Sporting four layers of clothing, a neck warmer pulled up to her ears, large goggles and a safety helmet, Montrealer Marie-Pierre Savard is ready to face the Canadian winter on her bicycle.
In the mostly French-speaking metropolis, more and more people, like her, are getting around by bike even in sometimes extreme weather conditions.
“It would be wrong to say that it’s exactly the same as riding a bike in the summer,” says the 38-year-old with short hair who believes that “it requires more concentration, better know-how and a different style of riding.”
But even in winter, for her, this means of transportation is unbeatable: It’s “simpler, more efficient, more ecological and more economical” than a car or public transit, she says.
Not even snowstorms and temperatures plunging to -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit) can stop the winter cyclist.
She confesses she actually “loves to ride when it has just snowed a few centimeters to leave the first tracks on fresh snow.”
On Montreal’s bike paths, it is not uncommon to come across kids in a child seat in the back, bundled up as though ready for skiing, on their way to school or daycare. They are quickly outpacing families who opt to pull kids in toboggans on sidewalks after a storm.“At the beginning, there were very few of us,” recalls Frederic Venne, who is in his 15th winter on a bike. Over the last two years, a greater effort to “clear bike paths” of snow have convinced more neophytes to join those who […]
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