The 2014 event saw a significant expansion. We believe this is in part due to a more decentralized, crowd-sourced approached to local event organization. With more than 17 cities of varying sizes with “something” official going on, Winter Bike to Work Day more than quadrupled participation numbers. The 2014 version saw 2020 people commit to filling out a short opinion survey about their hometown and riding in the winter. See the full data set breakdown here. Below you will find some selected facts about cities with at least 20 people registered.
You can play with the detailed numbers yourself here.
Winter Bike to Work Day was, by all accounts, a tremendous success. With 6 communities officially represented and 493 people taking the time to register from 31 different communities across 3 continents, the event more than accomplished its key goal of bringing people together to celebrate and raise awareness importance of cycling to work in the winter.
Fun times were had too, of course, although that’s slightly harder to measure… and not what this page is about.
Let’s cut to the chase: Winnipeggers can be proud of the fact that they carried the day with the most people registered. 338.
- Yay Winterpeg, you didn’t let us down. To be fair, Winnipeg had a head start on organizing and is on a heck of a roll for bike events. And when you measure participation numbers as a percentage of overall population, Halifax, with far less prep time, was nipping right on Winnipeg’s heels and, although it may come as a shock, it was Thompson, Manitoba with its balmy -35degree celsius temperatures on February 15th that actually took the crown.
What does this all mean? Events like this tend to grow bigger with age. Once word gets out, it gets easier to prepare from year to year. We are pretty stoked to see what these and others (Your?) communities might be able to accomplish with a whole year to prepare and can’t wait for next year. Remember too that any analysis of the registration numbers must consider the fact that a. the majority of people riding bikes don’t hear about or sign up for things like this in the first year; b. some communities (like Winnipeg) had lots of time to prepare and preparation helps; c. others (like Hartford and Camrose) only threw their hats in the ring at the last second – having been pulled up by their bootstraps at the last minute by some keen individuals just to ensure that they could say that their community participated. Good on ’em. On the whole, it was a tremendous turn out for a first event. And once the ball is rolling, its a lot easier to keep it that going.
Importantly, the event encouraged quite a few of people to try it for the first time. Nearly 15% of those registered were doing so for the first time.
Registrants also indicated a pretty clear vision for the future: their survey question answers provide great insights into what cities and towns can do to help get their citizens more active. Snow-cleared dedicated bike paths that are clearly indicated on a map was pretty much the solution. The rest was gravy. Makes sense to us too.
Not sure about you, but we think that the same conditions probably apply (perhaps even more so) to those who have never tried it – and the lack of these amenities may be a big reason for a lot of people holding back. (especially knowing that minus 35C isn’t enough to keep folks away).
Women riding bikes are often used as an important indicator in the health of a community (as it should be) – and registration proved that winter biking certainly isn’t a “guy thing”.
Registrants were equally keen to share their stories and support newbies, with the vast majority taking the time to write out just why they love cycling in the winter for all to see. Be sure to see all of the wonderful responses.
Some great photos were submitted, too. Just check out all of the winter cycling beauty submitted by participants.
Lastly, if you are a data geek, and want to see the numbers for yourself, here they are. Knock yourself out. Let us know what else you can see.
The 5 Photo Contest Winners from 2013!
The following are the six photo contest winners from 2013.
- Eric Reder – Winnipeg
Thanks to everyone who submitted wonderful photos.