10 Tips for biking in the city

Weaving in and out of urban spaces, pedalling through parks, new neighbourhoods, and along picturesque streets and bustling avenues; the ring of the bell blending with the din of downtown: cycling is one of the best ways to rediscover your city.

zoom on a city bike

Turn down the alley, take the bike path and glide through the city while avoiding traffic. Bicycles are ideal for dropping off your kid at daycare, your commute to work, popping over to the grocery store, or visiting friends. Moving around town on a bike has never been more popular. Follow our advice to guarantee a pleasant ride on two wheels.

1. Respect the rules of the road

For a safe and enjoyable city biking experience, it’s important to respect the rules of the road by following traffic laws. This way, you will foster a positive relationship between everyone in the urban environment, including cars and pedestrians. To develop good traffic instincts, be respectful and use common sense.

2. Signal your presence to others

In Québec, according to the law, the front of your bicycle needs to be equipped with a white reflector and the rear wheel with a red reflector, as well as one on each pedal. In Ontario, the law states that when biking at night, your bicycle needs to have a front headlight (white) and a red reflector in the back. Your bike frame should also have reflective material taped to the front and rear forks. Before heading out on your bike, we recommend double checking the rules and legislation that your province or municipality has put in place.

A good lighting system with both front and rear lights is the best way to ensure good visibility. For added safety, wear reflective clothing. A bell or flag also helps alert your presence to others.

3. Find the right accessories

Use mud guards to avoid having your back or pants splashed with mud or soaked by water. When running errands or bringing a bag to work, you’ll want to have racks and panniers installed on your bike to give you extra carrying space. You can also install a saddle bag under your bike seat to carry small essentials. If you have kids, mount a child’s bike seat to your frame to be able to safely transport your child to daycare or school. Don’t forget a rear-view mirror to check your surroundings and your blind spots.

woman who rides her bike with ease

4. Adjust your bike

Before setting off on your city cycling adventure, make sure to properly adjust the angle of your handlebars or even raise or lower the handlebars’ stem. For a comfortable ride, make sure your bike is set at the right height. You can always visit one of our in-store bike workshops and take advantage of our bike fit service.

5. Wear a helmet

Putting on a helmet before hopping onto your bicycle should be an automatic reflex. It’s the same as wearing a seatbelt in a car: it can save your life in an accident.

woman tying her bicycle helmet
man who hydrates on his bike

6. Stay hydrated

Be sure to keep water within arm’s reach by installing a water bottle cage in the centre of your bike frame. Then, just pop the water bottle of your choice into the holder.

7. Wear the right clothes

Wear cycling clothing that is appropriate for the season. A rain jacket will keep you dry if it starts to rain as you make your way across town.

8. Beware of car doors

Unfortunately, too many cyclists unexpectedly collide with car doors (often referred to as “getting doored”). To avoid this situation, cyclists should always ride a safe distance of at least 1 m from parked cars. It goes without saying that both cyclists and drivers need to be paying careful attention at all times.

In an ideal world, drivers should open their door using the dutch reach: from the inside of the car using the hand furthest from the door handle. This automatically turns the driver’s head towards the road and allows them to check the blind spot behind them so as to avoid an unnecessary collision with a cyclist.

9. Protect your bike

Equip your bicycle with a quality anti-theft system. Bike locks are still the best way to prevent a bike from being stolen. If your ride is secured properly, a thief is more likely to move on and target another bike. Want to keep your bicycle inside your apartment but don’t have enough space? Get a wall mount or some bike hooks to suspend or attach your bicycle to a wall or ceiling in your home.

10. Keep your bike in good condition

If you want to enjoy your bike for many years to come, prolong its lifespan by giving it regular maintenance. Check out the range of services offered at our bike workshops and you’ll be off to a great start. Enjoy the beauty of the urban jungle on a smooth-running bike and ride into the flow of the city!

zoom on bike chain repair

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