Making the most out of winter with winter cycling
Once winter hits, Simon Granovsky-Larsen goes to work the same way he does in the summer -- on his bike.
"I commute to work every morning. I bike five kilometres from home to the University of Regina and back again through Wascana Park -- which is a very nice commute to be doing, even if it’s icy,” said the winter cyclist. “There's hasn't been a morning yet where it's been so cold that I won't go out and try it."
Granovsky-Larsen has been cycling for 33 years. When he moved to Regina from Toronto two years ago to teach political science and international studies, he didn't have a vehicle and decided he would give winter cycling a try.
"I decided, instead of spending the money on a parking pass, I'd take that same amount of money, buy appropriate winter gear, winterize my bike and take it on,” said Granovsky-Larsen. ”I'm really glad that I have because I’m sure that I would have been house to car to work -- and instead, twice a day, I get 20 minutes outside."
Winter weather not only helps Granovsky-Larsen stay active, but companies like Western Cycle run its business."
"Every winter, winter cycling becomes bigger, especially fat bikes,” said Dean Fraser, sales manager at Western Cycle. “Before, they started off as a bit of a novelty. People were like ‘What are these things?’ Now that they're out there more, people are getting way more interested and we're getting lots of people coming in. It just seemed natural to add them to our rental fleet."
Over the years, winter cycling has become increasingly popular in Regina, with races taking place and clubs being created. Five weeks ago, Fraser and a colleague from Western Cycle began hosting Western Cycle winter ride nights every Tuesday.
"We want to get people just out of the house (and) come and see what cycling is all about,” said Fraser. “It’s not just about exercise, it’s about getting together -- it's the fellowship, it’s the laughs.”
Granovsky-Larsen and Fraser say winter cycling isn't for the foolish, but for everyone.
"It's the same as any other winter sport,” said Granovsly-Larsen. “You have to wear the right clothing and have the right gear, to be able to do it properly -- just like skiing or snowmobiling. But once you have that together, I haven’t actually ever been cold."