Viewpoint : February 2017

Biking is becoming part of our winter reality

The five-year study Cycling in Québec in 2015 reveals that biking is gradually extending into the coldest months of the year. In fact, over a million people continue to pedal until the end of November, while 180,000 actually use their bikes in winter. By comparison, five years earlier, only 50,000 people reported using their bikes between December and March. The study also shows that people are putting their bikes away for winter later and later, and getting them out for spring earlier and earlier.

We have definitely come a long way since the days when winter biking was relegated to delivery boys and couriers. Active transportation continues to gain ground, even in the most difficult conditions, to the extent that the media and motorists are getting used to seeing cyclists on the roads between December and March. In addition, the subject is getting less negative publicity, another sign that biking is becoming part of our winter reality.

In order to start off our 50th year promoting biking in Québec, we are currently organizing two major events: the Winter Cycling Congress from February 8 to 10, which will bring 350 participants from Europe and North America to Montréal, and then Snow Moon by Bike, a festive, luminous parade through downtown streets on Saturday, February 11, as part of the Les Hivernales celebrations for Montréal’s 375th anniversary.

These two events are pushing cycling boundaries even further and generating interest both here and abroad. This convergence is not purely coincidental. By presenting both activities during the same week, we wanted to make the most of each event’s credibility to raise awareness about winter biking.

Looking forward to crossing bike paths with you… in February.

Suzanne Lareau
President and CEO