You don't know what you don't know!

It's impossible to know everything about everything and impossible to know how much you don't know. Ignorance - a lack of knowledge - can be corrected with education, but first you must accept that you don't know it all. 

Did you know...? 

Did you know that all children under the age of 18 must wear a properly fitting bicycle helmet at all times when on their own bike, including glide bike or tricycle, when riding in a bike seat attached to an adult's bike, in/on a bike designed to carry passengers or in a bike trailer?

Did you know that it is illegal for anyone age 14 or older to ride their bike on the sidewalk in Calgary? Adults accompanying children are not exempt. 

Did you know that a bicycle is a vehicle by law and the operator of a bike has all the same responsibilities when on the road as the operator of an automobile? This includes stopping at red lights and stop signs, obeying right of way rules and yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks. 

Did you know that ebikes require a brake light and the use of a motorcycle helmet in Alberta? Power bicycles are also subject to additional equipment and operator rules.

Did you know that Safer Cycling Calgary is the only organization in Calgary offering cycling education courses for all levels of cyclists? There are courses to learn how to ride a bike, how to ride on the pathways, how to ride on residential roads and how to ride on busy roads, like downtown. 

Provincial laws

The actual laws can be difficult to understand and interpret, but we will teach you how to stay on the right side of the law.

The Alberta Traffic Safety Act
The Alberta Traffic Safety Act: Use of the Highway and Rules of the Road
The Alberta Traffic Safety Act: Vehicle Equipment Regulation

Alberta Driver's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing (cars and light trucks) aka automobile driver's manual.


E-bike regulations

While not applicable to regular bicycles, propelled only by muscular power, there are some rules in regards to bikes which have motors to assist the operator: an ebike or power assist bicycle. Some of these regulations are provincial, including helmet laws, and there are additional federal rules. Do you know them all?

Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations


Municipal bylaws

In addition to federal and provincial laws, there are also municipal bylaws which must be followed. In Calgary, the big one that few know (or care to obey) is the sidewalk riding bylaw. Did you know Calgary has a safe passing bylaw?

City of Calgary Traffic Bylaw
City of Calgary Parks and Pathways Bylaw


Maintaining your bike is important

A bike is a machine, and like any machine it has parts that need maintenance. Basic maintenance that you can do at home will save you time, hassle and money in addition to ensuring the longevity of your bike overall.

YouTube is an excellent source for information on how to do some of your own bike work (though is not a replacement for actual courses to teach you or professionals to do the work for you), if you want to do some things that are otherwise an expensive hassle at a bike shop. Worth repeating: professional bike mechanics exist for a reason but basic minor maintenance or the changing of things like shift cables can be done at home, saving the mechanics to work on things you can't.

Park Tool makes excellent videos and while many of their tools are not worth the cost (when it would cost as much as having a professional do the job, just have the professional do the job), there are a lot of things you can do without any special tools. Some videos which I've personally used and recommend: 

GCN also has tons of excellent videos, including:

Professional help

Feeling overwhelmed? Don't want to work on your own bike? No problem! Here's a list of local bike shops that have professional bike mechanics with all the tools and expertise to help you out:

Some SportChek locations also have bike mechanics in their service shop. Supporting your local bike shop is preferable, but if all you can access is a SportChek, that's better than not getting the work done at all!

Do you have difficulty with balance due to inner ear, brain or physical challenges? Are you visually impaired? Perhaps you use a wheelchair but want to bike? Or maybe you know someone who has different needs and want to help them to bike more?

  • Balance

    Balance issues? An adult tricycle may be the answer!

  • Vision

    Vision problems may necessitate use of a tandem bike.

  • Physical

    Paralysis or lower body problems won't stop you from biking.

  • Senior or other
    Senior or other

    Seniors, people with certain mental or physical challenges can still benefit from biking.

While some of the skills covered in Safer Cycling Calgary courses only apply to "typical" bikes operated by "normal" people, there's a lot of knowledge about biking that is essential whether you ride a tricycle, tandem, recumbent or other modified bike or care for someone with special needs. We can accommodate just about anything in a regular course, or customize for you. 

Calleigh learns to bikeAutism, sensory processing disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other challenges are not insurmountable. People with these disorders may be able to learn how to bike on their own, and/or we can teach their caregivers how to ensure their safety while biking. 

Please contact us to discuss your needs!



Safer Cycling Calgary Privacy Policy



This Privacy Policy is applicable to Safer Cycling Calgary ("Company") and sets out our policy on the gathering and use of information on this site and our other sites (collectively "Sites"). The Company is committed to providing safe web sites for visitors of all ages and has implemented this Privacy Policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy. The Company complies with Canadian Federal and Provincial privacy laws and regulations including the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act.

There may be links from our Sites to other web sites; note that this Privacy Policy applies only to our Sites and not to web sites of other companies or organizations to which our Sites may be linked. You must check on any linked sites for the privacy policy that applies to that site and/or make any necessary inquiries in respect of that privacy policy with the operator of the linked site. These links to third party websites are provided as a convenience and are for informational purposes only. The Company does not endorse, and is not responsible for, these linked websites.

Although you are not required to register to access our Sites, you may be asked to provide us with personal information when you visit certain sections of our Sites. Your use of our Sites signifies your acknowledgement and consent to our Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to this Privacy Policy, please do not continue to use our Sites. Your continued use of the Sites signifies your acceptance of these terms and any changes in effect at the time of use.


Personal Information is information about you that identifies you as an individual, for example, your name, address, e-mail address, or telephone number.

We collect information that you voluntarily provide to us through responses to surveys, search functions, questionnaires, feedback, Tell Your Story forms and the like. We may also ask you to provide additional information such as your e-mail address if you want to obtain additional services, information, participate in a contest or to resolve complaints or concerns.


Before forwarding us any personal information, please be advised that any information gathered on our Sites may be used in the aggregate for research and development relating to our Sites and/or for future site development and, if you ask us to, to send you promotional materials. In particular, we may use information gathered about you for the following purposes: to monitor interest in our range of products and to assist us to tailor the content of our Sites to your needs by collecting information about your preferences through tracking of patterns page views on our Sites; to create a profile relating to you in order to show you the content that might be of interest to you and to display the content according to your preferences; and, in circumstances where you have indicated that you wish to receive additional information, to send you information about us and promotional material about our products together with details of any offers we may have available from time to time.


With the permission of an online visitor, information submitted at the time of registration or submission may be used for marketing and promotional purposes by the Company provided notice of this fact is made available online. If a visitor objects to such use for any reason, he/she may prevent that use, either by e-mail request or by modifying the registration information provided. The Company uses reasonable efforts to maintain visitors' information in a secure environment. If you have submitted personal information and want to change it or opt-out, please contact us.


The Company will not disclose personal information that you provide on its Sites to any third parties other than to a Company agent except: i) in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy, or ii) to comply with legal requirements such as a law, regulation, warrant, subpoena or court order, and/or iii) if you are reporting an adverse event/side effect, in which case the Company may be required to disclose such information to bodies such as, but not limited to, Canadian and/or international regulatory authorities. Please note that any of these disclosures may involve the storage or processing of personal information outside of Canada and may therefore be subject to different privacy laws than those applicable in Canada, including laws that require the disclosure of personal information to governmental authorities under circumstances that are different than those that apply in Canada.


The Company, in common with many web site operators, may use standard technology called "cookies" on its Sites. Cookies are small data files that are downloaded onto your computer when you visit a particular web site. You can disable cookies by turning them off in your browser; however, some areas of the Sites may not function properly if you do so.

The Company considers the protection of children's privacy, especially online, to be of the utmost importance. We do not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from children nor do we allow them to become registered users of, or to request information through, our Sites or help-seeking information lines.


Generally, you are not required to provide personal information as a condition of using our Sites, except as may be necessary to provide you with a product or service that you have requested.


Our Commitment to Security

We have put in place physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use the information we collect online. The Company applies security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information, such as retaining information in secure facilities and making personal information accessible only to authorized employees on a need-to-know basis.

Storage of Information:

Personal information you share with us is stored on our database servers at Company data centers (in whatever country they may be located), or hosted by third parties who have entered into agreements with us that require them to observe our Privacy Policy.


If we alter our Privacy Policy, any changes will be posted on this page of our Site so that you are always informed of the information we collect about you, how we use it and the circumstances under which we may disclose it.


By using this Site or any other The Company Site or interactive banner ads, you signify your acceptance of our Privacy Policy, and you adhere to the terms and conditions posted on the Site. By submitting your information, you agree that it will be governed by our Privacy Policy.

You've seen the photos; only skinny people ride bikes, right? And the only reason overweight people ride bikes is to lose weight? 


Losing weight is a common goal, and cycling can help you lose weight. But more importantly, riding a bike is an excellent form of very low-impact exercise! Better than driving to the gym to ride the stationary bike and face stares from the ridiculously fit people, hop on your bike in your usual clothes (with minor additions to your wardrobe) and go for a bike ride. fat cyclistWith the proliferation of e-bikes (bikes with an electric motor), it's easier than ever to get started with biking: an e-bike can make it possible for you to ride while your heart, lungs and legs build strength. (Note: e-bikes are not suitable for First Time courses, but you can rent a regular bike to learn on.) Video on e-bikes for larger people. I guarantee that if you ride a bike, you will improve your health in many ways, even if the number on the scale doesn't change. 

This is an excellent blog article on cycling as an overweight person. 

None of the courses offered by Safer Cycling Calgary require you to be a skinny or athletic person. The on-road courses ride at a reasonably slow pace with lots of stops to discuss things (and rest). The non-road courses only require you to work as hard as your body allows. Please don't think you can't or shouldn't ride a bike because you're heavier than "ideal." There is always something to learn, and cycling is accessible to all people who have the desire. 

A little secret: I'm not classified as obese, but I judge myself just the same for the extra weight I'm carrying. The first time I saw this photo, my first thought was "holy I have a big belly!" I bike because I like it, not to lose weight, and I refuse to feel guilty about my cookie addiction (I have at least 2 cookies everyday!). I'd love to share my passion for the pure joy of cycling with you, no matter what shape your body is. 

Melissa L1 close 









Ready to get started? Jump to courses offered by Safer Cycling Calgary here.

Need a little more convincing? Testimonials from previous participants. Video by an overweight UK cyclist: here

Please email if you have any questions or concerns or want to request a custom course. 


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