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Cycling

Start Cycling!

Cycling can be the best part of your day! 

Grab your bike and go! Experience the joy of being outside and the freedom of taking yourself anywhere you want or need to go.

The enjoyment that comes with riding a bike and the effects of exercise can lower depression, stress and anxiety and simply put a smile on your face.

Find out about your mental health fitness by trying this Mental Health Meter 

Become more comfortable and confident on the road by increasing your cycling know-how with City of Ottawa bike courses.

Check out these resources to help ease your mind in navigating the roads.

Choose the right helmet for you and learn to how to wear it properly.

Make plans with some friends and family!  Nokia Sunday Bikedays

Visit ParentinginOttawa.ca for tips on Active Transportation and Cycling Safety.

Cycling saves you time!

Get there quickly!  For trips of 7 km or less, cycling is usually the fastest way to travel within the city.  This is especially true in traffic jams or during rush hour!

Plan your route before you ride to save more time!

City of Ottawa Cycling Map

Have too far to go?  No problem, use the OC Transpo Rack and Roll program to complete your trip.

 Cycling saves you money!

Pass the gas station because you are the fuel for your bike!  Keep yourself going with the right choices of food and fluids .

Discover just how much money you can save!  Try the  Bike Benefit Calculator.

No pocket change necessary, park your bike in Ottawa for free!  City of Ottawa Bicycle Parking.

Save on parking fees!  Park your car for free, hop on your bike and complete your journey with the NCC Park and Cycle Program.

Take steps to prevent bike theft,  Ottawa Police share their tips.

Self Guided Bicycle Tours

As one of Canada’s largest cities at 100 kilometers wide by 50 kilometers deep, Ottawa has a very diverse and eclectic collection of rural attractions. These include historic sites, vineyards, county fairs, farmers’ markets, villages, and natural features. One of Ottawa’s greatest attractions is its beautiful waterways including the Ottawa River, Rideau Canal and Rideau River. Ottawa is also home to some of Canada’s most iconic buildings including: the Federal Parliament Buildings, the National Gallery, the National Arts Centre and many more. Seeing Ottawa by bicycle is very enjoyable and a great way to add fitness to your vacation experience. Build an appetite and then satisfy it at one of Ottawa’s great restaurants or quaint bistros and pubs.

Learn More

Advisory Bike Lanes

The City of Ottawa will be piloting a new type of cycling facility on low volume, low speed streets called advisory bike lanes. It's a new way for motorists and cyclists to share the road. While similar to regular bicycle lanes (which are marked on pavement by solid white lines), advisory bicycle lanes are used on narrow, low-volume streets and are marked with dashed lines. These markings give cyclists riding space, but are also available to motorists if needed to pass oncoming traffic. This concept has been used in other cities, but not in Ottawa. For more information on advisory bicycle lanes, please view the video, image and Frequently Asked Questions below.

Want to see advisory bike lanes in action? View the YouTube video of advisory bicycle lanes in operation in the Netherlands.

This figure summarizes how advisory cycling lanes work and shows a picture of a schematic of motorists and cyclists using a street with advisory lanes.

A new way for drivers and cyclists to share the road

How they work :

  • Advisory cycling lanes – a new way for drivers and cyclists to share the road.
  • Motorists share a wide lane with oncoming vehicles.
  • Each side of the road has an advisory cycling lane.
  • Drivers move into the right-hand cycling lane when passing oncoming vehicles.
  • Motorists must yield to cyclists already in that space.
  • Motorists travel behind cyclists until it is safe to move back into their lane.

Visit our YouTube Page and click “show more” for the descriptive video text.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the City installing advisory bicycle lanes?

As a pilot (trial) exercise, the City will be installing advisory bike lanes on Somerset Street East (between Chapel Avenue and Range Road) and potentially on Byron Avenue between Sherbourne Road and Broadview Avenue. While additional locations could be added as part of the pilot, these are the only two locations being considered at this time.

Are advisory bicycle lanes going to be used as a traffic-calming measure?

No. We will not be considering the use of advisory bicycle lanes exclusively to help slow traffic.

To implement advisory lanes, do you simply add painted dashed lines on the side of the road or are there other features?

There are two important considerations. First, advisory lanes are only appropriate on low-volume, low-speed street segments. As such, should volumes and speeds be higher than appropriate, changes (such as traffic calming) would be required to get speeds and volumes down to levels that would allow for proper operation of advisory lanes. Second, to mark the presence of advisory lanes, both painted dashed lines and supporting signage would be used.

What happens if advisory bicycle lanes don't work as envisioned?

Staff will monitor operations to help complete a before and after evaluation. Where the design is not operating as it should, adjustments will be made to correct the issue. Should those adjustments fail to address the issues they were intended to correct, the advisory lanes would be removed.

Doesn't the City already have advisory bicycle lanes on Fifth Avenue between O'Connor Street and Queen Elizabeth Drive?

Yes and no. Advisory style markings have been used on Fifth Avenue between O'Connor Street and Queen Elizabeth Drive, however these are not considered true advisory bicycle lanes. The Fifth Avenue treatment provides two separate vehicular lanes divided by a yellow centreline. The advisory bicycle lane concept for the pilot does not use a yellow centreline and the width of the two-way centre lane would be less than what is traditionally used for two full vehicular lanes.

Should you have any questions or would like more information about this pilot project, please contact:
Justin Swan, P.Eng
City of Ottawa - Transportation Planning Branch
Email: justin.swan@ottawa.ca
613-580-2424, ext. 21636

Cycling clubs and organizations

There are plenty of ways to get involved in Ottawa's exciting cycling community – join a club, volunteer to help or participate in an event.

Capital Vélo Fest 
E-mail : info@capitalvelofest.ca
613-680-4061
Dick Louch - dlouch@capitalvelofest.ca

Cycling Clubs and Organizations

Citizens for Safe Cycling
info@bikeottawa.ca

Human Powered Vehicle Operators of Ottawa
613-746-7685
hpv@tricolour.net

Kanata-Nepean Bicycle Club (KNBC)
info@knbc.ca

Ottawa Bicycle Club (OBC)
170A Booth Street
613-230-1064
obcadmin@gmail.com

Pathway Patrol
pathwaypatrol@ottawa.ca

Re-Cycles Community Bicycle Shop  
473 Bronson Avenue (at Gladstone)
re-cycles@flora.org

613-288-1454

Cycle Salvation
473 Bronson Avenue (at Gladstone)
csalvation@primus.ca

Cycling in the City

Autumn 2017

The Cycling in the City newsletter is issued three times per year and highlights new cycling facilities, programs, events and awards. Keep up to date with the latest cycling news by signing up to receive your own copy or view the latest edition online.

Routes and parking

New Official Cycling Map for Ottawa-Gatineau and the Outaouais Region now available.

Learn More

Winter Cycling Network

Following a recommendation in the 2013 Ottawa Cycling Plan, a network of approximately 40km of cycling facilities will be maintained during this winter season. The Cycling Plan identified several important cycling routes, in addition to those facilities that are already maintained, that form a modest network centered around the downtown core. Cycling facilities will be maintained to the same standard as the neighbouring sidewalk or vehicle travel lanes.

On-street cycling lanes will be plowed following 2.5 to 5.0 cm of accumulation within the timelines identified in the Maintenance Quality Standards (within 24 hours following the completion of snow accumulation). Raised cycle tracks and multi-use pathways will be also be plowed following 2.5 to 5.0 cm of snow accumulation, however they are maintained to a snow packed standard with the exception of those adjacent to arterial roadways. Snow removal will be scheduled when snow banks are encroaching on to 50% of the existing width of the bike lane.

The winter cycling network also can be found on the City's GeoOttawa website, under Cycling > Existing Cycling Network > 2016/2017 Winter-maintained network.