Cycling in London
The 2012 Bike & Walk Map is now available. You can
pick up a copy at any London Public
Library branch, Tourism London office, or at City Hall.
View map (pdf version)
Visit the online version of
What are Some of the Benefits of Cycling?
It's Fast and It's Fun!
If you're going to the neighbours, the corner store or even to work, try riding your bike. On average it takes about 15 minutes to pedal four kms. You can do it!
Cycling is a great way to enjoy the scenery and time alone. It's also a great way to spend time with family or friends.
Cycling is good exercise and exercise not only improves the physical you, but helps relieve stress and tension.
Ride your bike instead of taking the car and save money on gas and parking.
A bike route can sometimes reduce your trip time. Give it a try.
Bicycles are people powered. Ride your bike and you help make the city's air cleaner and healthier.
What Equipment do I require on my bicycle?
Bicycles are classified as vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. It's the law, all bicycles must have:
Reflective tape - white reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on the rear forks
A bell or horn in good working order
Brakes - at least one working brake system on the rear wheel
Lights - a white front light and a red rear light or reflector if you ride between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise
Other components you should consider include:
- Saddle bags/Panniers
In Ontario, every cyclist under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet. If you are 18 or older you can make a choice to wear a helmet or not. When worn properly, bike helmets can reduce injuries.
To provide maximum protection, the helmet should be worn level and square on the head. The front should cover the forehead. The fit should be snug before fastening the chin strap. The chin strap should be comfortable but not loose. When you purchase a helmet you will receive sizing pads to help adjust the fit.
To see how your helmet should be worn please visit the
Ontario Ministry of Transportation's Cycling Skills website.
What Are My Rights and Responsibilities on the Road?
As a cyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. It is your responsibility to cycle in a safe manner and to follow the rules of the road.
Ride straight - do not weave around parked vehicles or into crosswalks at intersections. Use hand signals and look for clues from other drivers - make eye contact.
Ride defensively - think and look well ahead. Ride a door's width from parked vehicles to avoid being hit by a door suddenly opening (the dreaded "door prize").
Be maneuverable - allow room to get around hazards or to move aside if you are passed too closely. Always try to keep at least one metre of space open on both your right and your left.
Cyclists are legally allowed to ride on any part of the roadway. If the lane is too narrow to share with motorized traffic, ride in the centre of the lane.
Shoulder check, signal and change lanes or move toward the centre of the roadway before turning left.
Always pass a right-turning vehicle on the left. Pass buses and trucks driving in the curb lane only on their left.
See and be seen - position yourself where drivers can see you and where you can see what's happening around you. Avoid riding in vehicle blind spots, wear bright or reflective clothing, and use lights at night.
Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and walk your bike when crossing at a crosswalk.
Call 519 661-4570 to report any dangerous debris or obstructions on pathways and roadways.
Left Turn: left arm out
Right Turn: left arm out, up
Alternate Right Turn: right arm out
Stop: left arm out, down, palm back
For more information on rules of the road please visit the
Ontario Ministry of Transportation Cycling Skills website.
What Should I Know as a Motorist?
Bicycles are considered vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act and cyclists have the same rights and duties as other drivers. Treat them as you would any other vehicle on the road.
Cyclists generally ride in the right-most through lane, about one metre from the curb or parked vehicles. However, cyclists are not obligated to use bike lanes or pathways, and are entitled to cycle on all roads in London except limited-access roadways like the 401 and Highbury Avenue South.
Motorists are prohibited from driving or parking in all designated bicycle lanes.
When passing a cyclist, you must leave a safe distance between your vehicle and the bicycle. Extra passing distance should be given when slippery road conditions exist.
Cyclists are entitled to ride in the centre of a lane when they feel it is too narrow for a motor vehicle to pass them, or if they feel their safety is compromised.
Most crashes occur at intersections. Watch for cyclists when pulling out at intersections, from stop signs or driveways.
Before turning left at an intersection, yield to cyclists coming toward you because often they are travelling faster than they appear.
Be extra cautious when turning right at intersections to ensure a cyclist hasn't ridden up on the right side.
Slow down or avoid puddles when passing cyclists.
Drivers of larger vehicles should be cautious of blasting a cyclist with winds when passing, especially on dusty roads.
Before opening your parked vehicle door into traffic check for cyclists and other vehicles.
Am I Safer Cycling on the Sidewalk?
The law has changed. Effective September 28, 2012, City of London
Streets By-Law S-1 changed to allow cyclists under the age of 14 to
ride bicycles on sidewalks.
The newly amended by-law includes a definition of "bicycle":
"Bicycle" includes a unicycle and a tricycle, but does not include a
power-assisted vehicle or a motor-assisted vehicle of any kind.
A new section was added to the by-law, s. 2.13, and it reads as
2.13 Bicycle - other - operation - on
(1) No person operating a
vehicle along a sidewalk shall, without lawful authority, block,
interfere with, or otherwise impede the passage on the sidewalk of any
pedestrian, or any persons operating an Electric Personal Assistive
Mobility Device due to a disability.
(2) Every person operating a
bicycle along a sidewalk where authorized by the By-law shall at all
times yield right-of-way on the sidewalk to pedestrians, and to persons
operating an Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device due to a
It is still illegal for anyone 14 years and older to
ride on sidewalks. It is also illegal to operate power-assisted bikes,
like e-bikes or scooters, on a sidewalk or along a pathway.
Many collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles occur where sidewalks, driveways and parking lot access intersect with sidewalks. Cyclists should be visible, predictable and have the ability to maneuver easily through any situation. Riding on the sidewalk makes these much more difficult, so take your place on the road
or walk your bike on sidewalks and in crosswalks.
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act states:
Riding in pedestrian crossover prohibited
(6) No person shall ride a bicycle across a roadway within a pedestrian crossover. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 140 (6).
Where Can I Get More Information About Cycling in London?
These three posters
illustrate tips for cycling in London (these posters are in pdf format).
Or, click here to read about the
City of London's Bicycle Master Plan.
Other information resources you may find helpful include:
City of London website