The city which calls itself the ‘capital of winter cycling’ has become a pin-up of sustainable transport. — AFP pic
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OULU (Finland), Dec 11 — Winter temperatures that drop to minus 25 degrees Celsius do not stop cyclists in the Finnish city of Oulu.
The city which calls itself the “capital of winter cycling” has become a pin-up of sustainable transport, with most children still biking to school at minus 20 degrees Celsius.
“I cycle all year around. I don’t even own a car,” Ari Karjalainen told AFP as he returned home after shopping for groceries.
Despite the snow, bike racks are jam-packed in downtown Oulu, with bundled-up locals leaving vapour trails in their wake as they cycle around the city in the icy air.
“Just put on enough clothes,” quipped 22-year-old Mimmi Kahkonen when asked how she manages to cycle in the frosty weather.For many locals, even the term “winter cycling” sounds odd, as biking all year round is so common despite the city being only a little more than 100 miles (160 kilometres) south of the Arctic Circle.Many cyclists use wider winter tyres with better grip, sometimes with steel spikes, but some people bike with the same tyres year-round.“We are so used to the winter that we don’t consider it much of a challenge,” Harri Vaarala, one of the city’s traffic engineers, told AFP.While the seaside city averages five months of snow […]
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