It’s Bike to Work Week, but ironically, Caroline Gosselin may be less likely to cycle the few kilometres from her ByWard Market home to her work near Parliament Hill after yesterday.

The 27-year-old was biking — a mode of transport she favours at least a few times a week — to work when she was stopped by an Ottawa police officer.

She was astounded when he handed over not only a $35 ticket for riding her bicycle on the sidewalk at Wellington and Mackenzie, but issued her a warning for not having a bell on her bicycle.

Right after she was ticketed, Gosselin watched as several other cyclists were also ticketed for various other infractions.

It’s not about the money, Gosselin said.

She said Bike to Work Week is about the city encouraging citizens to forgo their cars in favour of more sustainable modes of transportation, like bicycles.

“I find it ironic that the city wants us to bike to work, but they give us tickets for doing so,” she said.

Although Gosselin has been cycling for years, she isn’t comfortable with riding on a street as busy as Wellington during rush hour with cars, buses and taxis zipping by.

And because of where her work is located, she doesn’t have the option of taking quieter streets to work.

Ottawa police, who are out doing bicycle enforcement as a part of Bicycle Safety Month, aren’t trying to discourage people from cycling, said Ottawa police Const. Kathy Larouche.

“It’s more educational rather than enforcement,” said Larouche. “We’re not looking to slap hefty fines on people. What we’re looking to do is educate cyclists as to what the rules of the road are.”

And whenever possible, officers will give a reduced fine under the city bylaw instead of a bigger fine under the province’s Highway Traffic Act, she said.

Common infractions include riding on the sidewalk, not having a bell, not using hand signals and failing to obey signage.