5 myths about winter cycling


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1. It’s very cold

to me Oulu, FinlandAround 12% of all trips In the cold season on two wheels. And about one in every cyclist pedals 365 days a year, even -20 degrees Celsius and below. No wonder it is considered The winter cycling capital of the world.

British newspaper Watchman It was delivered in 2016 In a comparison with Winnipeg: ses hivers sont proches de ceux d’Oulu —duree d’ensoleillement, températures au thermometer, days avec de la neige au sol— mais la capitale du Manitoba is a representative advantage of ce qu’on retrouve ailleurs in Amérique from the north. Quota for cycling marginal there compared to cars. Only a few called extremists They ride their bikes in the winter. The fact that it doesn’t help them Winter maintenance of cycling infrastructure practically does not exist.

Montreal does not reach Oulu’s level, however An increasing number of winter cyclists Explain that Cold is not impediment. Report from Vélo Québec The number of cyclists who continued their outings during the winter of 2020-2021 is estimated at 13.6%. This means that one in seven cyclists in Montreal continue to ride during the winter season.

Other European cities – especially Scandinavian ones – can boast of seeing many cyclists riding around during the white season. Among them is the Danish capital Copenhagen, where you don’t mess with it Snow removal from bike paths. Lund and Ulmea, Sweden, and Helsinki, Finland are also examples Frequently quoted.

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2. We risk frostbite

As all winter sports fans know, the secret lives in… multi-layer. Coat over two breasts or a sweater: Depending on the ambient temperature, beginners are always surprised to find that it’s enough to climb a hill to start warming up, even at the sub-20’s. cutting.

3. You have to sacrifice a bike

Slush, cold, melting snow, rain and calcium make life difficult on a bicycle. However, this does not mean that you should sacrifice a mountain during these four to six months, as some people suggest. plenty location (locations Show Tips and tricks Essential for winter maintenance.

There could also, in theory, be a bike sharing solution. In Toronto, bike share is the same Available all year round. Bikes, like the stations and their attachment points, are designed to withstand the ravages of winter. And it works: the Montreal BIXI equivalent out there – the technology is the same – Uses From November to March, mainly by annual subscribers.

We’re not quite in Montreal yet, where the self-service bike system shuts down on November 15th of each year, until mid-April. Hibernation escalates then in a dedicated warehouse; stations, in the parking lots of the Olympic Park. The idea of ​​spreading BIXI in winter gets his way We say every year to the city.

4. It’s too much effort

Drive outside in the winter It is more laborious than in the summer. Rolling resistance, or the energy lost when tires deform on contact with the ground, is higher with loose snow on the ground than with dry asphalt. The same is true if the running surface is uneven, for example when it is crusty rather than smooth.

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But it all depends on what you are comparing. The electric bike can partially cancel the highest rolling resistance. And in any case, having a well-maintained infrastructure at your disposal is crucial.

5. You have to be reckless

In Oulu, Mr. and Mrs. everyone practice winter cycling. In fact, resorting to this method of travel in such circumstances is quite normal Even children do it everyday.

But again, the key to success is providing clear bike paths for winter cyclists. In Oulu, the main hubs of the network over 800 km long are eg in front of the streets. In Montreal, 27 km of bike paths have been cleared of snow. Search It was performed in Toronto in 2018in the neighborhoods around Toronto’s Metropolitan University, tended to conclude that accessible and visible infrastructure was the main argument for convincing more reluctant people to use their bikes in the winter.

Photo: Mikael Colville-Andersen/Copenhagenize

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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