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Why should I choose to cycle?
Cycling is a great way to beat the traffic congestion during peak hours. You may even get to where you need to go faster.
In Ontario, many municipalities are increasingly promoting cycling as a mode of transportation for getting to work or school, running errands or just plain fun.
Cycling is Convenient
Cycling is a great way to run errands and do your shopping if you have the appropriate bike accessories. It's specially convenient for making quick trips, such as dropping off mail or picking up your child from school.
You can ride with children as young as 12 months old if they wear a helmet and you have an appropriate child seat or trailer attached to your bicycle. If your children are old enough to ride their own bicycle, they could take part in the Active and Safe Routes to School program, which is supported by some schools in Ontario to encourage students to cycle or use other forms of active transportation.
Perhaps the only inconvenience of cycling is that you always need to take precautions to prevent your bicycle from getting stolen, as bike thieves can be everywhere and as quick as your trip.
Be Safe and Comfortable
Get the right bicycle and accessories for you. Bicycles have different gear settings, shapes and height to accommodate different levels of cycling ability. Selecting the appropriate gear settings can help you pedal up steep slopes with ease.
Make sure that you find the right bicycle size for your height and weight. This will make cycling safer and more comfortable for you. Consider a bicycle with a step-through frame (sometimes referred to as "women's style bikes") if you don't want to lift your foot high to get onto the bicycle.
As long as you dress appropriately for the weather, an enjoyable ride is almost guaranteed. Prepare for the weather by checking the weather forecast before you head out on your bicycle. Dress to stay cool in the summer, and warm and dry in the winter. Today, there is cycling clothing available for even the most extreme weather conditions, so many people in Ontario can cycle all year long.
If you plan to cycle in the evening, be sure to wear bright and reflective clothing and accessories so that you are clearly visible to other road users.
Here are some additional tips that will help you enjoy the benefits of cycling:
- Know your route - Find the safest route available to you by bicycle.
- Stay safe - Practice safe cycling rules and make sure you have the appropriate safety equipment.
- Plan ahead - Pack whatever you need during your trip and for your destination. For example, you may want to bring along a water bottle to stay hydrated and a change of clothes for work.
For More Information
- Cycling Safety Tips - It is important for cyclists to be visible, ride predictably, understand how traffic works and to communicate with other road users. From the City of Toronto.
- Young Cyclist's Guide - An electronic guide for young cyclists providing information on bicycle equipment, riding tips and the rules of the road. From the Ministry of Transportation.
- Toronto Cyclists Handbook - A guide on cycling in Toronto which has information that applies to all of Ontario. Available in more than 10 languages. From Cycle Toronto and CultureLink Settlement Services.
October 17, 2018