Winter “Wonderland”

It’s about time to get out of the winter lair… I’ve had a way to long break, but now I’m finally settled in Oslo, and trying to get back on track, which seems to be harder than I thought. The winter has been snowy and colder than usual (this early in the wintertime), and all respect to those few I saw biking despite minus 20 earlier this month.

Yes, people do bicycle, and several norwegian newspapers report that the amount of year-round cyclists increase. Now even “normal” people hit the snowy streets. Well, they have to be somewhat tough to do so, and I admit I’m not one of them… Maybe it’s because of the lack of proper gear, but another issue is the bad snow shoveling of bicycle lanes in the city. The few lanes that actually exist usually serve as disposal for snow, or even car parking, and lack of space makes people insecure. To get more people to concider winter cycling, the streets must be cleared, and not only in favor of the cars…

Would you even consider your bicycle?

4 Responses to Winter “Wonderland”

  1. Jan S says:

    I am one of those year-round cyclists, biking Tveita-Tåsen along Ring 3 everyday. For the most part, the city does an excellent job clearing the snow on this important bicycle lane. Apparently it is a priority. And when it is already dangerous to bike on icy roads, it is nice to bike on bike paths more cars are absent.

    I was reminded of this when I was biking along Ring 2 several weeks ago. I was biking with the traffic, but I had turned a little into the bus stop to let some cars go by me, but when I turned a little too sharply to the left at the end of the bus stop pocket, my front tire slid out, and there I was gliding along Ring 2, in the middle of traffic. The fault was fortunately not that bad, and it quickly was able to push and jump my way out of the traffic lane, and the car behind me had enough distance and was paying attention so that they slowed down quick enough.

    I took the rest of the trip home on the sidewalk, which certainly was not as nicely cleared as I was used to along Ring 3. But I was reminded how much I appreciate my more or less traffic free commute along the Ring 3 bike path.

    There are a few spots along Ring 3 which the city could give more attention (not necessarily now, but in general).
    * The bike path along Mekonomen between Nydalen and Storo.
    * Økern – just below the Coop Obs, above the tunnel.
    *Nydalsbrua — østsiden

    I only mention these spots because the rest of the route seems to be given so much attention.

    I do not have a lot of company, but I am certainly not alone in my route. :)

  2. “Would you even consider your bicycle?”

    In a word, no. Here on the north Pacific coast it snows maybe once every five years. All it takes to close us down for cycling is ordinary rain. But mind you, our rainstorms can be intense indeed.

    • tuvs says:

      But as you can see by the first comment, some people in Oslo actually do bike during the winter. And those I’ve talked to are not moutainbike-riders. So with better snow mowing, greater influence by the city council and of course less cars, I think even more people (including myself) would consider their bicycles…

      • Jan S says:

        I am definitely not a mountain biker. I ride a 28 inch hybrid with a rigid fork. my bike is my transport, and it gets very little recreational use, but I am pretty hard-core about it, and I am proud of the identity I have of being a year-round cyclist.

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