Is It Illegal To Ride A Bike With No Hands?

Handlebars are there for a reason; they help you steer the bicycle, support your weight, and keep the bike balanced. However, you may have seen some people ride their bikes without holding the handlebars and wonder is it illegal to ride a bike with no hands?

It’s now illegal to ride with no hands in most States. Doing so would result in you getting a ticket/fine or, at the very least, a warning, depending on if you’ve been caught doing so before or the officer’s mood. The legality depends on specific States, so it’s best to find out.

I understand that cycling with no handle is fun, simple trick that you can learn, but it can also be dangerous, and that’s why it is now illegal.

This post will look into the states where his stunt is legal and where it’s illegal, the benefits and dangers of riding with no hands, and how to do it.

Is riding a bike with no hands against the law

Is It Illegal To Ride A Bike With No Hands In The USA?

As you will see in the table below, it is illegal to cycle without holding the handlebars in some states and allowed in others. In addition, some states require you to control the handlebars with both hands while you can use one hand in others.

StateIs It Illegal To Ride A Bike With No Hands?
AlaskaYes, in Anchorage
District Of ColumbiaNo
New HampshireYes
New JerseyYes
New MexicoYes
New YorkNo
North CarolinaNo
North DakotaNo
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaYes
South DakotaNo
West VirginiaNo

Is It Illegal In The United Kingdom To Ride A Bicycle With No Hands On The Streets?

It is not illegal to ride your bicycle with no hands in the United Kingdom. However, while it’s allowed, it is also discouraged because it can lead to you losing control of your bike.

Riding your bike recklessly, dangerously, inconsiderably, or carelessly qualifies as an offense as stated in the Road Traffic Act of 1988. Cycling without holding the handlebars could be eligible as reckless cycling, especially if it leads to a pedestrian’s bodily harm or death.

Highway code advises you to keep your hands on the handlebars unless you need to change gears or signal to other road users.

Is it okay to cycle with no hands

Can You Ride A Bike With No Hands?

You can cycle without having your hands on the handlebar if your state permits doing so. This was a rite of passage for most of us when we were learning to ride a bike, and boy, those were fun times.

Not everybody can ride without holding the handlebars, but it is an admirable skill to have that can also be useful. It may come in handy when you want to put on your jacket, drink water, or even signal other road users.

Additionally, you can show off this skill to your mates once you get the hang of it.

What Are The Benefits of Cycling With No Hands?

Riding your bicycle without holding the handlebars comes with several benefits. These are:

1. It Allows You To Do Other Things

Cycling with no hands comes in handy when you don’t have the time to stop riding to put on or take off your jacket or have a drink. With this trick, you can do all of these more comfortably without wasting time when racing or during your commute.

2. It Builds Confidence

Learning how to ride hands-free isn’t easy and takes time to master because it requires mastering balancing and controlling your bicycle without the aid of your hands. Executing it flawlessly exudes confidence and helps you ride more confidently.

3. Stunt Riding

Cycling with no hands is an exciting stunt to have. You can impress your friends by doing it or capture the attention of people on the street.

Which states allow cycling with no hands

Why Is It Dangerous To Ride A Bike With No Hands?

Many things can go wrong when riding with no hands. They include:

1. Falling

Riding with no hands takes away some of your control over your bicycle, which puts you at risk of falling. You could hit something like a rock, making you lose balance.

2. Crashing

You can quickly lose control of your bicycle when riding without holding the handlebars. Crashing into trees, vehicles, people, poles, and other objects can put you in danger of getting hurt.

When practicing to ride with no hands, ensure you do it on a road without traffic and stay safe, protected, and not put others at risk.

3. Injuries

You can walk away with minor injuries and, in some cases, major ones like a broken bone from falling or crashing. You can lower the impact of an accident by putting on a protection pad and helmet whenever you go cycling.

4. Damaging The Bicycle

Countries that permit riding a bike with no hands

Besides hurting yourself, you might also damage your bicycle from crashing. The magnitude of the damage depends on your cycling speed.

How Do You Ride A Bike With No Hands?

Before we get into the steps you need to follow to master cycling with no hands, here are a few basics you should know.

1. Space

You will need ample space to practice riding with no hands. A vast area allows you to move side to side more comfortably and lower the chances of hitting something.

Avoid congested or high traffic areas until you fully master the stunt. Once you do so, you can execute it in the midst of drivers, other cyclists, and pedestrians.

2. Be Relaxed And Calm

Staying relaxed and calm while trying the stunt helps you keep your balance, steer your bicycle in the right direction, and focus on what’s ahead. You will also need to gain speed, and that means pedaling hard to maintain balance and momentum.

3. Control

Keeping control of your bicycle is a major concern when riding a bike with no hands. Luckily, there are some things you can do to achieve this, including moving your hips in the direction you want your bicycle to go.

You also need to be ready to use your hands to keep your bicycle in check whenever you are about to fall or crash into something.

Steps You Need To Follow To Ride Your Bicycle No-Handed

1. Find The Proper Seating Position

Make sure you are seated upright and comfortably to allow your weight to be distributed evenly on both wheels. Furthermore, keep your center of gravity low by juggling your weight between the pedals and saddle to maintain your balance longer.

2. Pedal The Bike Fast

You need to gain speed to maintain stability, so use a higher gear to accelerate because it gives your resistance.

3. Ride With One Hand First

Before letting go of both hands, you can ride with one hand first to ease you into it. Once you let go, keep your hands close so you can react faster if you lose your balance or get nervous.

4. Pedal Smoothly

After letting go of your hands, pedal smoothly and enhance your stability and control by moving your legs in virtual circles. Cycle in a straight line first, then lean on the side to make a turn once you feel confident.

Your lower body has to move in the direction you wish to turn successfully. Additionally, point your knees towards where you want to go and your upper body upright.

Is it illegal to cycle with no hands

It would help if you tried riding every new bicycle you get with no hands-on to ensure you master the trick. It is also important for your body weight to be on the saddle.


1. Why Can’t I Ride My Bike With No Hands?

You can’t ride your bicycle with no hands because you are probably cycling too slow, meaning you are not pedaling hard enough which compromises your stability.

Moreover, you may be sitting wrong in that you are not in an upright position. Your weight may not be distributed evenly on the bicycle’s wheels, compromising your balance.

2. Can You Ride Any Bike With No Hands?

You can ride any bicycle with no hands, given that it’s legal in your area and you can execute the trick.

3. Is It Illegal To Ride A Bike Without Hands In Louisiana?

It is illegal to cycle without keeping your hands on the handlebars for control and balance in Louisiana.

4. How Do I Ride A Bicycle Without Using My Hands?

You can ride a bike without using your hands by finding a comfortable, upright position with your weight distributed evenly.

Once you achieve that, generate high speed by pedaling hard to accelerate the bicycle. Control your bicyle with one hand first, then remove it from the handlebar once you feel confident cycling with no hands.

It’s essential to know that regular practices will improve your skill, so do it as frequently as possible.

In Conclusion, Is It Illegal To Ride A Bike With No Hands?

Generally, even if your state allows riding your bike with no hands, keeping your hands on the handlebars is better because it is safer and lets you react to sudden occurrences swiftly. However, if you want to do a bit of no hands riding, do it when you are on the road alone.

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