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21 February 2017
Winter Cycling Congress 2017 Highlights: Celebrating Successes and New Research
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The Winter Cycling Congress is an invaluable opportunity to discuss cycling during our favorite time of year- snow and all! Eco-Counter was excited to be an attendee and exhibitor at the 2017 Winter Cycling Congress in Montreal, hosted by Velo Quebec. This year, celebrating successes and promoting winter cycling was top of mind. Here are some highlights from the conference.

The City of Calgary, Alberta was presented with a “Winnie” Award that recognizes Calgary’s efforts to promote winter cycling.  Over a million cyclists have been counted by automatic counters in Calgary since 2014, the year the cycle track was installed. Want to compare counts and discover trends? Counts can be viewed online.

Winter cycling counts can fluctuate based on weather conditions. In Calgary at the Peace Bridge counting site, warm temperatures and reduced precipitation had a strong positive impact on cycling demand for the month of November, 2016. The next month, cycling demand decreased coinciding with colder temperatures.

Overall trends in winter cyclist demand can be observed over time, while accounting for weather-related fluctuations. David Beitel, Ph.D Candidate, Civil Engineering McGill University in Montreal, Quebec worked to isolate the impact of variations in weather conditions from one year to the next. Once this data was normalized, growth in winter cycling in Montreal over the last four years was observed. Eco-Counter’s Jean-Francois Rheault and David presented their collaborative work on this research at the Wednesday session, A matter of data.

Cycling data can not only help to track seasonal trends, but also fine tune maintenance and planning.  A common theme during the conference was considering cycling as without a season and a year-round practice by many.

During the Planning Your Decisions to Encourage Year-Round Cycling round table, building a winter-maintained cycling network, achieving greater gender equality, and promoting the health benefits of cycling was discussed by representatives from  four Canadian cities – Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, and Ottawa. Marc-André Gadoury, a Montreal city counsellor, noted the importance bike count data to determine where to prioritize snow clearing for bikes.

To cap off the conference, Eco-Counter took part in the Lune d’hiver winter night cycle event organized by Velo Quebec on Saturday. Although it was chilly, spirits were bright! Watch a video capturing the action!

Let us know in the comments lessoned learned from WCC 2017 or why you winter cycle!


  • Winter biking is usually wet and messy, which means cleaning our bikes is part of winter cycling. Were there any workshops on this, recommended cleaners, tips on if we should degrease before oiling, what oils and greases work best, etc?


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