Day 339: Winter Cycling in Sweden

As I sat in the dark room of the little guy waiting for him to fall asleep, I looked outside into the snowy landscape, and a cyclist rode by.  In the US, riding a bike in the winter is for those hardcore cyclists or the mildly insane.  There is little/no place for people to ride on the roads (although that is rapidly changing), and that means winter cycling is dangerous.  In Sweden, however, it is just a way of life for a lot of people.  Many people ride bikes as their form of transportation simply because that is what they do, and there are pathways for pedestrians and cyclists all over cities and small towns.

One thing that aids in these winter cyclists endeavors is the use of studded winter tires.  That’s right, just like car tires, they change their bike tires in the winters to handle the snowy paths.  It was crazy to me to see that there were so many people riding in the snow my first year here, but when I saw the tires I felt a little better about it.Studed-tire

Do they get in accidents anyway?  You bet!  I had a person who worked for me that one day came to a meeting very banged up.  She told me that she had just had her “accident for the winter.”  For her, every year she gets in a bike accident during the snowy season, and apparently it is pretty standard.  So, before you run out to get some studded tires, think about getting this helmet, too 😉

Hovding-bikes_4_3315311b.jpg
Swedish design helmet, see http://www.hovding.com

 

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