Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ice Cycle 2011

This past Sunday, we participated in the 2nd Annual Ice Cycle - the coldest bicycle parade on the planet. We started at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market and toured through downtown ending back at the market. About 200+ riders showed up on a day that was -42oC with the windchill! It was fabulous to see all the cyclists out, especially those who dressed up!

As part of the PotashCorp Wintershines Saskatoon there were all sorts of amazing ice sculptures on display. Finnegan and Keira particularly liked the ice fort with slide!

Tim and the kids were on the yuba and I was on my trusty 18-year-old Rocky Mountain! Thanks to 'Wayne' who posted this photo on The Weather Network.

Since we had to scurry off to Irish dance class right after the ride, we unfortunately had to wait until later to have some hot chocolate at home rather than enjoying it with the other cyclists after the parade.

The sense of community was great amongst all the cyclists, especially given the cold temperature and wind. I was also really impressed that the coordinators had worked with the City Police and so every intersection throughout the route had a police officer stationed to stop and conduct traffic to allow all the riders to travel as one unit for the parade. To me it seemed like a city sanctioned critical mass - though I guess the fact that it was referred to as a "parade" is what makes the difference? Whatever you want to call it, it was great fun and I'm sure no matter the weather next year, our family will be cycling in the 2012 Ice Cycle!

Check out a video from the 1st Annual Ice Cycle and more photos from this year's event will be posted on Tim's Bike Blog soon. Our friend Don Cook put together this great video of the ride - enjoy!


  1. Man, you guys are tough. I can't fathom -40 (C or F, doesn't matter), let alone biking in it! If the high temp hovers at freezing here in Portland, it's the end of the world!

    The ride looks like a lot of fun! Maybe someday...

  2. Hey! Great video! This was my first winter as a year long cycling commuter and it's so much fun! I'm always glad to see others enjoying it too. I have started a few winter cyclists lists on twitter. If you're a winter cyclist and you want to be on my list or just want to discuss cycling then send me a tweet.

  3. Absolutely fantastic!

    Warms even the chilliest heart to see that cycling camaraderie.

    Saskatoon just popped an epic wheelie in my books — thanks for sharing.

  4. What fun. Hardcore, ladies 'n' gents. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Any idea how the video was shot. Quality is great -- no jitter.

  5. Thanks! I think Don has a Go Pro Helmet Cam (

  6. Hey - nice video ;-)
    It looks really cold too.. and your roads look really clear! ("Ice ride"? We get more ice on the roads here in the UK when the temperature drops to -2c!! heheh..)
    Keep on riding,

  7. You're MAD! MAD! MAD. But I gotta hand it to ya.
    When we get -6°C here in Edinburgh, Scotland we just want to die.

  8. The camera was obviously on the handlebars as it's too low for a headcam, plus he includes footage of himself shot from the bars.

    Looks bl**dy cold!

  9. That's awesome. I don't know what the attitude to cycling is in Saskatoon, but where I come from in S Ontario it's not easy to get around. Throw in the cold weather and it's obvious you have a pretty cool cycling community out there!

    I'm spoiled by the cycling infrastructure here in Cambridge UK right now. Scared to come back to North America.

    If you don't already know, you're getting extra traffic from a link in the UK's CTC newsletter.

  10. The City has a Cycling Advisory Group and also we have Saskatoon Cycles - an advocacy group that was one of the main organizers of the Ice Cycle. Saskatoon is set up well with a walking and biking path on either side of the river that runs through it, but I think we have a long ways yet to go to improving the overall cycling infrastructure and attitudes about cycling... we are still a city very much focused on cars rather than people.

    Thanks - it seemed a few individuals from the UK were viewing the post but I had no idea from what source!