Calgary·Video

'Better than driving': Cold weather doesn't deter hardy bike commuters

Calgary’s hardiest commuters celebrated travelling on two wheels Friday with Winter Bike to Work Day.

Cyclists mark Winter Bike to Work Day on Friday

Calgary marks 4th Winter Bike to Work Day in -15C weather

5 years ago
Duration 0:24
Calgary's hardiest commuters celebrated travelling on two wheels Friday with Winter Bike to Work Day. 0:24

Calgary's hardiest commuters celebrated travelling on two wheels Friday with Winter Bike to Work Day.

"Mostly in the depths of winter I'll still go — although this week, the snow depth was just too much to ride," said Jeremy Wbema, who has been cycling year-round for the last 10 years.

Along with using fatter tires, dressing in layers is key to commuting success in the winter months, he says.

"You need a fat tire bike when there's too much snow on the streets. The gear you're wearing is important too — underlayers, Gore-Tex layers, eyewear and face protection from the wind and cold."

Put on by Bike Calgary, the Winter Bike To Work Day is now in its fourth year.

Jeremy Wbema has been commuting by bike year-round for the last 10 years. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

More than cold, Wbema said road conditions are his biggest consideration when choosing how to get to work.

"It's around the traction you have with your bike so you can stay upright," he said.

Fellow bike commuter Shawn Clarke considers it a "good way to unwind at the end of the day."

"It's good exercise, you have to get from A to B anyway, and it's better than driving," he said.

"Sometimes it's faster than driving. It's a good way to get some fresh air and get some riding in."

Clarke agrees layers are the key to keeping warm.

Shawn Clarke sees cycling home from work as a good way to unwind, no matter what the temperature is. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

"Lots of layers," he said. "Keep moving and try to stay dry if you can. You want a layer to protect you from the wind. Warm feet and warm hands, so wear mitts instead of gloves, and winter boots to keep your toes warm."

Bike Calgary event co-ordinator Kimberley Nelson suggests keeping a journal to help plan ahead.

"What kinds of clothing you're wearing, what the temperature was that day, and what the conditions on the road were," she said.

"Then if something doesn't work, change it up and record it. Then go back so you can say, 'Oh, last time it was –20,' because we have gaps where there's a month where it's beautiful out. It's always good to write down what you were wearing, how you felt after your ride."

With files from Monty Kruger

now