You've seen the die hard cyclists riding in the winter, barely visible in the blizzard; treading atop the snow with spiky tires and big gloves, bug eyed goggles and puffy apparel, a mix between a stuffed turkey and a snow leopard. Us car-goers with our winter tires flick on the heat with a mittened hand, turn on CBC and applaud them in awe (from behind foggy passenger windows), whilst they climb the steep snowy hills and clamour over snow drifts to reach their destination.
But this isn't an isolated few anymore - many Sudbury cyclists are taking to the roads despite the weather, parents taking their families along straddled in bike carriages to join the downtown art crawls or grab a bite to eat.
We are amidst an exciting moment. The Greater City of Sudbury is receiving just over 1 Million as one of the 120 municipalities to receive funding under Ministry of Transportation to create new bike lanes, bike parking and cycling infrastructure. Apart of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan to Make Cycling More Convenient and Safe The Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program is a commitment under Ontario's five-year Climate Change Action Plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. While #CycleON Ontario's Cycling Strategy was announced in 2013 to promote safe cycling and encourage people to ride their bikes in commuting and for recreation.
"This cultural shift is also actively mobilized by the City with a Sustainable Mobility Advisory Panel"
This cultural shift is also actively mobilized by the City, led by Planners and The Sustainable Mobility Advisory Panel (SMAP), an active citizen advisory panel with the mandate to assist staff and Greater Sudbury Council in implementing a vision for a holistic approach to a multi-model transportation system where citizens can walk, cycle and/or use public transit efficiently and safely! Check out this detailed and thorough Sutainable Mobility Advisory Panel Strategic Plan 2016-2018 outlining the three pillars of Policy, Education and Infrastructure.
Cassidy is one of these folk embracing this mode of transportation, including extending her ride season into Winter 2017. Living and working in the downtown core, she will be travelling by bike as often as she can and will further, be sharing her experiences on Winter Cycling in Sudbury on her blog.
Spending a summer in Toronto completing an Environmental Visual Communication Post Grad at the ROM, she abandoned the streetcar for her helmet and road bike cruising down King Street (with hundreds of others). Since her experience in a 'bikeable city' she is eager to cut out the pollutants and the gas money in her own northern city.
Follow along to read the challenges, findings and advice (including equipment reviews) that she encounters and shares on her day-to-day ventures here.
"And while winter biking is possible we also have a city we can snowshoe in!"
And while winter biking is possible we also have a city we can snowshoe in! And I should mention, without cost. The Greater Sudbury Public Library offers Snowshoe Lending Program to go on a hike of your own - Lake Laurentian Trails or Kivi Park or Naughton Ski Trails are great places for this. Rainbow Routes also has a lists and maps of non-motorized trails that connect the city.
Last but certainly not least, Sudbury Cycle provides resources to get involved in cyclist clubs and advocacy groups whether it is mountain biking, trail riding or road racing. The alternative commuting community is growing and conversations around this city being and becoming bikeable and bike-friendly are at the forefront. Travelling by peddle, paddle, snowshoe or by winter boot - all are worth a go.