Lanes for Casual Biking

Lanes for Casual Biking

Dec 27, 2016

Ottawa is a city heavily immersed in what we call “bike culture”. On any given day you can spot cyclists biking for transportation, sport or simply for fun. As with any activity there are different levels of cycling. Those who do it for sport are likely pedaling at higher speeds than those who are doing it for fun. So where do you go in the city if you want to cycle for fun and not be in the way of those cycling faster than some cars drive?

 

Ottawa has many different bike lanes in and around the city and the number continues to grow. For a more leisure bike ride you might take to the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway. Although many serious cyclists do frequent this bike path there is plenty of room for all cycling levels. With the beauty of the Ottawa river and views of Gatineau hills, the Parkway is an excellent location to have a leisurely cycle. Bring a snack and take a break to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

 

Over the summer Ottawa participates in Sunday Bikedays which is put on by the National Capital Commission. Sunday Bikedays is a program that designates certain areas of roadway as solely bike lanes for a period of time. This is an event open to cyclists of all skill level and is very family friendly. Check out the link for participating locations and further information. http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/places-to-visit/parks-paths/things-to-do/nokia-sunday-bikedays

 

What if you don’t live near the Parkway? Not to worry because as part of Ottawa’s commitment to cyclists there are bike paths located all over the city! For those who like to ride a little slower, the road is not necessarily the best place for you to be. Not only can it be nerve racking for the cyclist, but it is also dangerous for motor vehicles if a bicycle is travelling too slow and impeding the flow of traffic. There are plenty of bike trails that are off the roadways and provide a safe and oftentimes scenic place for slower biking to occur. Take some time to investigate around your neighborhood to discover the paths near you. Chances are good that there will be a bike path close by where you can ride at a leisurely pace.

 

Don’t be intimidated by the professional bikers who glide by at top speeds without seeming to breaking a sweat. Find a path that suits your biking comfort level and safely enjoy your cycling time.

Bike Safety on Busy Roads

Bike Safety for Busy Roads

Dec 6, 2016

At a time when we are seeing more bicycles on the road than ever before, we are also seeing more bicycle related accidents. Biking is an excellent mode of transportation for many reasons; they’re environmentally friendly, financially economical and provide a great source of exercise. However, for all of the many pros associated with cycling there still leaves room for cons such as accidents. As with many activities there is a certain level of risk associated with cycling on the road. To keep accidents to a minimum cyclists should always follow these five safety tips every time they mount their bike.  

 

1. Always assume you are invisible to cars

Car and bike collisions are very common and often result in the biker sustaining injury. It is sometimes difficult for the driver of a car to see an approaching cyclist and so the onus of awareness falls to the cyclist. Do not make quick and unpredictable movements while in traffic. Be as certain as you can that the drivers see you and never assume that you are in their line of sight. Cars have pretty big blind spots and an approaching bike may not catch their eye.

 

2. Wear a helmet

Helmets have been proven time and time again to save lives, so wear one. When cycling on a busy road you are left vulnerable to serious bodily harm in the event of an accident. Don’t be concerned with your hairstyle, be concerned with arriving at your destination in one piece.

 

3. Wear bright clothing, especially at night

There is no greater danger than cycling at night with dark coloured clothing. As bikes are difficult to see in the dark it is up to the cyclist to make themselves visible to cars. Don’t wait until a car hits you to see you, wear brightly coloured clothing and be sure to have reflective tape on your bike as well as lights for night riding.

 

4. Do not use headphones

Riding a bike is not the same as driving a car. In a car if you have music playing you can still hear sounds in your surroundings. On a bicycle you don’t have a speaker system and are left only with headphones to provide you with music. This is immensely dangerous as you may not hear someone yelling a warning to you, a car honk or any other possible warning signs you may need in order to avoid danger. Be smart about cycling and wait until you are at your destination to listen to your favorite song.

 

5. Do not operate a cell phone

The same rules apply to cyclists as motorists; do not operate a cell phone while operating your vehicle. This is especially important for cyclists to remember as their hands are required at all times for steering and braking. More and more cycling accidents are the result of cell phone usage while biking. This is entirely preventable and should not continue to cause accidents.

 

Understand that when you take to the road as a cyclist you are taking your own life into your hands. Be aware of what is around you and follow the rules of the road. Be as visual as possible to your fellow drivers and everyone can live harmoniously on the same roads!