Tips for New Cyclists

Tips for New Cyclists

Cycling is fun, healthy, and low impact exercise. We aim to make it accessible to folks of all ages and abilities.

Cycling is fun, healthy, and low impact exercise. We aim to make it accessible to folks of all ages and abilities. Find below some tips for newer or returning cyclists. You may also want to sign up for one of our Bike Skills Courses in order to learn skills and build your confidence.

Safe Cycling Basics

First principle of safe cycling: Cyclists have the SAME rights and responsibilities as a driver of a motorized vehicle. Next is to be a defensive and courteous cyclist. Your safety is your first responsibility but also, be kind, yield and communicate.

Plan your route in advance—where you ride has a huge impact on your safety and enjoyment, and the best cycling route may not be the same as the one you drive. Consider trying a new route on a Sunday to experience it without busy weekday traffic.

Returning Cyclists: Five videos to watch if you’re getting back on the bike

  1. Before you start riding, anyone can do an Air, Brakes, and Chain (ABC) Quick Check: How to do an ABC Quick Check on your bicycle – YouTube
  2. Always wear an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards and occasionally check for signs of wear. Wearing a helmet is the law in B.C. and you could be fined for not wearing one. Check out this video on Helmet Fit: How To Fit & Adjust A Cycle Helmet – YouTube
  3. You’ll want to develop some key bike handling skills, like stopping, turning, shifting gears, and shoulder checks. Here is a great video to get you started: CAN-BIKE // Bike Handling Skills 101
  4. Communication: 
  • A bell is useful as a warning to other road users and pedestrians; can cut through the cacophony of urban noises
  • Using your voice: New cyclists may be more comfortable riding on multi-use trails or protected bike lanes, where cyclists should ring their bell or call out (ie ‘passing on your left’) when passing others.
  • Hand Signals: The proper sequence for signalling is; first shoulder check, then hand signal, and then, with both hands on the handlebars, shoulder check again before making the turn or stop. Remember to hold your hand signals for 3-5 seconds!

More resources: Printable bookmarks for Helmet Fit and ABC Bike Check

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