Winter Wheels program aims to prepare Peterborough cyclists for winter riding

Peter Laurie can be seen from miles away on his custom lime green winter bike and matching windbreaker. Its vibrant colour is part of his winter cycling safety gear.

The avid cyclist has been biking year-round in the city for more than a decade and encourages others to consider doing the same.

“With the steel-studded tires that a lot of us use, riding on ice is no problem, and actually, it’s surprisingly solid,” said Laurie, a board member of the Peterborough Bicycle Advisory Committee. “Apart from that, the main safety concern in winter — and it’s more of a concern than in other seasons — is visibility.”

To encourage more winter cycling, the community cycling hub B!KE is offering 25 cyclists a chance to winterize their ride and give them the gear and support they need to safely cycle this winter.

The initiative, now in its second year, is funded through a City of Peterborough grant program. Last year, 25 people took part in the inaugural Winter Wheels, and the program is seeing some new riders adapt well to winter conditions.

“Once people get out on a bike in the wintertime, they realize that it’s a beautiful way to see the city,” said B!KE executive director Tegan Moss. She says the feedback she’s received has been positive.

“Some of the participants last year said hilarious things about it (Winter Wheels), and one of my favourites is a fellow who said he thought he hated winter but he just hated winter driving,” said Moss.

“I think that experience is shared by a lot of people, as winter is really beautiful, and riding a bike continues to be a fun way to get around, even once the snow is flying.”

Those interested can fill out an application online. Successful participants will be offered up to $100 in new parts and $50 in used parts to winterize your ride and get a set of studded tires.

The program will kick off in December with workshops continuing into January.

The closing deadline for applications is Nov. 22. To find out more, visit the B!KE shop on George Street or read more information online.

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