Alex Bikes

Ottawa bike politics.

Monthly Archives: December 2013

Responses to the myths of winter biking

IMG_2487Friends and co-workers mean well when they tell me that winter biking is dangerous. Random drivers telling me to get off the road are less polite. Here are some responses to their most common concerns.

1. Why would you choose to bike in the winter?

I need to get around. The bus takes too long and I’m cheap. And I can’t drive (and if you want to know why, ask).

2. Winter biking is dangerous.

Winter biking’s safer than other modes of transportation.

Driving’s dangerous. From 2008-2012 in Ottawa drivers killed 11 cyclists, 37 pedestrians and 98 people in cars. Want to make the roads safer? Decrease driving.

Recreational activities? 25% of nonfatal recreational outdoor injuries in emergency rooms. An average of 29 people die every year by snowmobile in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

3. Isn’t it cold?

Biking in the winter is like skiing or skating and warmer than waiting for the bus. Dress properly.

4. Bicycles have no traction.

If you think this it is because you have no experience.

A good cyclist with studded tires is more stable than a 2000lb car without winter tires. I’ve fallen less on bike than I’ve stopped to help stuck motorists.