Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crazy World: No Cycling In Snow!

I usually check the 'crazy world' section on the tabloid papers to see what crazy things has happened around the world. Like a town banning dying, because the cemetery is full. Or the Norwegian fox who stole a phone and sent a text message to the owner. Or the nest of unicorns found in North Korea.

I just read that according to road.cc cyclists in Bologna, Italy will be fined for cycling after snowfall during the winter. The same rule also applies to other two wheelers like scooters. The fine is the same size as for car drivers don't have snow chains or winter tyres during the winter. (I wonder if they'd fine cyclists with studded tyres?)

Now, winter tyres are mandatory for cars also here in Finland. Either studded tyres or 'friction tyres' without studs. But there is no reason for us to ban cycling in the winter. After all, snow and "unpolished" ice is not too slippery to ride on, and with a little maintenance the bikeways can be kept rideable nearly all year around even with regular summer tyres, let alone with studded tyres. Just get some lights and ride. Simple as that.

We have  a lot of winter cycling. The Italian blogger says it's 12% of all trips during the winter, which may be true. I've seen some published research which gives the all year share 21% and it is lower in the winter. It's only on very slippery days or on very cold days when the rates really plummet.

And that post also tells me that apparently there's going to be some winter cycling congress here in Oulu. I read about that from a foreign blog... does that mean I'm out of touch of local cycle events? :-P

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