Today is International Bike to Work Day, locally here at London, ON, cycling activists from London Bicycle Café and Outspoken Cycles gather at Victoria Park to celebrate with local cyclists and promote the cycling awareness and lifestyle. Cyclists passing by can stop and have some free hot chocolate, coffee and tea.
Ben Cowie, one the advocates on site, who is also the owner and operator of London Bicycle Café, says, “International Biking to Work Day is an international organization in the northern hemisphere… it has all been northern winter countries, they have cities that represent it so thousands of people cycle year around and this day is to celebrate with people who choose to ride a bike in the winter.”
“I think everybody thinks that riding in the winter is a little bit more difficult than it is so having this celebration helps.”
Ben Cowie admits that the stigma around cycling still exists, he says, “the idea that bicycle is a child’s toy, a rich persons’ hobby or poor people’s last resort and I think we really need to break that idea that biking can be for everybody and it can be part of your healthy life and it’s going to save money and it’s fun.”
— XFM News (@XFMNews) February 9, 2018
“Biking in the winter is one of the happiest things, it is like when you are skiing on the fresh snow. You just have this wonderful silent feeling while you are riding down the street. After the fresh snow, everything is quiet, it is a beautiful time of the year to ride your bike.”
This year is the 6th annual International Winter Bike to Work Day, and it is the first time London cyclists holding an event to celebrate.