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This article was published 7/2/2018 (749 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
While Winnipeg has its fair share of winter cyclists, expect to see more on the roads Friday.
Winter Bike to Work Day is happening globally, and for the sixth time locally. Project co-ordinator Dan Reihl described the event as a fun international challenge meant to normalize winter biking.
"There’s this notion right now that you need to have a fat bike or some kind of special bike to accomplish it, or you need to look up all these things on how to do (winter biking), But really it’s just a normal activity. It’s no more hardcore than walking your dog or going to a dog park, in terms of weather," he said.
He also hopes the event will draw attention to the need to maintain the city's cycling infrastructure, no matter the weather.
"If somebody is just getting out to try (winter cycling), especially if they have the facility and the maintenance, somebody's going to notice that it's not that bad actually," said Reihl, who bikes daily.
"Certainly if somebody would have told me five years ago that I would be cycling in winter, I would have been saying, 'No way. Whoa, that's crazy.' But I do this every day now. It's just like status quo for me and I wouldn't want to drive a car."
New this year for Winter Bike to Work Day participants is an international gift swap where you can exchange addresses and social-media info with someone halfway round the globe, then send each other inexpensive local gifts.
In Winnipeg, cycling pit stops with free coffee and doughnuts will be set up around the city for morning commuters, including the Esplanade Riel and the UWSA Bike Lab. For the full list of locations and times, visit winterbiketoworkday.org.
Keep an eye out for a group ride (also known as a bike jam) on Friday evening. It begins at the Selkirk Avenue bell tower at 6 p.m. and wraps up with a secret dance party in the Exchange District at 11:30 p.m. (location to be announced).
Environment Canada is forecasting a high of -14 C in Winnipeg Friday.
Jessica Botelho-Urbanski covers the Manitoba Legislature for the Winnipeg Free Press.
Updated on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 1:40 PM CST: changes photo