Getting started

Using bikes for transportation or recreation is fun and easy and does not require specialized gear or clothing. Whether riding to work, school, running errands or just having fun, the same starting points apply. Below are a few things to consider when beginning to ride your bike.

Get comfortable riding your bike

Feeling confident on a bike is the first step. Check out the biking skills page for videos of the basics of riding and what to do in common situations. If you don't know how to ride a bike, practice with a friend or check out Cycles for Change's Adult Learn to Ride Classes.

Start simple and take it slow

If you're new to biking, start by biking to nearby destinations on a nice day at a pace that works for you. As you gain experience, gradually try new kinds of trips to new destinations.

Find a reliable bike

If you don’t have a bike, check out the finding a bike for information on your options.

Check your bike

Check to make sure you bike is ready to ride before you go. Check out the bike maintenance page to learn how to check our bike before you ride.

Wear what you have

Wear something comfortable you already own; no need for specialized clothes. If it’s cold, wear warmer clothes. If you get too sweaty, slow down or take off a layer. Check out the clothing and gear page for more.

Bring a lock and lights

You will need a lock to secure your bike if you leave it somewhere unattended. Read more about locks on the parking and locking page. Bring lights with you to help you see where you are going, and be seen by others. A front light and rear reflector, or rear light, are required at night

Research different route options

The best route by bike might be different than what you would take walking or driving. Using streets and trails designed for bikes can make your ride more fun and faster. See routes and navigation for tips on how to plan your route.

Follow the rules of the road

Ensure you ride is enjoyable and safe by following the rules of the road.

Check the weather

Check the weather forecast before you go and plan accordingly. Bring clothes for the forecast.

Have a backup plan

Have a plan if you encounter an issue like getting a flat or bad weather. A few options: phone a friend, take the bus or use Metro Transit’s guaranteed ride home program.

Enjoy the ride

Riding a bike should be comfortable and enjoyable. Experiment to find the right bike, clothes, routes and speed for you. Only you can determine what works best!