The days are getting longer and warmer. It’s the time of year to get out and enjoy some fresh air and to consider making cycling a part of your daily commute to work.
May is Bike to Work Month, and the City has partnered with EnviroCentre to offer participants a chance to win prizes from many local sponsors. Just sign up as an individual or join a team and log your rides.
With over 900 km of bike lanes and pathways in Ottawa, there are plenty of routes available to help you get from home to work and back again. The City is constantly expanding its cycling infrastructure and recently added the Max Keeping Bridge, the Hickory Street Bridge, the Adawe Crossing and is currently working on the design for the Rideau Canal crossing between Fifth Avenue and Clegg Street.
If you live too far from work to bike comfortably, try OC Transpo’s Rack & Roll program. Bike racks are installed on the front of over 600 buses, including all articulated and double decker buses, from late April until the end of October. Ride part way and use Rack & Roll for the rest, or bike to your nearest Park & Ride and lock your bike up to one of the bike racks at the Transitway station.
Bring your bike in for a quick tune-up by a professional bike mechanic from Right Bike thanks to support from Safer Roads Ottawa. The free bike maintenance pod is at Ottawa City Hall daily, Monday to Friday, on Marion Dewar Plaza from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May 1 to 19. It will be set up at Lansdowne Park on the Skating court from noon to 7 p.m. from Sunday, May 21 to Sunday, May 28. Have Right Bike look at your brakes, gear shifting, wheels, tires and other adjustments to make sure that you are ready to ride. These are quick free tune-ups, so there may be required procedures and replacement parts that are beyond what can be done on-site.
Through the Safer Roads Ottawa program and local partners, bike repair stations are popping up at various locations across the City. You can pump up your tires, or find tools to tighten a loose nut or carry out other basic maintenance. There are bike repair stations located at City Hall and more than 10 other locations across the city.
Helmets are a must if you’re under 18 and highly recommended for everyone else as they help protect against potential serious head injury. Ottawa Public Health has partnered with sports retailers across Ottawa to bring Ottawa residents a discount on helmets. The helmet discount will be offered on Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14. A list of participating retailers is available from Ottawa Public Health.
To keep you safe and help you become more comfortable and confident on the road, the City offers CAN-BIKE programs developed using the Canadian Cycling Association’s CAN-BIKE program and led by nationally certified highly skilled cyclist instructors.