Calgary winter cyclists insist biking in foot-deep snow is nothing to marvel at

They're not winter warriors; they're just everyday Calgarians who like riding their bikes and don't mind the snow.

Some commuters swear biking is just more practical for them, no matter the weather conditions

Calgary snow biking

5 years ago
Duration 0:55
Calgary snow biking

They're not winter warriors; they're just everyday Calgarians who like riding their bikes and don't mind the snow.

At least, that's what we heard from the balaclava-clad Calgarians we met biking along the Bow River Wednesday after a fresh foot of snow fall.

Some were mounted on fat bikes, others had strapped on ski goggles, and one even wore shorts in the morning commute with double-digit subzero temperatures.

A Calgary cyclist commutes dressed in shorts on a wintry morning with subzero temperatures. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

All of them seemed to say the same thing: namely, that there was nothing remarkable about their method of commuting.

"I don't think you really need any hardcore type of personality. I think it could just be for anybody who wants to try it," said Ben Guerard.

"In a big snow storm like this, it's sometimes just as fast as driving," he added.

Paul MacMullan, a self-described year-round cyclist, wiped out at least three or four times on his way to work, he confessed.

Paul MacMullan says he began cycling to work because his Irish driver's licence wasn't recognized in Alberta, and he failed his road test the first time he took it. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

Yet, even after skidding into the fresh powder, he had no gripes — instead, he took the opportunity to praise the city's bike infrastructure network.

"This is the best. I've lived in lots of different places, and this is the best in the world for cycling, no doubt." MacMullan said.

"It's open access for everybody."

For Tanya Dubnicoff, cycling to work just makes more sense.

"Too cheap to pay for parking," she explained.

Economic argument aside, Dubnicoff admitted it'd be a little hypocritical for her not to practice what she preaches, considering that she's the cycling coach at the Canadian Sport Institute in Calgary.

She said cyclists who dress appropriately and take care of their bike equipment should have no problem cycling in winter conditions. 

"It's a gorgeous day. Why wouldn't you want to be out doing this?"

Dubnicoff says she listens to her body, not to the weather report, when trying to decide whether she'll cycle to work. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

With files from Monty Kruger