Riding Into the Future: 4 Tips for Cycling in the City

  • Brenda Grant
  • August 16, 2017

Not everyone can use a bicycle as their main means of transportation for a variety of reasons. For some it is health related, others live too far from the city core and still others lack that very basic qualification which is motivation.

According to statistics, most of us could do that commute if we put our minds and our bodies into it. The latest census numbers show that almost 40 percent of us live within 5 kilometres of our workplace. That’s not too far. But here’s some real kicker numbers to get your cycling mojo going. Our average commute time by car is 24 minutes. For those on public transportation it’s 44 minutes. But for those walking or commuting by bicycle it’s only 14 minutes on average.

1. Why should you begin cycling?

Think about the money involved in buying and maintaining a car. Car payments, insurance and the daily trips to fill up at the gas station. A bike is a one-time cost that have minimal maintenance costs and they maintain a sound resale value after purchase. In Europe where they have made cycling more accessible and safer millions of people use their bicycle as the main form of transportation.

In many European cities, cycling is faster than taking a car. While Canada does not have that type of infrastructure yet, we are getting there. Plus, it’s easy to find a parking spot for your bike right next to work or shopping. Try that with your car. One more advantage that bicycles have over cars is that they are not only good for your physical health, they are better for your mental health as well. Reduce your stress and ride your bike.

2. How to choose a bicycle?

If we have convinced you to buy a bicycle the now you need to consider some factors before you make this purchase. That might include identifying your fitness goals and where and when you plan to ride your new bike. Did you have a bike in the past that you may have liked or disliked? Who are you planning to go cycling with and what kind of riding do they do now? Those questions should help you identify the style of bike you are looking for.

3. How do you find a bike shop?

Now you can now start scoping out the different types and styles and levels, and find out which bike shop has the best deals, and availability for the bicycle you would like to buy. If you know that you will be riding with a friend or your partner or a group of friends, ask them how they like their bikes and what they would recommend for you. Then you can go and test ride some of the bikes and see which ones feel the most comfortable for you and will meet your bike riding needs.

4. What is a city bicycle?

A city bike (or city bicycle) is not really a type of bike, but it is really more of a general descriptive term. Some people might call them commuter bikes or urban bikes but almost any bike can be ridden in the city or for commuting. But many people think about a certain type of bicycle when they talk about a city bicycle.

Often, this means a bike that has some of the characteristics of both a hybrid bike and a cruiser bike. City bikes have the upright riding position of a cruiser, but the wheel size of a hybrid bike. A city bike might also feature fenders, a chain guard, a skirt guard on the rear wheel and a built-in generator and lights for safety when riding after dark.

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Hello, my name is Brenda and I'm a cancer survivor. I'm also a small business owner. Currently edging towards retirement, I hope to devote more time to my activism and social work in the near future. Helping those in need is my passion.

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