Well, I decided to bike to work for the first time on Monday. I was working outside the downtown core in the Northwest today…and Sheena was working, so taking the bike was a good change from the train.
Biking in Calgary is great. For those that don’t know, Calgary has dedicated bike paths that are scattered throughout the city. These paths are well designed and constructed in a way that they avoid contact with traffic. This means that paths are built beside roads, underneath bridges and intersections, overtop roads, etc. It’s an excellent system.
Basically, the way the paths are arranged, you can either park your car at a designated car park and ride about 5-7km to downtown, or for those leaving downtown like me, it’s pretty much clear sailing to your destination with map in hand. I say pretty much clear sailing because if you’re unfamiliar with the city, it’s probably wise to do a little trial run the day before. (I learned the hard way, biked an extra 8k on the way to work the first time.) The trails are well maintained and usually clear of snow. As you bike farther from downtown, there are a few places cleared year-round, others just from the traffic. Interestingly, you can also bring your bike on the C-Train (Calgary’s rail transport) and a few buses have bike racks as well. There are a few restrictions on time of day for the train, but otherwise, it’s good to go.