Looking back on a winter of bicycle innovation

As the days get longer and warmer across the northern hemisphere, and spring is officially here, we’re taking the opportunity to look back at some of the innovations in winter biking we saw this year.

1. A rebate for studded tires in Banff, Canada

Ahead of the 2019 Winter Cycling Congress that took place in Calgary, Canada this past February, the Town of Banff introduced a rebate giving residents 50 Canadian Dollars back per tire on purchases of up to two studded tires. Already within the first week of the program, 29 tires were purchased – an inspiring number for a small town. When asked why this program was introduced, Chad Townsend, Banff’s environmental manager, explained that the goal was to simply normalize biking by helping residents out with what can be an otherwise costly purchase.

2. A winter bike share pilot in Oslo, Norway

Many cities that face winters with lots of snow and ice do not yet maintain their bike share systems throughout the winter – whether due to added costs, maintenance constraints or a lack of political vision for 4-season urban cycling. This year, Oslo decided to find a solution, implementing a winter bike share pilot with new stations and locking systems, in which it equipped 400 bikes with studded winter tires and took extra care to maintain them. The pilot has seen over 17,000 trips so far. Stay tuned!

3. A DIY bicycle snow plough in Milford, USA

Finally, if all else fails, and your city fails to clear snow in a timely manner, you can follow this Connecticut man’s example: he made his own bicycle-powered snow plough from scratch!