is having it registered.

Bicycle Safety Information

  • Ride responsibly and always wear a helmet. Don’t weave or change lane positions.  Always leave at least 3 feet between yourself and obstacles such as parked cars or poorly maintained shoulders.
  • Make sure your bicycle brakes are in working order.
  • Vermont state law requires a white front light and rear red light for night riding.  Also, wear light, reflective clothing, which will increase your visibility and help reduce conflicts.
  • California state law (CVC §21201) requires lights and reflectors at night.  During darkness bicyclist must have the following equipment.  (Front lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet, a rear reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet, a white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist shoes or ankles visible from a distance of 200 feet.  A brake which will enable the operator to make a one brake wheel stop on dry, level, clean pavement.)
  • Always ride with the flow of traffic, on the road’s right-hand side.  Ride on roads and not sidewalks whenever possible.  Remember, bicyclists aren’t permitted to ride on sidewalks in Middlebury’s downtown.
  • Don’t ride the wrong way on a one-way street. 
  • Obey all traffic laws and always use hand signals when turning.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings: keep alert, don't wear headphones, and warn pedestrians or fellow riders when you’re passing them. Also warn vehicle drivers if their driving places you in danger.
  • Take extra care when passing parking lot exits or biking through a parking lot.
  • Walk bicycles across crosswalks to avoid bicycle/vehicle collisions.

Enforcement

Bicycles or mopeds may not be chained or otherwise secured to handrails or traffic signs, or placed in any manner which may create a safety hazard by obstructing passageways, stairs, entrances or exits.

Bicycles impeding pedestrian traffic, including access for the disabled, may be impounded without prior notification and an impoundment fee of $50 will be charged.

Public Safety and Facilities Services have the authority to use whatever means necessary to impound illegally parked bicycles; locks and chains are removed at the owner's expense.  The college will not be held liable for bikes or securing devices (locks) which are damaged during impoundment. Proof of ownership is required to claim impounded bicycles.  Unclaimed bicycles are disposed of. Violators of this policy will be issued a campus citation set at $50.00 plus any damages to College property.

Bicycles not in use, but not removed from campus or improperly registered and stored, invite theft and vandalism.  Bicycles not removed or properly stored by the day after final exams (unless in active use by students on campus for summer employment) will be considered abandoned property.  Bicycles not in working condition for a period of more than two weeks are considered abandoned, even during the semester.  If bicycles are removed and stored by Public Safety, a fee of $50.00 will be charged for not properly storing the vehicle.