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GREEN LIVING: (Re)Discover the joy of riding a bike during the City’s annual Bike Month celebrations!

June is Bike Month in Greater Sudbury
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It’s June, the weather is glorious, and we all want nothing more than to be outside.

What better way to enjoy the outdoors than on a bike? Greater Sudbury residents are invited to (re)discover the joy of riding a bike during the City’s annual Bike Month, which kicks off June 1 and continues all month long.

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Mayor Bigger 

The benefits of biking

During the pandemic, many people took up cycling. Whether you recently started cycling for the very first time, or simply returned to a previously loved pastime, let’s carry this healthy habit forward.

There are so many benefits of biking. It can:

  • provide a fun way to spend time outdoors;
  • provide a great opportunity to see the sights, and the city, in a whole different way;
  • help you discover neighbourhoods that are new to you;
  • grow your navigation and wayfinding skills;
  • save money on parking, gas and vehicle maintenance;
  • transform your daily commute into a brand-new experience;
  • reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions;
  • help the community achieve its net-zero GHG emissions goal by 2050.
Gabrielle Fouillard geology Msc student exploring Sudbury by bike
Gabrielle Fouillard, Geology Msc student, exploring Sudbury by bike

Where to Ride

If you’re wondering where exactly to ride, the City has some great road and trail cycling routes for both active transportation and recreation. We are also working on adding a cycling map to the City’s website. Stay tuned for more on that soon. Ride your bike to work, to school, to shop, or just for a fun outing, and discover some great neighbourhoods and destinations.

3 Sudbury women biking - PHSD
Lynn Bulloch, Eva Maciaszek, and Jenny Fortin teamed up through the Walden Mountain Bike Club Women's Group, and continue to ride together, exploring the variety of trails around the city. Photo taken while biking on Capreol's trails.

For those especially interested in mountain biking, we have some great local options. You can learn more about the Walden Mountain Bike Club online and see maps of their popular trail system.  Another option is check out Rainbow Routes Association, a not-for-profit with a mission to encourage health, adventure and a connection to nature. There are more than 30 wilderness and urban non-motorized trails in the Rainbow Routes Trail Network and they’ve put together some of their top suggestions for local mountain biking and urban cycling trails.  

If your destination is a little too far to bike, you can also take your bike on a bus! Visit the City’s webpage on how to use the bus bike rack.

The City’s Transportation Master Plan was updated in 2017 to include a recommended network of active transportation infrastructure. The Cycling and Pedestrian Master Plan envisions a mix of on-road bike lanes, raised cycle tracks (between the sidewalk and the curb), signed bike routes with paved shoulders or edge lines, and off-road multi-use trails. This long-term plan will increase the number of bike-friendly roadways and greatly improve the City’s active transportation infrastructure.

How to start

Where better to start than with bike safety?

It’s important to realize that under Ontario law, bikes are considered vehicles, and cyclists in the province have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. Most of the laws that apply to bicycles can be found in the Highway Traffic Act, though municipal bylaws can also regulate bike use. In Greater Sudbury, children using smaller bikes (20” wheels or less) are allowed to use the sidewalk.

Cyclists have the right to use public roads and, just like motorized vehicles, they are expected to use reasonable caution, follow safe cycling practices and obey traffic laws. While helmets are mandatory for cyclists of all ages, they are mandatory if you’re under 18. Cyclists should ride about one metre from the right curb or edge of the roadway. They are also allowed to “take the lane” in Ontario and move with traffic flow.

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Keep in mind that there are specific requirements in place for bike equipment as well. Consult Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling for a comprehensive cycling safety checklist.

Get involved

Between June 5 and 11, why not take part in the national Commuter Challenge? This week-long event happens during Canadian Environment Week and is a friendly competition between cities and workplaces. Canadians are encouraged to leave their cars at home and take active and sustainable modes of transportation instead. Options include walking, cycling, carpooling/ridesharing, taking transit and telecommuting.

The impacts that will be tracked include emission reduction, calorie consumption, distance and fuel cost savings. Results are updated daily so you can see which workplaces and cities across the country have the highest percentage of healthy commuters. There are only a few more days to register and track your kilometres! Challenge your friends and family to give it a try too.

Resources

Check out Bike Sudbury, a group of volunteers who are working to build a stronger cycling culture in Greater Sudbury. Some of their past initiatives include providing cycling courses, running a kids’ bike exchanges, advocating for cyclists and helping connect them to one another.

Other resources:

Any form of active transportation, such as travelling and exploring by bicycle, will go a long way toward helping the community achieve its net-zero emissions goal by 2050.

If you have a project you’d like the City to highlight, contact Jennifer Babin-Fenske at earthcare@greatersudbury.ca.