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Cycling is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint while staying healthy and fit. In fact, adults can increase their health and wellness by adding just 30 minutes of physical activity like walking or cycling per day - the equivalent of two coffee breaks. In urban areas, cycling can be the fastest and least expensive way to commute. Many car trips are less than 3 kilometres; an average person can cycle 3 kilometres in under 15 minutes.
Some benefits of cycling include:
- Reducing car and truck traffic congestion and easing demand for parking
- Conserving energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions
- Improving public health and fitness through physical activity
- Making our communities more desirable places to live, work and visit
- Reducing fuel and parking costs
Tips for Cycling
Cycling can be a safe and enjoyable way to travel around your community. In partnership with the Province, many communities have been hard at work constructing improved facilities for cyclists, including separated bicycle lanes, bridges, and traffic signals.
There are a few tips that all cyclists, from the newest to the most experienced, can follow to make their ride as enjoyable as possible.
- Research the cycling network in your area: maps of cycling routes can be found online and in bike stores. In addition, a quick call to your local municipality or transit system can get you pointed in the right direction. The best way to learn about your local cycling network is to talk to some regular users.
- Study your route: take some time to trace out your route on a map. Walking or cycling the route the day before can be very helpful; be on the look out for any hazards or complicated intersections and try to remember some landmarks to help stay oriented with the area. A notebook can be helpful for jotting down notes and should be reviewed before your first few trips. There is also the Cycling Route Planner you can use for when you’re riding inVancouver.
- Ride with a friend: try and follow someone else who is familiar with the area or the route on which you want to go. Riding with an experienced cyclist can provide valuable first hand experience with proper manoeuvres and skills.
- Learn the traffic laws: just like when driving a vehicle, there are traffic laws that must be obeyed. Make sure you know the rules of the road before you embark. One of the best ways to get acquainted with these rules is to take a cycling skills course and to check out a cyclist’s guide to traffic skills.
- Maintain your equipment: ensure that your brakes are in working order and your tires are inflated adequately. Keep your chain tensioned and oiled and keep an eye out for any loose bolts on your bike. An ill-maintained bike is more difficult to ride and can be a safety hazard to both the rider and those around.
- Dress appropriately: reflective clothing can be found at all bicycle shops and will make you visible to drivers in dark conditions. Don’t let wet weather stop you – rain gear can keep you dry on the inside while you get your exercise. And remember, bicycle helmets are required at all times.
- Integrate with public transit: the SeaBus, most SkyTrain stations, the WestCoast Express, and most transit buses are equipped to carry your bike. Integrating with other forms of transit can help for longer distance commutes. Contact your local transit system for details about your area, or visit: