Where is it possible, where not, and what to do if you get a flat tire?
Riding a bike in this early-autumn weather is one of the best things. But few rules are worth keeping in mind. As every country’s regulation is different, it’s important to know the local rules if you come to visit. First of all, Budapest is not a bicycle-friendly city. We’re trying, but there is not enough bicycle path and the existing ones are often not too practical.
If there is a bicycle path, then – obviously – cyclists have to use it, but what if there isn’t? If there is no designated bicycle path, we must use the right side of the road from a safe distance from the sidewalk. That's approximately 1 meter. It’s also important, that in Hungary bus lane is not open for cyclists, unless an extra sign permits.
In Hungary you must pay extra attention if you’re passing by a parking car: always keep at least one door distance, because it’s not too enjoyable when you fly over an opening door without your bike. Cyclists can only use the sidewalk if the road is unsuitable for cycling, and only with no disturbance to pedestrian traffic, and at a speed of up to 10 km/h.
The bicycle must have a bunch of mandatory equipment as well: white or amber front light, red rear light, red rear prism, two independent brakes, bell, amber spoke prism at least on the front wheel, and reflective clothing outside the residential area.
And what about drinking? Well, first of all, if you drink, please do not ride, but since 2012 Road Traffic Regulation permits a beer or something equivalent. More precisely the law permits 0,5 % blood alcohol level, above this we can expect a serious fine.
Last but not least, we also have good news: there are several (now 10) public bicycle pumps in Budapest that anyone can use freely. Check out the exact locations of the pumps here, it can be very useful at some point!