Whether you are new to cycling or are a seasoned rider, click through below for tips and resources to help you get there by bike.
- I am completely new to cycling in Halifax or am trying cycling for the first time in years.
First of all, congratulations on making the decision to start cycling! You are joining a group of commuters who are some of the healthiest and happiest!
Get ready to roll. It doesn’t take much to get started cycling: all you need is you, a bike, and a helmet. However, there are some key things you may want to brush up on before you go for your first ride. To get you started, check out this video series by the Ecology Action Centre (also available in French, Mi'kmaw, and Arabic). You’ll learn what you need to know to make sure you and your bike and ready to ride, the skills you need to navigate your bike safely and confidently, and more. The Halifax Cycling Coalition has also released a Cycling Handbook (available in both digital and paper version) with all the necessary information to get started.
This summer, the Ecology Action Centre will also be travelling to communities across the Region with their Pop-Up Bike Hub. This is a great opportunity to learn about how to fix up your bike and get it road-ready.
Don’t have a bicycle? There are lots of places to get a bicycle including local bike shops, bigger retailers, and online. There is also a community space called Bike Again! that sells used bicycles at a more affordable price.
Learn where you can cycle. While bicycles are allowed on most streets and roads (except for 100-series highways), you may not feel comfortable riding on every street. Once you’re feeling good about getting on your bike, you can plan your ride with the Halifax Bike Map. This map shows various multi-use pathways, bikeways, and suggested calmer routes for getting around in Halifax by bicycle.
- I cycle sometimes for recreation on trails around the city but am curious about cycling on the street for transportation.
Cycling on the street can be a much different experience than the trail but there are resources available in Halifax to help you build the skills and knowledge you need to make the transition.
Take a course. The Halifax Cycling Coalition provides free and virtual cycling education to those interested in learning more about cycling in more urban areas. Learn more about their Urban Cycling 101 course and sign up for a session.
Plan your route. Starting out, you may feel more comfortable sticking to multi-use pathways and local street bikeways, which often have fewer cars travelling at slower speeds. To plan your route, you can use the Halifax Bike Map. Paper copies are available at municipal libraries and recreational centres in case you want one to take with you on your adventures.
- I have been cycling for a while and commute a few days a week by bike.
If you are looking to do more by bike, here are some suggestions about how to incorporate cycling in other areas of your life.
Try cycling year-round. Are you a fair-weather rider? Cycling in wet or cold weather is completely possible with the right clothing and gear. Check out this guide to Winter Cycling from the Halifax Cycling Coalition.
Can you bike it? Bicycles are capable of more than just getting you from point A to point B. Halifax residents use their bicycles for their regular shopping trips, to take their kids to school or daycare, to do their yearly Christmas tree pick-up, and more. Cargo bicycles are becoming more and more popular, especially the electric versions, which provide an extra push when carrying heavier loads. If you’re not ready to make the investment in a cargo bicycle, adding racks to your existing ride and using panniers, baskets, or even milk crates can give you the ability to carry more on your bicycle. If you can think it, you can most likely bike it.
Explore by bike. If you typically cycle for commuting purposes and want to explore more of the municipality by bicycle, we have several routes to connect to local destinations like the Bluff Wilderness Trail, Rainbow Haven Beach, Lawrencetown, and more! Our Bike Map can help you plan your next adventure. There are also many groups in the municipality that host group rides if you’re looking for something more social.
- I cycle every day.
Thanks for cycling! Below are some tips for encouraging others to take up cycling in their community.
Show someone else the way. As a more experienced and seasoned rider, consider riding with for someone new to cycling. For many people, cycling with someone is how they get into cycling and build up the confidence to ride on their own.
The Ecology Action Centre's Bike Buddies program is looking for volunteers to ride with newcomers to help them get acquainted with cycling in Halifax.
Share your love of cycling. If you're looking to get more people in your school/neighbourhood/community involved in cycling, the Making Tracks Leader Training program provides training to older youth and adults to teach cycling skills to others.