Make riding a bike a part of your regular routine. Canberra has excellent on road bike lanes, shared bike paths and relatively quiet neighbourhood streets.
- ride to school
- ride to work
- ride for leisure and exercise
- try a fun learn to ride centre
- mix cycling with public transport using bike racks, bike lockers, Bike & Ride and Park & Ride.
Find out more about cycling in Canberra at ACT not-for-profit organisation Pedal Power
- Dust off your old bike – clean and lubricate the bike, then make sure the tyres and inner tubes are in good condition, including tyre tread. Check brakes, gears and chain for working order, corrosion, ease of movement and correct tension. Get it serviced by a professional bike mechanic who can also provide advice on whether your old bike is functional.
- Borrow a bike – to decide if you enjoy riding so you can then decide about which type of bike to purchase.
- Buy a new bike – bikes vary considerably in price so get advice from a bike store. If you can, try before you buy with a test-ride. Start with a cheaper option if you’re new to riding so you can upgrade when you have a better idea of your riding interests and abilities.
- Buy a second-hand bike – try online sources, local advertisements, and local bike shops. If purchasing a bike online, consider freight costs, how the bike will fit you, and whether you will be required to assemble it yourself. Check for dents, cracks and bends, particularly in the frame, joins and welds. Also check for rust, wear or distortion of components. While some defects can be fixed, it may be more expensive to mend than to purchase a new bike.
- Hire a bike or use a share bike if you don't own a bike or don't have yours with you.
There are some accessories that are required by law for all bike riders to use, and others you may wish to consider purchasing to improve the quality, safety and enjoyment of your riding experience:
- Helmet – ACT law requires all bicycle riders wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times including riding on roads, off roads, on trails, and on shared paths and footpaths. The helmet must be properly fitted and securely fastened. Any approved helmet will have a sticker attached to it indicating that it complies with one or more of the relevant standards. For a correct fit, the helmet should:
- be placed 10-15mm above your eyebrows
- sit straight on your head
- feel firm and comfortable
- have the strap fastened under your chin, with one finger-width ease between the strap and chin.
- fit securely without being able to slide forwards, backwards or from side to side.
In the event of a crash, you should replace your helmet, even if there is no visible damage. Never buy a second-hand helmet because you won't know if it has sustained a crash or fall.
- Lights – by law, every person riding a bike in the dark or in poor light conditions must have a working front white light, and red rear light, both capable of being visible at least 200 m from the respective front and rear of the bike. For increased visibility, you may wish to consider additional lights. Every bike must also have a rear red reflector.
- Warning device – by ACT law, every bike must also have an effective warning device such as a bell or horn, in working order and easy to reach, to alert others of your approach.
- Optional accessories – you may also consider:
- water bottle and holder
- bike lock
- tool kit including spare inner tube, three tyre levers, a puncture/repair kit and a multipurpose tool
- small and light weight air pump
- small bag or basket to carry essentials
- backpack or panniers
- bike trailer
- bike computer
- gloves in winter
- child seat.
Bikes with baskets, panniers, child seats or flags cannot be taken on bus racks, due to obscuring the vision of bus drivers.