Cycling in the snow….

winter cycling - Purmerend - Photo: Rob Amoureus
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It doesn’t happen too often, but Holland was covered in snow late last week. Cyclists kept cycling, resulting in some really nice pictures of cyclists in the snow. If the “inexperienced-with-snow” Dutch can do it, teens included, we Canadians can no longer use the argument of a snowy country as a reason not to cycle. Enjoy the screen shots from the website I took this weekend. You will notice few cars in the pictures, as many cyclists are separated from faster traffic on special bike paths or cycle through city centres with traffic calming measures.

winter cycling - Utrecht - Photo: Chris Heijmans
bicycles - Utrecht - Photo: Chris Heijmans
winter cycling - Utrecht - Photo: Chris Heijmans

Many kids cycle to school in the Netherlands, even more so in the north and the east of the country where public transport is less frequent or non-existent. Usually in groups -as in the pics below- they cover considerable distances through the country side. As the sun rises late and sets early in winter, there are a number of weeks that they have to cycle in the dark. Note the special bars on their bikes, an indication that they often cycle into the wind. And windy it can be in Holland. As in standing-on-your-pedals-most- of-the-way windy.

winter cycling - between Franeker and Harlingen - Photo: ANP
winter cycling - between Franeker and Harlingen - Photo: ANP
winter cycling - Purmerend - Photo: Rob Amoureus
winter cycling - Zwolle - Photo: Frank van der Hoeven

To top it off, here is a quick Utrecht bicycle rush hour in winter You Tube clip you may have seen before, but still entertaining. Here is my blog post on winter cycling in Ottawa’s capital region and a picture of a lone cyclist in a winter storm in Ottawa. Also some pictures after a Montreal winter storm: the day after the night before.

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  1. The infrastructure in Holland looks spectacular. Combined with the more accepting attitudes of its residents, I’m sure it’s a wonderful place to ride in the winter.

    Ottawa….could be the same if the NCC and City made efforts to clear the paths. The attitudes of Ottawa drivers however…..

      • We must look to the complete picture though: I do see many cyclists breaking the law, last autumn I saw a woman on a bike on Elgin cycling 5 blocks against traffic, through red even and then hopping on the side walk) and that is only one of the examples. No wonder drivers cannot always appreciate us. It is not really great advertising for cycling. By sticking to the rules of the road (they are invented for a reason), we take a way many of the daily irritations on both sides. Don’t think of them vs. us but in ‘we’. Better maintainted bike paths will certainly increase the pleasure of (winter) cycling, I think that will come eventually. It doesn’t hurt to write friendly requests to the NCC though.

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