As we recognize World Bicycle Day 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, using bicycles to complete essential trips helps with getting activity.

As we recognize World Bicycle Day in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are not working or are working from home. Either way, we might not be getting as much activity into our daily lives as we ought to. Using a bicycle to complete your essential trips is one way to help address this.

Regular physical activity of moderate intensity – such as walking, cycling, or doing sports – has significant benefits for health. At all ages, the benefits of being physically active outweigh potential harm, for example through accidents. Some physical activity is better than none. By becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can quite easily achieve the recommended activity levels.

The City of Brampton is one of many cities around the world that opening space for people with Vodden Street bike lanes.

This episode of Bicycles As Transport discusses the new Vodden Street Bike Lanes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything about how we do things on a day-to-day basis. This is particularly true with transportation, with the need for more physical distancing.

The City of Brampton is one of many cities around the world that are looking at ways of using space differently. Throughout the Region of Peel, there’s been a 33% reduction in automobile traffic. At one point, Toronto reported a 73% reduction. Many people have found themselves without work, or working from home, as a result of this pandemic.

What about the people who do need to go to work? Our essential service workers? The City of Brampton has continued to run Brampton Transit with transit vehicles running at half capacity. This has created new pressures to make sure there is enough service on busier routes.

There are more people using pathways and recreation trails. While pedestrian traffic are able to gap themselves accordingly for physical distancing, there isn’t a lot of space remaining to operate a bicycle safely in between people.

Vodden Street provides a critical east-west cycling corridor across the City of Brampton. Vodden Street connects to many important amenities (see 360 video below for examples). Brampton also has a challenge with crossing the heavily used Highway 410. Vodden Street is one of the few roads that crosses over the 410 without conflict with automobile traffic trying to access the highway.

Essential Locations, Accessible From Vodden Street

  • Pharmacies
  • Grocery Stores
  • Hardware Store
  • Computer Repair
  • Food Takeaway Locations

Vodden Street also has the benefit of connecting to several trail systems, including the Etobicoke Creek Trail, Esker Lake Trail, and Chinguacousy Trail.

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Disclaimer: “Bicycle As Transport” videos are for demonstration purposes to provide general information on lawfully using a bicycle. They are not CAN-BIKE instruction videos, are not comprehensive, nor provides specific advice or any guarantees. You must determine for yourself what your experience, training and competency level is with using a bicycle. The Bikeport by Kevin Montgomery disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.

To arrange a CAN-BIKE course, please visit:
http://bikeport.ca/courses/available-courses/

In the absence of nearby bike lanes or trails, local roads to connect you to these facilities will likely be the route you’ll need to take.

This episode of Bicycles As Transport discusses local roads.

In the absence of nearby bike lanes or recreation trails, local roads to connect you to these facilities will likely be the route you’ll need to take.

General Expectations

Follow all traffic laws.

Kevin Montgomery, stopping at a stop sign.

Keep Right.

Ride about a meter from the curb.
Sewer grates are useful for measuring the distance from curbs.

Bicycles, as slower-moving traffic, need to keep to the right of the road to allow faster moving vehicles to overtake. Keep about a meter from the curb, or from parked cars.

Take Space If Necessary.

“Taking the lane”
Moving away from the curb to overtake a parked car obstructing the path ahead.

There is room for discretion. People can lawfully use bicycles in any part of the lane. If a person on a bicycle feels that the path they are traveling on is unsafe for any reason, such as potholes, obstructions, or because of a change in direction ahead such as preparing to make a left turn, they are allowed to adjust their position to the left.

Remember, when changing position: Shoulder-check, signal your intent, shoulder-check to make sure the way is clear before changing your position. For more information, please refer to Bike Handling Skills.

A non-exhaustive compilation of online references and things to know about using a bicycle on local roads is available on The Bikeport website. Particularly Traffic Skills.

For additional information, please check out the Ministry of Transportation for The Government of Ontario (MTO) website.

Bicycles Do Not Require

  • Registration
  • Licence plates
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Driver’s licence

People of all ages can ride a bike!

Remember to subscribe for future episodes!

Disclaimer: “Bicycle As Transport” videos are for demonstration purposes to provide general information on lawfully using a bicycle. They are not CAN-BIKE instruction videos, are not comprehensive, nor provides specific advice or any guarantees. You must determine for yourself what your experience, training and competency level is with using a bicycle. The Bikeport by Kevin Montgomery disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.

To arrange a CAN-BIKE course, please visit:
http://bikeport.ca/courses/available-courses/

Posts about The Bikeport’s efforts to support carfree transportation and bicycles as transport in the City of Brampton.

This episode of Bicycles As Transport discusses Painted Shoulders and Bike Lanes.

Urban shoulders serve several purposes. Apart from serving as a space that people can use their bicycles in, they also serve as spaces for people to park their cars. There are usually no markings or signs to indicate that it’s a cycling-specific facility, and to avoid confusion. The constraint on these spaces is that they can only serve one purpose at a time: Either as a space to use a bicycle, or a space to park a car. When use a bicycle in such a facility, you’ll need to be prepared to exit the shoulder if necessary to overtake parked cars that are using the space.

Bike lanes, on the other hand, are different. They will be clearly marked and/or signed as a bicycle-only facility. They are not lawful places to park cars.

Remember to subscribe for future episodes!

Disclaimer: “Bicycle As Transport” videos are for demonstration purposes to provide general information on lawfully using a bicycle. They are not CAN-BIKE instruction videos, are not comprehensive, nor provides specific advice or any guarantees. You must determine for yourself what your experience, training and competency level is with using a bicycle. The Bikeport by Kevin Montgomery disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.

To arrange a CAN-BIKE course, please visit:
http://bikeport.ca/courses/available-courses/

As with any other activity, using a bicycle in winter can still be done when preparations are made.

In Canada, there are mixed feelings about whether a bicycle is an appropriate transport choice in winter. Responses to this idea (as of the time of this writing) often include statements along the lines of “you can’t ride in the cold” or “you can’t ride in the snow”.

The weather has been cooler. The days shorter. Does winter mean that bicycles can no longer useful transport tools?

Not at all.

As with any other winter activity, using a bicycle can still be done when preparations are made.

The City of Brampton recently published a draft technical paper that identifies opportunities to improve bicycle parking supply.

Much of the conversation around using bicycles as transport tends to focus on education and the need for political support to build infrastructure — separated bike lanes. But there is an often overlooked topic that is important. Even if people are able to use their bicycle to get to their destination, then what? Where do they put their bicycle?

Bicycle Parking Minimum Requirements

The City of Brampton recently published a draft technical paper on parking and loading standards. The document identifies opportunities to improve bicycle parking supply by implementing minimum bicycle parking requirements.

That’s starting to change.

The City of Brampton recently published a draft technical paper on parking and loading standards. In it, the document identifies opportunities to improve bicycle parking supply by implementing minimum bicycle parking requirements.


Read: Draft Technical Paper #9 – Parking and Loading Standards Review


The document recognizes that minimum bicycle parking requirements are not presently included in the City of Brampton Zoning By-law. This has resulted in low or inconsistent availability in bicycle parking supply. More bicycle parking supply can increase the convenience and security of cycling and provide an alternative to automobile parking.

The document further proposes to analyze travel patterns for areas of higher cycling activity and to further promote cycling by providing bicycle parking in lieu of automobile parking.

Adequate bicycle parking supply is sometimes a missing piece in using bicycles as transport. That the City of Brampton is starting to consider how to address this is excellent news for carfree transportation.


Check out The Bikeport’s “Bicycles As Transport” YouTube Playlist


 

There’s something immensely practical about bike baskets and not having to worry about backpacks or pannier bags for quick errands.

Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make all the difference.

It probably sounds obvious to anyone who has already discovered the joy of a bike basket, but there’s something immensely practical about not having to worry about backpacks or pannier bags when you want to run a quick errand to the grocery store.

Source: The most important bike accessory you’ll ever own

 

The Bikeport seconds this.

The topic of baskets and other items that enable people to carry things using their bicycle is discussed in: Bicycles As Transport: Carrying Things

Check out these Cargo Capacity products for ideas on how to enable carrying things on your own bicycle.