You don’t need a heavy-duty truck or snow shoes to get around Regina when it’s covered in snow, but you do need a unique mindset.
“(Crazy) might be a strong word but it takes a little bit to get motivated for it,” said Dutch Cycle co-owner Lawrence Vanderlinden, who has been using his bike to get around in the winter months for over 20 years.
He said he used to ride his bike every day, but as he’s gotten older, he’s taken a few days off the bike if the weather gets too cold.
“-20 C, -25 C is sort of my cut-off point; I’m not out there when it’s -50.”
There are a few other differences than just the temperature when it comes to choosing two wheels over four.
“Definitely a lot harder pedalling, even with the studded tires, the safety factor and you’ve got to be way more careful riding in the winter, it’s a lot slower and of course it’s not always as enjoyable when your fingers are frozen halfway home,” Vanderlinden said.
He said when he first started to bike in the winter months, he had to stud his own tires.
“I think the only people that were riding were maybe people that didn’t have a choice, where now a lot more people are doing it for sure.”
Vanderlinden just uses an old mountain bike for his winter commutes, noting bikes tend to rust a little quicker in the winter, so he doesn’t recommend people go out and buy a new one.
If a person doesn’t want to go out and buy those fat tires for winter biking, Vanderlinden said that’s fine, because they’re optional, unless you want to do some off-road winter biking.
Of course, he said you need to make sure you layer up when going out into the cold.
“It’s a lot easier to say ‘nah, it’s cold out, I’m not going to do it, I’m going to hop in the car.’ But once you get dressed, then you’re OK.”