The guide to summer biking in Calgary

July 10, 2017

By Sarah Sussman

Calgary’s summer months are prime time to get out on your bike and go for a ride. Whether you’re planning on joining in on the Cyclepalooza festivities (July 14 to 23), want some YYC bike advice or need some tips on preventing bike theft, here's your ultimate summer guide to biking in Calgary. [Photo credit:]

The guide to summer biking in Calgary

Come along for the ride

One of the best parts about cycling in Calgary is that the city has an incredibly inclusive and supportive biking community. Cyclepalooza has a wonderful online resource that allows Calgarians to organize and promote biking events and rides throughout the city any time during the year. Whether you want to arrange a biking pub crawl or a social ride around your favourite YYC neighbourhood, make your idea a reality and post it online.

How to prevent bike theft

In order to avoid and prevent theft, there are several steps you should take before you even take your bike out for a ride. Make sure you have a good picture of your bike and parts, and write down your serial number (typically located under the bottom bracket) before you head out. Make sure you have some way of proving your ownership of the bike, whether with a receipt or proof of purchase.

When riding your bike, you should always travel with a U-Lock (or some other good quality lock). Stay diligent about locking your bike up whenever you leave it, even if it’s only for a minute. If your bike does get stolen, make sure to call the police or file a report online. Then, make sure you’re signed up as a member of Bike Calgary so you can file an online report with them and they can keep an eye out for your stolen bike throughout the city.

The breakdown on buying a bike

One of the most important decisions you will make in life (probably) is the bike you choose to buy. It can be tempting to approach your bike with the “save more now and upgrade later” mentality, but it’s best to just spend a little more initially so you don’t have to fork over even more money for upgrades in the future. Check out The Bike Shop, Good Life Bike Shop, Ridley’s Cycle and BikeBike Inc for expert advice and an overwhelmingly diverse selection of bikes.

If you’re on a budget, try to remember that a deal that’s too good to be true often is just that. If you’re buying a bike online or through Kijiji, make sure you’re able to test out the bike before you hand over any money. Finding a properly fitting bike is the most important part of bike shopping. Make sure you budget for bike accessories like a quality helmet and a reliable bike lock, because those are two important purchases you shouldn’t try to cut corners on.


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Tune in and tune up

Whether your bike is in need of some minor tune-ups or a complete overhaul, there are numerous services and businesses throughout the city dedicated to fixing up bikes.

The newly-opened Bike and Brew in Bridgeland is a coffee shop/bike and repair store hybrid that sells and repairs bikes while serving up tasty Fratello coffee. Tune up packages start at $79.95. The Bike Shop also offers an a la carte service menu if you require something more specific. And for budget options below $70, head to Sports Rent, Speed Theory or Ridley’s Cycle for no-frills basic tuneups.

If you want to learn how to do your own repairs and tune-ups, Mountain Equipment Co-op runs a Bike Maintenance Clinic every Friday evening from 7:30 until 8:30 p.m. The workshop costs $10 to $20 per session and covers a range of topics including fixing flat tires, learning basic bike care and maintenance and more.

Celebrate Cyclepalooza

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the local cycling community, Cyclepalooza takes place from July 14 to 23 and features 10 days jam-packed full of social rides, cycling events, food and brewery hops and more. There are even a few morning coffee meet-ups for the early bird bikers. A full schedule of events and details is available online.

The festival winds down July 22 with the 7th annual Bike Prom event. The prom-themed social ride and party is a chance to put on your fanciest prom attire, deck out your bike and spend the evening cycling and dancing. This year’s event features drinks courtesy of Dandy Brewing Company, Big Rock Brewery and Kaffeeklatsch. The ride meets outside of the Eau Claire YMCA at 6:30 p.m. and the party starts at 8:30 p.m. at Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association.

Whether you’re a solo cyclist or bicycling social butterfly, Calgary’s summer is the time to get out and go for a ride. Whether you’re looking for maintenance and repair services, want to buy a new bike or simply want to make some new friends within the community, Calgary's biking community is waiting for you to hit the road.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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