More Canadians purchasing bicycles for workout at home
September 23, 2020
Growing interest in bicycling in Canada
Sept. 23, 2020. While the rates of cycling in Canada for transportation are still low, according to the University of Toronto, that rate has doubled in many places across the country. In some communities over 20% of people ride their bikes to work.
The University of Toronto study shows that from 1996 to 2016, cycling to work has increased drastically across the country. The highest increase was in Montreal, where cycling to work increased by 176%, followed by Toronto at 147% and North Vancouver at 102%. Winnipeg had the lowest increase of 24%.
Cycling to work is more common in urban areas than in suburban areas but these communities show promise for increased rates of cycling. For example, Saanich, BC, saw an increase of 65% due in part to municipal initiatives, provincial grants and the residents’ growing commitment to healthy lifestyles.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
In addition to transportation, cycling is increasing in popularity as exercise and an enjoyable activity to do outdoors. The COVID-19 crisis has been a contributing factor to the current popularity of cycling in Canada and retailers often experience shortages of bicycles. According to Global News, the demand for bikes has never been higher because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and social distancing. Some retailers scaled back their supply and Asian manufacturers were shut down. Retailers quickly realized that demand was going up, not down, and shortages have been common.
Cycling is a great way to stay in shape while adhering to social distance guidelines, and according to the CBC, passing another cyclist or pedestrian on a public pathway is low-risk for COVID-19 transmission.
Yet, bicycle tune-ups and accessories are difficult to obtain and waiting lists are long.
The future of cycling in Canada
The Tyee reported that the pandemic has brought attention to the necessity of and opportunity for a cycling strategy at the national level and cities are also making way for bikes locally. Many communities have prioritized creating more space for cycling and outdoor activities by adding bike lanes, taking away street parking, and closing low-traffic roads.
Safe cycling tips
It looks like the trend of biking to work, for exercise, and just for fun are here to stay, so make sure to stay safe on the road.
Choose routes you can handle physically and that have low vehicle traffic
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