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Cycling safety and education for families

Back to school

Many schools in Calgary are located close to pathways, on-street bikeways and cycle tracks. People driving, cycling and walking can expect to see students out in the mornings and afternoons. Please take extra care when traveling in locations near schools or busy extracurricular activity locations.


Remember to obey all signs and traffic signals when walking, cycling or driving.

Tips for people driving:

  • When parking your car alongside a cycle track or on-street bike way, please check for people cycling before you open your car door.
  • Remember to look both ways when entering and exiting driveways or alleys.
  • Expect to see children cycling on the sidewalks and crossing roads. Please slow down and drive with care.

Tips for people riding bikes:

  • People cycling must use handsignals to indicate turns to other road users
  • Please yield to people walking in crosswalks.
  • People are only allowed to ride bicycles on the sidewalk when signage allowing it is present or when the person cycling is under the age of 14.

Cycling safety information

Consider taking a cycling safety course with your family. It’s a great way to spend time together and learn how to ride your bike safely in Calgary. In addition to this, the Canadian Cycling Association offers CAN-BIKE, a cycling education program for kids and adults of all skill levels.

The following safety tips are reprinted with permission from Safe Kids Canada, a division of Parachute.

  • Ensure supervised riding. Children under age nine should cycle with responsible adults. Most children in that age group do not have the skills to cycle safely without supervision.
  • Learn the rules of the road. Make sure that children are taught the rules of the road for safe cycling practices before they are allowed to ride by themselves.

The bike

  • Make sure the bike fits. A bike that is too big or too small is a safety hazard. How to check: have your child sit on his/her bike; the toes should touch the ground on both sides.
  • Do an equipment spot check. Parents should ensure their child's bicycle is equipped with safety devices such as lights, reflectors and a bell or horn. Helmets should be approved for safety with a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certification.


  • It is a legal requirement for people under the age of 18 to wear an approved cycling helmet with a CSA certification.
  • Helmets must fit properly to be safe. When the straps and comfort pads are adjusted, the helmet should not move forward, backward, or come off. It should sit level on the head and extend down to about two fingers (3 cm) above the eyebrows. Chin straps should be snug without pinching, and the front and rear straps should meet just below each ear when tightly adjusted.
  • Helmets only work once. If a helmet has been in a collision that required the inner lining to absorb shock, buy another one! Even though the damage may not be visible, the shock absorbing qualities may be deadened.
  • If your child is under age five, make sure the helmet has been designed especially for this age group.
  • Examine helmets frequently to check that they are in good repair.

When using a child carrier

  • Visit your local bike shop and talk to other parents to learn about options for child carriers. Many options are available ranging from cargo bikes to seats that are positioned at the front of the bike.
  • Select a seat with safety straps and a sturdy harness that cannot be released by the child. Make sure adequate foot protection is provided.
  • Choose a seat with a high back and side supports to prevent the child from swinging. Ensure the seat is fastened solidly and securely to the bicycle frame so it can withstand swaying.

Connect with cycling

Take a map on the go! The City of Calgary Pathways and Bikeways iPhone and Android App is free and available to download from the Apple and Google app stores.

Download the iOS AppDownload the Android App