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December 31, 2009



While we might quibble about the "how" of this, there isn't any debate about the "what" ... the Region acknowledges and accepts that (1) there are winter cyclists, (2) that through that acknowledgement, they legitimize the activity (I won't go so far as to say, "condone"), (3) that they are demonstrating effort towards supporting this mode of transportation year-round, and (4) that participation in events like the Ontario Bike Summit does have spin off benefits.j

In the Region, you have all that. Sure, it's not developing fast enough. Here in Brockville, where a trip all the way from one town edge to the other is less than 5 km, we're still struggling to have summertime cycling acknowledged as a legitimate use of roads.


It'd be nice if they'd open the gates on the iron horse trail in victoria park and run the plow over that already treacherous crossing of the tracks. Here's a clue to the city/region: letting snow and ice pile up on the already dangerous crossing isn't doing anybody any favours. Realign the trail already and get the plows moving. Does someone else need to die at this spot before anything is done?

I also feel much better just taking the surface roads in the winter, especially in the afternoon. The iron horse being ploughed is nice in the morning but only saves me a few little hills. Otherwise, keep King Street ploughed and I'm happy.


How many motor cycles do you see in the winter? Maybe 1 all winter. There's a reason for that. There are only 2 wheels on the ground. Which generaly means if you hit a patch of ice, your going down. Winter Cyclists are going to want the the trails bare at all times and the only way to do that is apply salt. The Region along with the Local municipalities have gone to great extemes to reduce the salt usage, and now people want them to start appying it to the trails throughout the Region. This is "NOT Smart About Salt".

The other Bill

Bill is right about salt and trails. What about sand as an alternative? What about some of the chem-fertilizer options? Or what about some kind of tax-break/tax-free-status for studded winter tires? There's got to be a way to encourage the cycling aspect of year-round multi-modal transportation.


I may be mistaken, but it looks like they've used some type of sand-salt mix through Waterloo Park. I wish they'd do the same on the Iron Horse because salt is so much rougher on the bike than sand. The real key though is for the City to plow it early, before the snow (turns to) hard-packed-snow (turns to) lumpy ice. It sounds like Mayor Dave has got it exactly right.

Die-hard cold-weather bikers are to motorists what born-again-religious folks are to atheists: neither side is inclined to empathize with the other side's point of view, and it is SO terribly hard to change anyone's entrenched opinion even long enough to encourage them to give 'the other way' a try. *Sigh.* Not that I would ever want to try to encourage anyone to be anything other than a die-hard biker ... and my 'conversion' rate to date is still zero ...

Chris Beynon

I am a winter cyclist and I don't want salt on the roads or trails any more than either of the Bills above do...
Over and above the environmental implications of salt use on the roads and trails, it also corrodes my bike at amazing speed and can lead to sudden load bearing spindle failure in pedals and bottom brackets which almost always causes injury to the cyclist(me)...
I usually ride on city backstreets in winter to avoid the salt on the main roads in Kitchener...Wearing a transponder that will capture information that will lead to the salting of the streets that I ride on would conflict with my purpose for riding those streets in the first place...
I am disappointed that the Iron Horse Trail is being salted these days...I would rather see the trail merely plowed and warning signs posted for trail users to be careful and use appropriate footwear...
+1 on the need to deal with the Iron Horse Trail/train track intersection behind Victoria Park...
Tax-free status for studded tires?...I don't know about that one......
I know one thing that will encourage more winter cycling: Add two dollars a litre of tax onto gasoline...

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Bill Bean

  • North America is eventually going to figure out that, for all the right reasons, we need more bicycles on our roads. Dust off your bicycle and go cycling. And if the gas-burning dinosaurs start to crowd you, it's your road and you paid for it. Take the lane for yourself.

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