Getting ready to bike safely

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Aside from knowing the rules of the road (go to: Bike safety for newcomers), you should have good equipment.

Proper safety gear

It is the law to have the proper equipment and gear.

  • Your bike should have a white light in front and a red light or reflector on the back.
  • A blinking LED light on the back is an added protection.
  • Wear brightly coloured clothes. Use reflective material if you will bike longer distances.
  • Younger kids may need knee and elbow pads.

Check if your bike is safe to ride. Do the ABC Quick Check.
A– See if your tires have enough air.
B– Check if your Brakes are working.
C– The Chain should be clean and oiled.

Get a bike that is the right size for you. Watch this video for tips: Ride Safe this Summer.

Where to get a bike:

Buy high-quality bikes at stores all over Manitoba. You can also choose to rent, build or buy second-hand. When buying through Kijiji, Craigslist and similar sources, make sure that what you’re buying is not stolen. Ask the seller for the serial number. Check it in the Canadian Police Information Centre database.

Helmet

It is the law that anyone under 18 years old must wear a helmet. Adults should also wear a helmet to be safe. Based on statistics, around 60 percent of cyclists injured and almost 95 percent of cyclists killed in collisions with a vehicle were not wearing a helmet (from the Traffic Accident Report database 2011-2015, as cited from Bike Safely, MPI).

Watch this video to know how a proper helmet protects you and how to choose the right one :

CAN-BIKE // Bike Helmets 101 from Manitoba Cycling Association on Vimeo.

Remember:

  1. Helmets should be safety-certified.
  2. Follow the 2V1 rule for proper fit:
    • The space between your helmet and eyebrows should be two fingers.
    • The straps should form a v shape under your ears.
    • Only one finger should fit between your chin and strap.
  3. Helmets last 3-5 years. Replace it after five years or if it was in a crash or damaged.

Lock your bike

Prevent your bike from being stolen. Do the following:

  1. Register your bike with the City of Winnipeg’s Bicycle Recovery Section.
    • Go to the Online Bike Registry.
    • Type the bike’s serial number and your credit card information.
    • Upload three photos of your bike.
    • Pay $6.88 (2020, includes GST).
  2. Lock it well – Use both a U-lock and a cable lock. Lock your bike on a stable object, not on a tree, aluminum or wooden posts, or chain-link fences. Lock the bike frame, not the wheel.
  3. Secure it – Don’t leave your bike in your backyard, open garage or anywhere where it will be easy to grab. Use a secure bike parking facility, racks along storefronts, or any area covered by a CCTV camera when away from home. Choose a busy area where there are other bikes parked and locked.
  4. Report it –Report it to the police if your bike is stolen.

Give the bike’s serial number, model, color, unique markings or engravings. It’s better if you have a photograph. This will make it easier for the police to find your bike.
 
Article updated April 16, 2020.

 
Sources: Bike Safely, MPI; Stolen Bicycles, Winnipeg Police Service; and ‘Lock it or lose it: Winnipeg Police offer tips to cyclists’, CBC News Accessed May 28, 2019.

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