CycleSafe Program

Cycling has never been more popular and accessible in Ottawa. As an increasingly popular activity and mode of transportation all year round, the vulnerability of cyclist safety within the City of Ottawa has also increased.

Creating Confident Young Cyclists

In 2018, the City of Ottawa reported a catastrophic 226 cyclist injuries and fatalities. In addition to cyclists having a thorough knowledge of road rules, motorists must also understand that bicycles are vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act and are therefore required to respect a cyclist’s right to ride on the street. Education and awareness that starts with our youngest road users can help to play an important role in preventing serious road accidents and fatalities with cyclists.

The Ottawa Safety Council’s CycleSafe program focuses less on cycling skills found in traditional bike rodeos and more on essential safety concepts that will increase children’s safety awareness, equipping them with the knowledge they will need to face the realities of sharing our roads while cycling. Teaching children to be confident, aware, and safe road users and cyclists at an early age can reduce their risk of road related injury and fatality later in life. The CycleSafe course for children includes showing young cyclists defensive riding skills such as anticipating and understanding other road users’ perspectives and actions (i.e., Selective Attention, how to cycle near parked cars, where to position yourself on the road to be seen), riding according to the weather conditions and terrain, communicating with other road users, hazard scanning, intersections/driveway safety, right of way, making yourself easy to be seen and be heard, and always wearing a CSA-approved bicycle helmet.

CycleSafe Program

“73 per cent of cycling deaths in Canada involve a collision with a motor vehicle.”


kids on bikes

CycleSafe for Your Children

Register your child(ren) for one of our CycleSafe Workshops happening this summer around Ottawa! These modules are designed to compliment other cycling courses/camps your child(ren) may be a part of by really emphasizing road safety concepts that are critical for children to keep themselves safe while sharing our roads.


Module 1 – Getting Rollin’

Grade 1–2/Ages 5–7 | 45 Minutes

Getting Rollin’ is designed to build a foundation of basic cycling and helmet safety knowledge by delivering instruction around proper helmet fitting, hand signals and bicycle specific road signs.

Module 2 – Predictable Pedaling

Grade 3–4/Ages 7–9 | 90 MINUTES

Children of this age are more likely to be starting to ride a little further from home, so it is timely to start introducing the various situations they may encounter and have to safely manoeuvre through. These include:

  • Stopping Safely
  • Riding on Different Terrains/In different weather
  • Being Predictable
  • Communicating with other road users/Shoulder Checks
  • Cycling through Intersections/the dangers of driveways
  • Eyes up – scanning for hazards

Module 3 – Safely Navigating

Grade 5–6/Ages 10–14 | 2 Hours

Children of this age are likely riding alone on the road with traffic. This is a time when they need to be aware of and know how to handle various situations that they will face while riding.

These situations include:

  • Right of way & Merging
  • Hazard scanning
  • Target Fixation and selective attention/inattention blindness
  • Edge riding, parked cars, “take the lane”
  • How to fall safely

CycleSafe for Your Group

Looking for Programming Options for your Day Camps, Scouts group, or community association/organization? Book us to run the most appropriate module for your target age group or all three!

CycleSafe is offered through three modules – Getting Rollin’, Predictable Pedalling, and Safely Navigating – based on the ages of the children. The price for one module is $300. Discounted pricing available for groups that would like to book more than one module – see below for details. Please note that all modules review/refresh important basics of wearing your helmet correctly, how to tune up your bike, and signaling to vehicles!



Module 1 – Getting Rollin’$300 for up to 10 kids
Module 2 – Predictable Pedalling$300 for up to 10 kids
Module 3 – Safely Navigating$300 for up to 10 kids
Module 1 & 2$450 for up to 10 kids per module
Module 2 & 3$600 for up to 10 kids per module
All Three Modules$750 for up to 10 kids per module

CycleSafe for Your Students – FREE

Similar to our WalkSafe program, schools are encouraged to book our FREE CycleSafe presentation for their students every two years. The program consists of three age-based modules that build upon each other – Getting Rollin’ (30 Minutes), Predictable Pedalling (60 Minutes), and Safely Navigating (2 Hours or two, 60 Minute sessions) – Our presenters come to your school and typically set up in the gym or school yard (weather dependant), delivering several modules to several different classes over the course of a day.  Once completed, Teachers will be provided suggested follow-up activities to do with their classes to support retention.

“Just wanted to add how much I love the event. The kids and parent volunteers had so much fun. I always look forward to you coming.”

–Teacher, St. Patrick Elementary

About the CycleSafe Program for Schools

This is not a traditional Bike Rodeo! Instead, OSCs CycleSafe program includes unique features like:

  • Concepts can be taught completely without bikes (or with bikes if logistics allow)
  • Can be done in-doors year-round (or out-doors if weather permits)
  • Age-appropriate – different modules and safety concepts taught at each level based on how much children will be cycling on their own and levels of understanding
  • Fun, hands-on, experiential
  • Tied to Ontario Curriculum requirements
  • Encourages students and their families to take our Road Safety SMARTS pledge at the end

Help Support the Ottawa Safety Council

Donations to the Ottawa Safety Council help us to continue building new programming and creating and delivering awareness campaigns to bring road safety advocacy and awareness to everyone in Ottawa, regardless of how they travel.

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