Cycling is great exercise and is often as fast as a car for trips under 10 km. A cyclist of average fitness can ride 15 to 20 km/h. Riding to work results in significant health benefits, and cyclists have more personal interaction with pedestrians and other cyclists.
The City of Calgary has an excellent network of off-street pathways and on-street bikeways that can help you stay away from heavy traffic. There are over 707 km of pathways and 355 km of on-street signed bicycle routes in Calgary.
Here are a few tips to help make cycling to work safe and comfortable:
- Wear appropriate cycling clothes including a helmet and have a backpack or pannier (saddle bag) for your work clothes if needed.
- Avoid pants that can get caught in your chain—this can also be avoided with an elastic band or Velcro ankle band to tie back your pant legs.
- Have a strong, comfortable bike that has been recently tuned. A minor adjustment in seat or handlebar height can make a big difference in comfort.
- Plan your route in advance and leave in good time so you don't have to rush.
- If you will be leaving work after dark, make sure you have lights and reflective clothing to make yourself visible to vehicles. Reflective strips can be applied to your bike or clothing inexpensively.
Bicycles are considered vehicles under the law and have the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle. Cycling with a buddy is fun and there may be some more experienced cyclists at your workplace that can help you increase your confidence and road savvy.
For more information on cycling in Calgary call 311 or fill in the online form.
"Typical cyclists commuting to downtown are male (75 per cent), over 35 years of age (65 per cent) and earning more than $90,000 a year (45 per cent). They cycle to work nine months of the year for an average commute distance of 10 kilometres and 28 minutes each way. The improvements they’d most like to see and that they believe would make cycling easier for them include bike lanes in the downtown core, bike lanes outside downtown and more pathways outside of the downtown. " - Calgary Commuter Cyclist Survey 2006
Connect with cycling
Take a map on the go! The City of Calgary Pathways and Bikeways iPhone app is free and available to download at the App Store. An Android version is being developed and will be available soon.
Download the Pathways and Bikeways App