Everything You Need to Know About Biking in Ottawa

Everything You Need to Know About Biking in Ottawa (2024)

Strap on those helmets dear readers; you’re going to need them. Today, we’re here to steer you to an exciting two-wheeled adventure where the only thing you need other than your bike is your willingness to explore!

As your navigators, with a tone hopefully less rigid than Waze, we’ve spilled everything you need to know about biking in Ottawa.

From important bike-related rules to splendid routes that will make you want to ride until sundown, we’re here to make sure your cycling adventure is as smooth as the ice after the Zamboni. 

Is Ottawa bike-friendly?

Is Ottawa bike-friendly

Ottawa is extremely bike-friendly. According to Ontario By Bike, there are now more than 980 kilometers of bike-friendly paths in the city, making cycling a breeze. 

Does Ottawa have bike lanes? 

Does Ottawa have bike lanes

Ottawa has bike lanes. In fact, it stretches all over the city, providing safe and easy access from north to south and vice versa. 

What laws should I keep in mind when cycling in Ottawa?

What laws should I keep in mind when cycling in Ottawa

The laws you should keep in mind when cycling in Ottawa include wearing helmets, ensuring the bell (or horn) is working, and utilizing the bike lanes. 

For the complete list of the cycling laws in Ottawa, check out the city’s official website

Are the laws for e-bikes the same for cycling in Ottawa? 

Are the laws for e-bikes the same for cycling in Ottawa

There’s a slight difference between the laws for e-bikes and regular bikes in Ottawa. Riders of both vehicles are not required to have a license. 

Meanwhile, there’s a maximum speed when operating e-bikes (32 km/h), while riding a bike doesn’t have one. 

What are the best bike routes in Ottawa? 

What are the best bike routes in Ottawa

The best bike routes in Ottawa are the Rideau River Pathway, the Experimental Farm Pathway, the Greenbelt Pathway, the Leamy Lake Pathway, and the Ottawa River Pathway. 

For a more in-depth description of the following, see below. 

1. Rideau River Pathway

Rideau River Pathway

Up for a little challenge? The Rideau River Pathway is a slightly challenging route that could make seasoned cyclists break a sweat. 

That said, it’s also an ideal location for beginners who are willing to go the extra mile (literally). This scenic trail takes almost 6 hours to finish, but of course, one can stop anytime. 

There are a few inclines on this path, but it shouldn’t be an extremely challenging hurdle. 

2. Experimental Farm Pathway

Experimental Farm Pathway

The Experimental Farm Pathway is a route that’s easy to navigate even for kids. However, don’t underestimate it because there were a few hills here and there, but nothing too hard to paddle your way through. 

It’s a popular spot, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself sharing the road with other cyclists. Here’s a pro tip: to avoid the crowds, it’s best to go in the late afternoon. 

3. Greenbelt Pathway

Greenbelt Pathway

Greenbelt Pathway is an enchanting quick getaway that starts in Ottawa up until the verdant landscape of Woodroffe Avenue. It’s an easy, yet scenic route that only takes a little over 2 hours to complete. 

Expect it to be windy, especially when passing through big fields. Since there are only a few shades around, we find it best to go here during slightly colder months. 

4. Ottawa River Pathway

Ottawa River Pathway

Ottawa River Pathway is an enchanting retreat from the bustling Ottawa that will make you feel like you stepped outside the city. 

Imagine pedaling with a captivating river view that indulges you in a precious, serene moment. No wonder this spot is so popular! 

It takes around 2 hours and 36 minutes to complete, but based on our experience, the route is generally easy. 

5. Leamy Lake Pathway

Leamy Lake Pathway

A little outside the city, the Leamy Lake Pathway is a popular spot among Ottawans. It promises gorgeous clear lake views, promising a visual feast no matter what time of year it is. 

Additionally, it also offers riveting views of the sunrise and sunset. Make sure to plan accordingly if you want to catch it. 

Another reason why it’s so popular is because it only takes half an hour to complete. You don’t have to go through a challenging excursion just to enjoy what Leamy Lake Pathway has to offer, which is a plus in our book. 

By the way, for other scenic spots in Ottawa, make sure to read our exciting list of recommendations

Are there any bike tours being offered in Ottawa?

Are there any bike tours being offered in Ottawa

There are a multitude of bike tours being offered by different tour companies in Ottawa namely Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals, RentABike, and Trusty Pedaler. 

For a more detailed explanation of each, see below. 

1. Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals

Website: https://escapebicycletours.ca/

Address: 65 Sparks St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5A5, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-608-7407

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – closed
  • Friday to Sunday – 11 AM to 5 PM 

Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals is one of the most high-rated bike touring companies in the city – and with good reason. 

We had a pleasant experience with one of our guides here, making it a refreshing opportunity to see the city in a different light as locals. 

If you’re visiting the city for the first time, we recommend one of their most popular tours – the Ottawa Express Bike Tour which takes you to the top attractions in the city. 

Otherwise, the Best of Ottawa Neighborhoods & Nature Bike Tour might just help you discover new spots. It runs for 2 and 3 hours, respectively, so make sure to bring your A-game! 

2. RentABike

Website: https://www.rentabike.ca/tours-routes-ottawa-gatineau/

Address: Under Rideau Street, beside Rideau Canal (West wall of Senate of Canada, 2 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 8X5, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-241-4140

Having been around since 1976, RentABike is one of the big leagues when it comes to providing exciting bike tours to anyone who wants to pedal their way through Ottawa’s finest. 

There are currently five tours available, all of which are designed for different kinds of travelers. For example, the Ottawa Nature tour is tailor-made for those who want to see the city’s gardens, parks, and waters. 

On the other hand, the Ottawa Landmark Tour will take you to the popular attractions in the city, ideal for those who want to see Ottawa’s must-visit destinations. 

By the way, you can also rent a bike here, as the name implies. For more bike rental shop recommendations, just scroll a bit further below. 

3. Trusty Pedaler

Website: https://thurstypedaler.com

Address: 680 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3T9, Canada

Contact details: +1 343-338-3502

Operating hours: 

  • Monday & Tuesday – closed
  • Wednesday to Sunday – 8:30 AM to 8 PM 

Here’s something a bit more unique that won’t have you wiping your sweat at every turn! Trusty Pedaler considers itself a party bike, an entertaining multi-passenger vehicle with a fun set-up in the middle akin to a bar. 

Your designated driver, also considered your trusty guide for the day, will take you to exciting spots in the city. You have the option to choose between two adventures – the pub crawl or the coffee crawl. 

Where can I rent bikes in Ottawa? 

Where can I rent bikes in Ottawa

There are a lot of places to rent bikes in Ottawa with our top recommendations being Cyco’s and Pedego Electric Bikes. 

1. Cyco’s

Website: http://www.cycosport.ca

Address: 25 Hawthorne Ave, Ottawa, ON K1S 0A9, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-567-8180

Operating hours: 

  • Monday to Friday – 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Saturday & Sunday – 10 AM to 5 PM 

Conveniently located in the bustling Hawthorne Ave, Cyco’s provides a wide array of sports gear, including skates, skiing equipment, and of course, bikes. 

They’re pretty flexible when it comes to bike rentals, so you have the option of renting the equipment for up to a month. Renting bikes at Cyco’s also guarantees you all the important inclusions when cycling through the streets such as helmet, lock, and lights. 

Moreover, there is a wide assortment of bikes you can choose from such as cruiser, tandem, hybrid, road, and fat bikes. 

2. Pedego Electric Bikes

Website: https://pedegoelectricbikes.ca/

Address: 316b Dalhousie, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 7E7

Contact details: +1 613-552-7143

Looking to traverse the Ottawan roads in style? Check out Pedego Electric Bikes to be equipped with gear that best suits your taste and needs.

It’s comfortable and extremely reliable with a multitude of models, sizes, and colors to choose from. 

Can you bring bikes to Ottawa’s LRT and buses? 

Can you bring bikes to Ottawa’s LRT and buses

You can bring bikes to Ottawa’s LRT and buses. Train stations are equipped with bike channels, ensuring easy navigation of staircases. 

Additionally, most bus stations in Ottawa have a sheltered parking space specifically for bikes. 

As you can see, not only are there bike-friendly roads in the city, but there are also convenient laws in place to make cycling accessible for anyone. 

Can you ride your bike on the sidewalk in Ottawa?

Can you ride your bike on the sidewalk in Ottawa

According to Ottawa.ca, it’s not allowed to ride your bike on the sidewalk in Ottawa, leaving the space for people on foot. 

What are the most bikeable cities in Canada? 

What are the most bikeable cities in Canada

Based on Canyon.com, the most bikeable cities in Canada are Montreal, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, and Saskatoon.