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Toronto on Two Wheels: How to Start Biking in the City

Are you thinking about getting on a bike in Toronto? Biking is a great way to get around a city—it’s quick (no getting stuck in a subway delay), you rarely have to worry about finding a parking spot, it’s carbon-efficient and you can get a little fresh air sweat on! But let’s face it, even if you know all the amazing positives behind cycling… it can still be intimidating!

There are tons of ways to dabble into city biking. You can ride down to the park to have a picnic with friends or try biking to work twice a week. It’s all about starting off with making some small changes, which benefits both ourselves and our planet.

While COVID-19 has disrupted daily routines for many, cycling has become a popular way for Canadians to stay active and travel within their own city, all while social distancing. As part of the Bike Life campaign, CLIF will help more Canadians cycle this summer and discover new outdoor adventures.

Bike Share Toronto

Not Sold?

Not a problem. If you’re worried about diving in and investing in a bike, don’t let that discourage you. Bike Share Toronto has hundreds of stations all across the city and is affordable when you’re just starting out.

They have options for individual rides, day passes or annual memberships, so you can choose what works for your lifestyle. Even if you do own your own bike, Bike Share still a great alternative if you don’t know where your day will end up.

You might also see the CLIF Adventure Trailer roaming around the city this summer, who will be handing out free Bike Share Toronto rides, helmets and CLIF swag—keep an eye out!

The Right Route

Let’s talk bike lanes. We live in a busy city and cycling through traffic with vehicles and pedestrians can be a bit stressful. Bike lanes help you discover more bike-friendly routes through the city and luckily, Toronto is working hard to make cycling safer and more accessible for its citizens. Have you heard that through ActiveTO, Toronto is opening up kilometres of new bikes lanes and working to install even more?

There are also existing bike-friendly routes to zip through the city, like the multi-use Waterfront Trail—Toronto’s downtown section of The Great Trail—or protected lanes along Bloor Street and Richmond Street.

What To Pack?

You can cram a lot into a day pack, but let’s talk essentials. Always make sure you bring a helmet, and it’s a good idea to pack a bike lock as well. You can find a big variance on price points for gear, but it’s a great idea to stop into your local bike shop and chat with a pro on what best suits your needs.

If you’re not sure what kind of adventure you’re about to go on—make sure you also pack a re-usable water bottle to fill along the way and an energy bar like a CLIF® Sweet & Salty Energy Bar to eat along the way. It’s never a bad idea to tote along a battery pack for your phone and some reusable cutlery as well.

Need Help?

If you’re looking for more resources on biking in the city, Cycle Toronto has it all. They’re long-time advocates for cyclists of all levels and have answers for just about every question you might have. Whether it’s how to effectively hand signal or planning a route for the whole family, they have you covered.

Everyone has to start somewhere, so we want to challenge you to take some baby steps (baby pedals?) to hopping on two wheels. We want to hear about your stories – tag us at @CLIFBar and use the hashtag #CLIFBikeLife to tell them!