Is it compulsory to wear a helmet when cycling in Tenerife?

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Is it compulsory to wear a helmet when cycling in Tenerife?

Notapor Synchronicity » Sab Mar 29, 2008 12:41 pm

I do not promote cycling without a helmet, but I've been asked this several times already.

According to Spanish law, yes it is compulsory to wear a helmet when cycling in Spain. The fine for not wearing a helmet is €150 + 3 point licence deduction! How they can translate the fine from a bicycle onto your driving license is a little cheeky, and theres a thread about it on another spanish cycling forum here.

However they do make three or four exceptions for the following situations:

  1. Prolonged ascents
  2. Conditions of extreme heat
  3. Urban streets
  4. Medical reasons

Now in my opinion, Tenerife is one big long ascent. That doesn't excuse you from riding back down without a helmet downhill though. ;-)

The coast of Tenerife now has what can only be described as one continuous urban zone. So unless you have the great misfortune of getting a ticket from an officer for the little gaps of 5-20m between the signs at the start and finish of some towns, I'd say it's ok to ride around without a helmet in those places.

There are sometimes very hot days here called calimas.

I can't think of any medical reasons not to wear a helmet. :???:

By the way, I want to make it perfectly clear that I don't condone riding without a helmet. I always have to provide the option of a rental helmet for those cyclists that don't bring their own or forget/lose their own bicycle helmets. Whether you decide to ride with or without a helmet is obviously your choice.

The only time I ride without a helmet is for journeys under 5km where I don't exceed jogging pace (when delivering a rental bike for example). During these occasions, I have passed both the civil guard police (on local streets) and the local police... they could easily have stopped me, but they didn't. I think the reason is because they're too busy fighting organised crime in Tenerife (yes there is a big hash & cocaine problem here).

I will say that I have noticed that when cars do see you, they steer WELL clear of this "crazy cyclist riding without a helmet". The trouble is when they don't see you & you fall off and crash into the road surface, splitting your head open. I have been unlucky enough to crash twice while riding in Australia with a helmet. Lucky for me, I didn't land on my head anyway.

Incidentally, one of my clients did crash while wearing one of my rental helmets. I never saw it, but yes the helmet was totalled, and yes he was also naturally very grateful for wearing it.

"Los conductores y ocupantes de bicicleta deberán utilizar cascos de protección homologados o certificados cuando circulen en vías interurbanas, salvo en rampas ascendentes prolongadas, por razones médicas y en condiciones extremas de calor.
Los ciclistas en competición y los profesionales durante los entrenamientos o en competición, se regirán por sus propias normas"

If you have any other questions about road rules in Spain, just ask. | Pro Road and MTB Hire in Tenerife | Advanced alumina ceramic gear lines
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Doc Brown - Site Admin
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Notapor potdog » Dom Abr 13, 2008 7:59 pm

Thanks for that Sync. I wasn't aware of the law in this respect. Although I must say that I rarely ride without a helmet and have only had one client who refused to wear one, he soon changed his mind after the first days riding though :grin:
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