Offices in Ottawa and Perth
(613) 722-1500

CONTACT US (613) 722-1500

Winter Cycling in Ottawa

Winter Cycling in Ottawa

By:

Posted December 10, 2020

Cycling really took off in Ottawa this past summer, with large numbers of new cyclists on the bike paths and off-road trails because of closed or restricted access to gyms and other forms of exercise. But now winter has arrived and Ottawa has had its first few snowfalls. Some of the new cyclists may continue to cycle during the winter as a way to get out into the fresh air and stay fit.

If you are looking to avoid public transit, or are a keen cyclist, you may have already decided that you are going to continue to ride your bike through the winter.  Winter cycling can be both fun and rewarding but, remember, winter cycling has its own challenges. You will need to adjust the way you ride, as well as your clothing, tires, cycling routes, and bike maintenance to adapt to winter road, trail, and weather conditions.

Winter riding just feels different than summer riding.  With snow and ice on the road or trail, handling can be lethargic or unpredictable.  Hazards like potholes or roots may not be visible. Stopping and turning can require more time and space.  Speed will be decreased and riding through even a couple of centimeters of snow or slush can be a real slog.

To make your winter riding safe and enjoyable, follow these simple tips:

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet.
  • Be sure you wear appropriate clothing and ensure that you keep your hands, feet and face warm.
  • As in all outdoor winter sport, dress in layers that breathe and keep moisture out.  Take advantage of the new fabrics that are lightweight, waterproof, breathable and windproof.
  • Get winter tires for your bike.  Fat bikes, which are sturdier and have thicker tires for better grip, handle snow and ice better than a road or mountain bike.
  • If you do ride your mountain bike, consider getting studded tires for traction and control. If you are not going to do a lot of winter riding, and don’t want to invest in new tires, try making them; instructions on how can be found on the internet.
  • With traction impaired by snow and ice, it is essential to ride with a heightened sense of caution, whether you are riding on the roads or trails.
  • Visibility in the winter can be limited or impaired and drivers can fail to see a cyclist because of failing snow or high snowbanks.  It is therefore particularly important to have flashing lights, front and back, even in the daytime.
  • If this is your first winter as a cyclist, consider staying on groomed trails, paths, and dedicated cycling lanes until you feel comfortable riding in winter conditions.
  • Cleaning off the salt and sand at the end of each day will protect your bike.

Ottawa has a wide variety of winter cycling options, from cleared bike paths, to dedicated bike lanes, to off road cycling in the Gatineau Hills and elsewhere.  Buying good clothing and tires will increase your comfort, safety and enjoyment and is definitely a good investment if you are going to be riding in Ottawa this winter.

This blog post was written by Edward (Ted) Masters, a member of the Disability Insurance Claims and Personal Injury teams.  He can be reached at 613-566-2064 or at ted.masters@mannlawyers.com.

More Resources

Blog |
Wills, Trusts and Estates
By: 

Posted November 28, 2023

As a lawyer who has worked in the field of Wills and Estates for the last three years, I get the following question quite a[...]
Blog |
Family Law
By: 
Amongst the profession, we often refer to domestic contracts prepared by the parties themselves without legal advice as “kitchen table agreements”. In May 2023, the[...]
Blog |
Wills, Trusts and Estates
By: 

Posted November 7, 2023

What is a Power of Attorney document? A Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone else, known as your “attorney” to act[...]
Blog |
Real Estate
By: 

Posted November 6, 2023

If you enter into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale to buy a new build home, your offer could be conditional on having your lawyer[...]
Blog |
Wills, Trusts and Estates
By: 
Do I need a Will? A short answer is most likely. If you possess assets of value, such as chequing or savings accounts, investments, a[...]
Blog |
Real Estate
By: 

Posted October 31, 2023

The Status Certificate is a document written by a condominium corporation that discloses certain financial, governance, and legal information about the condominium corporation and a[...]
Ted Masters

Ted Masters

My practice is focused on helping people who have been injured in car accidents or through medical negligence or who have been denied disability insurance benefits. With over 40 years of experience as a personal injury lawyer, I understand how a serious injury or denial of disability benefits affects not just my individual client, but their entire family. I am alert to each client’s individual physical, emotional and financial needs and challenges. I work to achieve an outcome that is client focussed. As a trained mediator, I understand that my client’s personal goals must be met in order to come to a satisfactory resolution of their case, preferably through a reasonable settlement, but by trial judgement if necessary. Although assisting individuals has been the focal point of my legal career, my clients get the benefit of my wide range of litigation experience including disability claims, intellectual property litigation, commercial disputes, Indian... Read More

Read More About Ted Masters

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
Consent*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.