Cycling in wintertime 🌨️

We’re expecting a chilly week in Belgium with temperatures below zero. I’am hoping for some snow fun this weekend to get in the early Christmas mood. But some cyclists might be less enthusiastic about the slippery roads ahead. It is a fact that cycling in winter is slightly more challenging than in other seasons.

Braving the cold and dark days… Maybe you prefer to stay warm on the bus, train, metro or in the car? But for some, nothing beats admiring the snowy landscape from the bike saddle! Cycling in the winter and even in the snow is perfectly possible. Just listen to this podcast about how they do it in Helsinki, a place where it is much darker and colder than here: Henna Hovi on Winter Cycling in Helsinki | Geert Kloppenburg

And luckily here in Belgium you don’t need winter tires on your bike. But there are some simple adjustments you can do to make your bike winter ready. The cyclists union (Fietserbond) sums it up very nicely in this article: Fiets winterklaar met de tips van Fietsenmaker Michaël

Also Ghent police summarized some great tips from Pro Vélo and Velotariër to get their residents feeling more safe and comfortable on their bike these days: Veilig fietsen in de winter | Gent

They conclude the article with the best advice:

“And above all… enjoy the winter charms of the bicycle or e-bike: a healthy blush on your cheeks, the beautiful winter scenes, no queuing in traffic jams, and you burn calories too. Extra convenient during the holidays ;-)”

Are you guys still cycling? Do you take any extra precautions? And are there any noticeable differences in your traffic counts? We’d love to hear about it!

Do you still cycle in freezing temperatures?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

4 Likes

I’m afraid I’ve not got my bike at the moment. I was renting it and not using it enough, and I was honest enough with myself to know that if I hadn’t used it enough in the warmer days, I wasn’t about to start in the snow and ice.

However, … watching this video shared on twitter this morning, showing how the UK (doesn’t) cope with a small amount of snow might change my mind.

It is amusing enough to watch the drivers unable to cope … but watch carefully at 00:30 to see the guy on the bike :partying_face:

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The contrast is indeed striking :laughing:, that cyclist passes with great ease, even uphill!

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I do short distances on the bike still

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Last winter, the YouTube channel NotJustBikes posted an interesting video comparing attitudes to cycling in wintertime among Finns and Canadians. The differences are striking.

Note: the video talks about the Finnish city of Oulu, which is located just 150 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle and is known as the “Winter Cycling Capital of the World”.

Check it out!

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Nice insight. Must say it was a challenge on the brompton with -6°C to stay upright here in Belgium.

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Winter cycling in the Finnish city of Oulu, featured in the video above, recently also caught the attention of the BBC.

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Haha the closing quote in the video is amazing, got to love those down-to-earth scandinavians :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

“People are sometimes saying that we’re ‘hardcore’. No, we’re just regular wimps who are blessed with good infrastructure and good maintenance.”

2 Likes