City wheels out its plans for Bike to Work Month

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It’s been a long, cold winter, but the warm weather is finally here and that means it’s time to get back on your bicycle and consider making cycling a part of your daily commute.

 

May is Bike to Work Month, and the City has partnered with EnviroCentre to offer participants a chance to win over $10,000 in 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 and maps available to help you get from home to work and back again.

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 more than 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. You can also bring your bike onboard the O-Train Trillium Line year-round. Please visit octranspo.com to see if your route is served by a Rack & Roll bus.

The City will once again be offering popular bike tune-ups by a professional bike mechanic from Right Bike thanks to support from Safer Roads Ottawa. A free bike maintenance pod will be located at Ottawa City Hall on Marion Dewar Plaza, weekdays, from May 1 to 19 between 3 pm and 7 pm. From May 22 to 31, the pod will be set up on the skating court at Lansdowne Park, and open to cyclists on weekdays between 3 pm and 7 pm. 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, the City has 26 bike repair stations at various locations. You can pump up your tires, or find tools to tighten a loose screw or carry out other basic maintenance.

Helmets are the law if you are under 18 and highly recommended for everyone else as helmet safety helps protect against potential serious head injury. Ottawa Public Health has partnered with participating sports retailers across Ottawa to bring Ottawa residents its helmet discount weekend. The helmet discount will be offered on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6.

To keep you safe and help you become more comfortable and confident on the road, on multi-use pathways and on cycle tracks, the City offers a wide variety of cycling education programs for all ages and abilities.

Catherine McKenney