May is Bike to Work Month and the City of Ottawa is encouraging residents to commute by bicycle.
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.
If your bike needs a tune-up after the long winter, the free bike maintenance pod is returning to City Hall, thanks to support from Safer Roads Ottawa. The pod is at Ottawa City Hall on Marion Dewar Plaza, Monday to Friday from May 6 to 17 between 3:30 and 6:30 pm. Bike mechanics from Cycle Salvation (link is external) will inspect and can make adjustments to your bike, but if you need any repairs, they’ll refer you to a reputable bike shop.
Rack and Roll (link is external) is back for the season, so if you find your ride too long, try loading your bike on the bus for part of the trip. Racks are installed on the front of over 600 buses, including all articulated and double-decker buses, and bikes can be transported year-round on O-Train Line 2, the Trillium Line. If you’re not familiar with how to use Rack & Roll, a unit will be available from City Hall, weekdays from Wednesday May 8 to Friday May 17 (except Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15) between 3:30 and 5 pm.
For an eighth straight year, Ottawa Public Health will be partnering with sports retailers across Ottawa to bring Ottawa residents a discount on helmets. Discounts will be offered at participating retailers (link is external) on Saturday May 4 and Sunday May 5. Helmets help prevent serious brain and head injuries by absorbing the force from a fall or hit to the head. In Ontario, it is mandatory for anyone under the age of 18 to wear a certified helmet while riding a bicycle.
The City is continually expanding its cycling network and currently provides more than 900 km of bike lanes, cycle tracks and other infrastructure. The latest addition includes several protected intersections, which are designed to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians by providing features that separate vulnerable road users from motorized traffic. The newly reconstructed Booth Street Bridge is a multi-modal link in the City’s transportation network, which includes bike lanes and provides a safer environment for cyclists, pedestrians, transit users, and motorists. There are also several bike repair stations at various locations where you can pump up your tires, or find tools to tighten a loose nut or carry out other basic maintenance.
The City offers cycling education programs for all ages to help you become a more comfortable and confident rider, learn cycling skills, traffic analysis, general bicycle maintenance, route planning and more.