Hundreds of Montrealers Celebrate Winter Cycling in -40°C Weather

The icy urban center is home to one of North America’s most robust winter cycling communities.

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Winter cycling

Video still via Global News.

Montréal, QC occupies two distinct spaces which one might assume are necessarily opposites: it is one of the coldest urban centers in North America, and also home to one of the continent’s strongest cycling communities.

Montréalers don’t shy away from winter, they host everything from festivals to activities to outdoor art events to make the most of the long, snowy season. So it only makes sense that they would embrace all that winter cycling has to offer as well.

As Global News reports, over 300 cyclists showed up this past weekend for the third edition of the Vélo sous Zero (Bike Below Zero), an event aiming to destroy myths about winter cycling and promote it as a viable, practical, and fun activity or mode of transportation.

Montréal mayor Denis Coderre was there for the event meet up, and vowed to increase the amount of bike paths available throughout the winter. At present, there are around 400 km of bike paths available in the winter, compared to over 700 km in the summer.

Vélo Quebec‘s Magalie Bebronne, one of the organizers for the event, said the event is meant to demystify what winter cycling is all about. With temperatures hovering around -25°C and a windchill that felt more like -40°C, over 300 cyclists donned tuques, gloves and ski goggles to ride the 17 km route through the city’s network of bike paths and snow-covered streets.

The happy crowd certainly proves that winter cycling is possible in any conditions with the right gear and the right attitude.

Continuing its efforts to become a leader in winter cycling, Montréal will be playing host to next year’s Winter Cycling Congress, which just wrapped up in the Twin Cities last week.

3 Comments

  • morlamweb

    -40 C is the stated wind chill, meaning, the perceived temperature when factoring in the wind speed. That certainly is possible on a very cold and blustery winter day (a.k.a. my average winter commute). Bicycle speed has nothing to do with it (though 22 MPH certainly is possible in winter).

  • Petra

    -40 C, not on any chart I’ve found. To reach a windchill of -40, still air of -25 would require a wind speed or cycling speed of 35 km/hr or about 22 mph. Seems a little fast to me on ice and snow with narrow tires. Studded tires??

  • sksksksk

    -40 ? That is a lie.

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