Winter Biking

Biking in Winter

Nov 15, 2016

Ottawa is an excellent city for cyclists. There are over 600 km’s of bike paths available in the National Capital Region. Many of these paths are not maintainable during winter months, however Ottawa is committed to maintain approximately 40 km of bike paths every winter.

 

It is no small undertaking for the city of Ottawa to maintain these 40 km of bike paths. Ottawa typically has fairly aggressive winter’s and boasts quite a bit of snow during winter months. Even though temperatures can reach a shivering -40C there is still a large group of people who choose to hop on their bikes and go to work instead of hopping in a car or on a bus.

 

For those extreme cyclists who choose to bike during the winter months there are some things they can do to make their commute easier and safer. Drivers change the tires on their cars to provide better traction in winter conditions; cyclists should do the same. Bicycle winter tires are a safety must for any cyclists who wishes to brave the Ottawa winter roads and bike paths.

 

Winter cyclists should take further safety precautions beyond bicycle winter tires. Brightly coloured winter jackets are necessary for visibility by drivers. Wearing white or black jackets are both poor colour choices for winter winter cycling. Choose bright colours like orange or yellow to provide maximum visibility for your own safety. It’s also important to have a breathable jacket. Biking in the winter can be physically exhausting and the last thing you want to do on a cold winter day is sweat. If you sweat while moving at intense speeds you will freeze and possibly get sick when you slow down and the sweat has time to freeze. Wearing a jacket with proper vents for winter activity will allow you stay warm but also ventilated to prevent excessive sweat.

 

If your route is of the 40 km’s of bike lanes plowed by the city in the winter then biking to work or for fun is a great idea. However if you are forced to bike on the road in winter conditions perhaps consider a different mode of transportation as the winter roads are dangerous enough with just cars to worry about. Slippery conditions can be excessively dangerous for a biker, and with narrowed roads due to snow piles there is not always enough room for a safe bicycle commute.

 

Winter safety is very important to remember for all modes of transportation, but especially for cyclists. Winter biking can be fun and rewarding as long as the right precautions are taken such as bicycle winter tires, proper safety gear and general awareness of road safety.

Video emerges of yet another cyclist hit on Ottawa’s O’Connor bike lanes

Nov 10, 2016

A van driver has been charged by police after he knocked over a man on a bike last Tuesday. It was the third time a bike and vehicle have collided since the bike lanes opened only two weeks earlier.

The collision occured at the corner of Waverley and O’Connor streets at approximately 3:30pm EST. Luckily a cyclist going in the opposite direction was able to record the incident and posted it to YouTube.

The driver of the van was charged by police with failing to yield the right of way.

Another cyclist was knocked down in the bike lanes on the day they opened and another near the same spot on November 2nd.

Ottawa police did confirm the video posted to YouTube of Tuesday’s incident was authentic. The cyclist was examined at the scene but fortunately he didn’t need medical attention.