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General Bike Safety Information

  • Bicycle related injuries are a frequent cause of death and injury in young children.
  • A fall from two feet (60 cm) can cause permanent brain damage.
  • A fall at a speed of 20 km/hr can result in death.
  • Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of head and brain injury by 85%
  • Children under nine need supervision:
    • Most children do not have the skills to cycle safely on the road.
    • Learning to balance a bike is only the first step.
    • Children need help to make good choices.
    • Understanding how traffic works takes time and experience.
    • Children under 9 should cycle with responsible adults at all times.

Make your bike legal

Equipment required by law:

  1. Helmet - cyclists under 18 must wear a helmet. Helmets are strongly recommended for cyclists over 18.
  2. Light and reflector - a white light mounted on the front of your bike, a red reflector on the back for riding when dark.
  3. Bell or horn - all bikes must have a working bell or horn to announce your approach to others.
  4. Reflective tape - white reflective tape on the front forks, red reflective tape on the front and rear stays.

Recommended Equipment

  1. Rack or basket - keeps hands free for steering.
  2. Water bottle and cage.
  3. Shoes that cover your toes, and are not slip on.
  4. Reflective clothing for riding when dark.

Simple safety tips:

  • Be visible - cycle on the right hand side of the road with the flow of traffic.
  • Do not cycle on the sidewalk or on the crosswalk.
  • Be alert - look for hazards such as sewer grates, car doors, gravel, and railway tracks.
  • Before making a turn always look over your shoulder and behind, signal, check again and then turn.
  • Be heard - all bikes must have bells or horns as required by law.
  • Be smart - know the rules of the road.
  • Obey all traffic signs and lights.
  • Treat a driveway as an intersection.

"ABC" Bike check

  • A is for air:
    • Do tires have enough air?
    • Do the wheels spin without wobbling?
    • Is there any looseness in the ball bearings in the hub?
    • Is the tread or sidewall on the tires badly worn?
  • B is for breaks and bars:
    • Are the levers far enough from the handlebars (at least two finger widths)?
    • Are brake pads in proper position and not too worn?
    • Do brakes fully tighten against the rim?
    • Are cables worn?
    • Check headset and handlebars for looseness?
  • C is for chain:
    • Is the chain on and lubricated?
    • Do the pedals spin freely?
    • Are gear derailleurs in correct position?
    • Is there any looseness in bottom bracket?