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Bike Smart

When cycling in a different region, you want to make sure you know the rules of the road. Being unfamiliar with the area and trails means you should take extra safety precaution, too. Always wear a helmet and protective gear such as wrist and ankle guards and body armour – especially for off-road and cross country mountain biking. Use trail maps and pack repair items such as a patch kit in case you breakdown.

Tips and Road Rules for Cycling in Ontario

The following bike smart tips are courtesy of the Ontario Trails Council.

Bike Smart Tips

  • Respect the terrain and ride within your ability. Check the difficulty rating system on your trail map and know your limits.
  • Respect the environment – stick to the trail and don’t carve short cuts. Local trail builders do an outstanding job of maintaining trails and preventing erosion, so do your part by staying on track.
  • Respect other users – slow down or stop when passing horses, hikers, or runners. Simply put, share the trail!

10 Biking Essentials

  1. A Trip Plan left with a responsible person
  2. Terrain-appropriate bike (well-maintained, and adjusted properly for you)
  3. Helmet specific to your style of riding
  4. Footwear specific to your style of riding
  5. Body armour for your style of riding (arms/legs, full compression suit, etc.)
  6. Bike shorts or full bike pants, each with chamois
  7. Jersey (long or short sleeve)
  8. Trail Maps
  9. Small backpack/camel back water system
  10. Patch kit (tube, pump and duct tape)


  • Waterproof jacket for wet weather
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Lighting system for night rides

For more bike smart tips, visit the Ontario Trails Council website and check out these helpful links:

Five things to check every time you ride – Five simple maintenance checks to perform whenever you ride your bike
Safe Cycling with Trucks on the Highway, Cycle Ontario (video) – Tips about riding out on the open highway and watching for traffic coming up from behind
Share the Road campaign, Haliburton Highlands Cycling Coalition – A number of information tools advocating for and promoting cycling in the Haliburton Highlands
The Basics of Bike Riding – Bike Riding 101 to help you with technique and equipment
Top Seven Essential Items to Have Along on a Bike Ride – Seven items to help you fix the most common problems you’ll encounter when bike riding
Trail Rules, Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance – Observe these few rules of trail etiquette to help preserve trails for future generations


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