Videos and Guidelines to keep you safe
Here's some great safety videos to get you started!
You will find more helpful videos at Reference A.
In a fight between your head and the pavement, the pavement always wins. IAW Ref B., among cyclists involved in fatal events between 2006-2017 in Canada, only 13% were wearing a helmet. While wearing a helmet does not guarantee your safety, it will aide in reducing the severity of injuries sustained in any crash.
IAW Ref A. & B., there are hazards everywhere that can lead to a crash such as, car doors opening, bikers not respecting the rules of the road, uneven surfaces, biking on the sidewalk passing children or dogs, and distracted drivers to name a few. Protect yourself by respecting the rules of the road and wearing a helmet
Make sure to get the right helmet for the type of biking you are doing. There are several different types from downhill biking, BMX biking, mountain biking, road biking and racing helmets. If you are confused, feel free to do your own research or head down to MACH1 to speak with our local experts, or any other reputable bike shop in your area.
Before buying a helmet, ensure that it is safety certified. There will be a sticker on the inside of your helmet to indicate this.
Even if your helmet is certified, it has to fit right to work properly. Once you have selected your helmet, put it on with the straps undone. Nod your head yes and no. If you helmet stays on snug, then it’s the right fit for you. Some bike helmets have an adjustable crank in the back. If the fit isn’t right, you may be able to adjust it so that the helmet does fit properly.
To wear the helmet properly, use the 2V1 rule. When placed on your head, you should be able to place 2 fingers between your eyebrows and the base of the helmet. Your straps tied under you chin should make a “V” shape under your ears, and you should be able to place one finger between your chin and the strap.
Store your helmet in a cool dry place, away from excessive heat or direct sunlight which will melt the foam component of your helmet.
A certified helmet will last 3-5 years, unless damaged by a crash or otherwise. To optimally reduce your risk of injury, replace your helmet using these guidelines.
Rules of the Road
Cycling on the road is safer than cycling on the sidewalk. When riding on the road, you are less likely to be cut off by oncoming traffic when crossing an intersection, or running into pedestrians who are walking on the sidewalk. IAW Ref C., the city bylaws state that only bikers under the age of 12 may bike on the sidewalk. For your safety, the safety of others and since this is a bylaw, we recommend you respect this rule.
When cycling on the road, you are treated as a motorized vehicle and are required to follow the same rules as when you are driving. This includes doing a full stop at a stop sign, stopping at red lights and signalling to turn.
When cycling, leave yourself enough room to maneuver around potholes, debris and car doors. Leave yourself space of about 1-meter between then curb, or parked vehicle. If you run into a pothole, this 1-meter space allows you to swerve around the pothole, towards the sidewalk, vice into traffic.
Hugging the sidewalk gives vehicles the false sense that they can share the lane with you without slowing down. When cycling, you have just as much right to the road as any other motorized vehicle and if you feel unsafe, ride in the center of the road. This may lead to frustrated drivers but is better for your safety.
Most accidents are caused by poor visibility. During the day, consider bright clothing, and at night, bring some lights. A white headlight on the front and a red light on the back of your bike.
It is easier for cars to see you if you ride straight. If you are riding on a street with intermittent parked cars on the shoulder, take the lane and bike straight. Weaving in and out of parked cars will reduce your visibility and may confuse drivers on your intentions.
When waiting at a red light, watch for impatient drivers who are turning right as they may cut you off when the street light turns green.
If you intend to go straight, stay in your lane instead of swerving into the turning lane just to move back into the straightaway lane.
If you are approaching a lineup of vehicles who are moving slowly, consider passing on the left. If you are passing on the right-hand side, motorists may turn in front of you without warning.
Turning left often requires crossing traffic. Much like when you are in a vehicle, you would only turn left from a turning lane. As such, when riding a bike, signal your intentions to turn and change lanes into the turning lane.
If you are nervous about following the rules of the road as a vehicle, when crossing intersections, you always have the option of dismounting, walking onto the sidewalk with your bike, and crossing the street as a pedestrian before mounting your bike and continuing on the road.
Similar to driving, shoulder check before you intend to change lanes or turn. Remember to signal before you turn. Left arm straight out to signal turning left. Left arm out and down at a 90-degree angle to signal that you are slowing down. Right arm straight out to signal turning right.
If you are nervous about getting out on a bike, first practice going straight in an empty parking lot. Then add more complex movements like turns, shoulder checks, and signaling before moving onto the road or the trails.
Practice breaking with both hands at the same time. Practice stopping on a line with varying speeds and intensities. Shifting your weight back on the rear wheel will help reduce skidding and improve your breaking efficiency.
Breaking on different surfaces will have different effects. Wet, sandy, icy or oily surfaces will reduce your breaking efficiency.
Cold Lake Bylaws
No person shall use a bicycle, in-line skates, roller skates, a skateboard or non-motorized scooter on a sidewalk in a reckless manner or without yielding to other pedestrian traffic.
No person who is less than 18 years shall operate or ride on a bicycle unless that person is properly wearing a safety helmet.
A person shall not ride a bicycle on any sidewalk, unless:
A person who is riding a bicycle on a highway shall ride as near as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the highway.
- That person is 12 years old or younger;
- That person is using the sidewalk in order to gain immediate access to a private residence, commercial premises, parkland or highway; or
- In accordance with a traffic control device.
A person shall not ride a bicycle on a highway where traffic control devices prohibit bicycle use.
Bike Repair Kit
There are many options of bike repair kits out there but they all serve the same function: helping perform minor repairs on your bike when biking far away from home. Here are the essentials:
The above list is not extensive, but is a good basic minimum target of tools to bring with you on every single ride.
- A hand pump or an automatic pump with CO2 cartage;
- At least two bike tire level tools;
- A multitool with Allen keys that fit your bike specifications; and
- Either a spare tube and/or a patch kit if you get a flat tire.
These kits are sold at local retailers such as MACH1 and Canadian Tire but you can also find them online through shipment companies like Amazon.
You will want to familiarize yourself with the tools and how to properly use them before going out on a ride. If you are uncertain, consider looking up “how to” videos or asking a local expert. IAW with Ref A., there is an 11min video from the Deanery Project which explains “how to change a flat tire.”
Bike Safety Check
Before every ride, we recommend a quick safety check:
After every ride, we recommend that you inspect the chain. If it is starting to get dirty, you will want to clean it off, something you should do quite regularly. Clean the chain with an eco friendly degreaser, wash the chain with soap and water, let it dry and then re-grease it so that it’s running like brand new.
- First: check your bike tire pressure. Your tire should have the required pressure in terms of psi marked on the tire itself. Take a pump with a gauge, and pump up your tires before every single ride to the required psi.
- Second: check your bike brakes. Walking with your bike, test both the back and front brakes to ensure that they are working properly. Consider adjusting your brake cables if the brake is loose. If you cannot fix the problem yourself, consider taking it into a local bike store for an adjustment.
- Third: check your chain and crank. You will want to raise the rear wheel of your bike, use one hand to pedal and the other to change gears. Ensure that your gears are changing smoothly.
4-Wing Summer Active Challenge Safety
The competitive division will require you to bike 4 different routes as fast as you can for the chance to win a 100$ gift card! However, these routes are not monitored or closed during the event. You are required to follow the rules of the road as you would any given day that you are our cycling. We do not condone any reckless cycling in order to win the race, including, but not limited to:
- Refraining from completing a full stop at a stop sign;
- Crossing intersections without yielding to oncoming traffic;
- Refraining from respecting other vehicles right of way when turning left;
- Biking on the left side of the road to cut corners on turns;
- Essentially any behavior that is not consistent with the general code of conduct expected of road cyclists.