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Transit strike results in winter cycling renaissance

Peter Blanchard used to take the bus to work. But since the transit strike began more than a month ago, the Ottawa resident has rediscovered winter cycling.

Peter Blanchard used to take the bus to work.

But since the transit strike began more than a month ago, the Ottawa resident has rediscovered winter cycling.

“I haven’t done serious winter cycling since I was a teen,” he said.

So far, there have been no problems.

“I go slower than I would on dry roads and take the back roads,” said Blanchard, who’s been pedalling through the snow from Centretown to downtown every day.

Although Blanchard believes the city has suffered a loss through the strike, the founder of Greenottawa.ca is pleased so many people have decided to explore environmentally friendly alternatives.

“I certainly think people have been doing their best to cope,” said Blanchard.
Before the strike began, Julien Lamarthe was a three-seasons cyclist.

But recently, the Ottawa resident bought a mountain bike and acquired winter cycling clothes so he can bike from his home in Chinatown to downtown.

“The irony of it is that the busiest roads that are the clearest,” he said.

John Manconi, the city’s general manager of public works, said yesterday the city has been working to maintain bike paths as well as monitoring usage.

Winter cycling has worked out well for Lamarthe, who previously bought bus tickets. So well, he plans on cycling long after drivers go back to work.

“I might still take the bus to go to remote locations, but I’ll bike for getting to work and running errands,” he said.

 
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