Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Sustainable Commuting

We've written before, about Red Deer's amazing Waskasoo Park and its trail system. It's unique among urban parks in that the whole thing is interconnected by multi-use trails. In the summer the trails are heavily trafficked by walkers, runners, cyclists, long-boarders, and in-line skaters. In the winter the trails are taken over by cross-country skiers, early morning dog walkers and the odd (as in rare, not awkwardly different) bicycle commuter.

Winter bike commuting in Red Deer is not a difficult chore. The main arterial roads are kept reasonably free of snow and ice, side walks are wide enough to ride on when the roads are too dangerous - for example there has been lots of black ice this week - and if you're like me and lucky enough to have a North-South commute, the trails are plowed and packed to make winter riding a joy. Imagine that; while others are stuck in cold lanes of traffic, I get to have a little adventure each morning, on my bike, through the park.

On Monday this week, I attached a video camera to my bike helmet and recorded my commute in six parts. You can see them at my own personal blog - along with a running commentary here.

We are in the midst of a nearly perfect winter for bike commuting. The morning temperatures have rarely been below -12C and the afternoon temperatures have been above zero on a regular basis. While this isn't an ideal winter from nature's point of view, for those who want to try winter bicycle commuting, this is the best winter we've had for it in years. Give it a try. I've written two posts on winter bike commuting (you can find the posts under the commuting videos) that will tell you how to dress, how to prep your bike and how to survive a possible wipeout.

So, give it a try. Give yourself an extra few minutes, pack a backpack and ride your bike to work. You just may form a new habit.

1 comment:

tess stieben said...

Ah to be able to bike, let alone in winter is but a memory.