Cycling is an excellent way to have fun and get in shape; it’s also a great way to save money and the environment with cleaner, greener pedal power. The Co-operators is committed to sustainability, and we encourage the sustainable practices of our employees, clients and prospective clients. We want to help you to go green and stay safe so before you hit the road and trails, make sure you understand the rules, rights and responsibilities of sharing the roadways with pedestrians and other vehicles. Be sure to share these tips with your employees to help them stay safe, too.Gear up for a smooth ride. In addition to having a proper helmet and a bike in good repair, make sure that the frame, seat, and handlebars are adjusted for maximum comfort. For extra security, use a strong lock and remember to loop it through your removable wheels and seat.Share the road. As a cyclist, you are the driver of a vehicle and are subject to the same rules of the road as other vehicles, including fines for breaking the laws. If you don’t drive a car and are not sure of the rules, pick up a copy of the driver’s handbook at your local Ministry of Transportation office. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:
Be seen and heard. By law, you should have a white front light and red rear lights installed for riding at night, and a working bell or horn. Improve visibility by wearing lighter-coloured clothing, and put reflectors and reflective material on pedals, clothing, and helmets. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Don’t use your cellphone or music player while you’re riding, and don’t ride while intoxicated.Stay off the sidewalk. Remember that you’re the driver of a vehicle, not a pedestrian on wheels. If you are on a trail shared by pedestrians and cyclists, reduce your speed. Before passing people in front of you, use your bell and let them know on which side you’re passing. If you must use a pedestrian crosswalk, walk the bike across, don’t ride. Watch for obstacles and weather hazards. Keep an eye out for potholes and sharp objects in your path. Take extra care in wet weather to avoid puddles, and allow extra time for braking and cornering. Boost your skills for fun and safety. Check your local cycling club or police services for information about the Cycling Association of Canada’s CAN-BIKE cycling course. You’ll have greater confidence on the road with more information about proper equipment, defensive riding skills, traffic analysis and collision avoidance techniques. Cycling isn’t just good for your health; it’s also better for the environment. As a company committed to making our world more sustainable, we encourage you and your employees to ride safely, and ride more often to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For times when two wheels aren’t enough, see our Safety Tips for more on safe driving.