On February 15, 2015, our Opus Bikes team braved the cold front and participated in the 2nd edition of Vélo sous zero, a winter happening in the spirit of the Go Bike Montréal Festival. We ran a bike repair station and were joined by over 1,000 of the city's bravest cyclists to take part in the 15km joyride through the snowy streets of Montreal. Most of the riders were used to cycling year-round, but a few were simply there for the experience: a chance to ride with a fun group in the dead of winter.
This wasn’t your average bike ride either, as Montreal’s true winter weather also decided to take part in the festivities. We’re talking -22 degrees and down to -34 with the wind chill factor. You can’t even imagine how many hand and foot warmers we used that day, but there was something very powerful about having all these cyclists riding together in these temperatures for the love of the sport.
Winter riding is still a bit taboo in North America, but take a look at the Finns or Swedes and you’ll see there’s nothing too crazy about it. As long as your bike is properly equipped, that you’re wearing the right gear and that you ride at your own pace, you’ll be able to enjoy your sport and stay fit 365 days a year. Events such as Vélo sous zéro only serve as reminders that urban riding along the harshest elements is possible.