For tips to follow when driving→

When Cycling

Being in traffic can be challenging. Be safe — follow the rules of the road.

Before Cycling

  • Be visible! Use lights, reflectors and a bell. Wear bright clothing.
  • Helmets save lives and are required by law for those under 18. Bike helmets should be replaced after five years or a crash where the cyclist has hit their head.
  • Adjust your helmet using the 2V1 rule — your helmet should be no more than 2 fingers from eyebrows, straps come to a V under each ear, and 1 finger space under chin strap.
  • Plan your route — consider avoiding high-traffic roads without paved shoulders.
  • A fun and safe cycling experience starts with a properly equipped bicycle. Check your tire pressure and brakes before starting out, and consider carrying a repair kit and first-aid kit.

While Cycling

  • Obey signage — behaving like a car makes you predictable.
  • Ride on the right side of the road — cyclists are required to go with the direction of traffic.
  • Ride up to 1 metre from the curb and parked cars.
  • Change and merge lanes as needed — look and signal before you act.
  • In Lanark County, only children are allowed to ride on the sidewalk.

See • Be Seen • Be Predictable

Be Respectful

Links and Resources

Bicycle Safety
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has great information on bicycle safety, including cyclist guides for adults and children that include safety tips and rules of the road.

They also have information on legislation and some frequently asked questions including:

  • New rules for cyclists
  • One-metre passing law
  • Dooring
  • Lights on bikes

There is also this video about Ontario’s 1 metre rule that shows what 1 metre passing actually looks like.

Share the Road also has videos they developed about sharing the road. Some videos include both the cyclists’ and the drivers’ perspectives to help everyone learn how and why to share the road. They also have tips for cyclists like stay safe stay back, which shows cyclists how to turn right safely when approaching a large truck.

Bike Ottawa has created a great video on lights and being seen on your bike at night.

Also see the Health Unit’s website for information on safe cycling and road safety.

CAA provides information about the ABCs of bicycle maintenance and care.

Helmets
Parachute, a national Canadian charity founded in 2012, promotes researched, evidence-based and expert-advised resources and tools that can help to prevent serious harm or death from preventable injuries. The have a helmet frequently asked questions section that includes information on:

  • How to fit a helmet
  • What type of helmet to use for different activities
  • When to replace a helmet

They also have information on the facts and myths about helmet legislation

Also see this great video from Manitoba on Bike Helmets 101. This video shows you:

  1. The 2V1 helmet fitting technique
  2. How and when to purchase a helmet
  3. How to care for your helmet
Learning to Cycle
If you are interested in learning to cycle or becoming a cycling instructor, CAN-BIKE has courses for all skill levels, and for all ages. Cycling Canada’s CAN-BIKE program is a series of progressive courses covering all aspects of cycling, to help people ride safely, effectively and enjoyably on the road. Whether you are just thinking about learning to cycle or are an expert who is considering becoming an instructor, find out what courses are available near you.

Parachute also has great information on safe cycling that is targeted at youth and includes a video for children. They also have a Safe Cycling, Safe Roads, Saves Kids Lives infographic.

Cycling and Health
Cycling is a great activity for people of all ages. Not only is it a less expensive form of transportation to get you to where you need to go, it is also good for the environment and for your health. By learning to cycle you can improve balance and coordination, while keeping your heart pumping and healthy. The more you learn, the more you can challenge yourself to become comfortable and skilled at cycling in different places, on different surfaces and in more challenging ways. Cycling can be just for transportation or for fun and recreation (e.g., mountain biking on bumpy trails, fat biking in the winter, cycling races, leisurely rides to a destination).