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. 


This video was released in 2021, but the message hasn't changed: all bodies on bikes. Please watch. 

A word of caution...

Unfortunately, most mass-produced bikes have a weight limit, typically up to 300lbs. There's genuine safety reasons for this: frame welds, wheels, seat height clamps, pedals all have limits and even the smoothest road has bumps which can substantially increase the load on the weakest points of a bike. We never recommend bikes from department stores because of their poor quality materials and components, but it's especially important when you need a strong bike. Written in June 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic was creating a lot of pressure on the bike supply chain, this article can help you learn more about what questions to ask before purchasing a bike: Most bikes aren't made for plus-sized bodies. Before you jump into a bicycle purchase, also consider the fact that a larger body is more difficult to move: does it make sense for you to buy a regular bicycle that's customized for your weight, or would you be more likely to continue riding with an e-bike which will do some of the work for you, and cost about the same?