The Winnie awards started in 2017 – the 5th anniversary of Winter Bike To Work Day. See the list of winner below.
Novosadska Biciklistička Inicijativa
Novi Sad, Serbia
The real reason the people we lovingly call NSBI won is, of course, the Novi Sad surprised the world to absolutely crush the leaderboard one year.. but here is what the person who nominated them wrote. It all sounds good too: Novi Sad Cycling Initiative is an Non Government Organisation from Novi Sad, Serbia, which deals with public advocacy and promotion of city cycling. Since the establishment of the year 2011, this organization counts a lot of success.
Goals of the organization: Improvement, development and promotion of urban cycling; Improving, developing and promoting a healthy lifestyle; Support to planned development and renewal of bicycle infrastructure; Support and contribution to the development of new conceptual solutions and innovative approaches in the development of cycling culture, especially in the territory of the city of Novi Sad; Promoting a culture of safe traffic and tolerance among road users; Continuous education of citizens on special preventive measures aimed at securing bicycle from theft; Informing citizens about other issues and knowledge in the field of cycling and healthy lifestyle that are of particular importance for cyclists and other interested persons; Contribution to initiatives focused on energy efficiency and sustainable development; Different forms of education and incentives for young people and youth in accordance with the goals of the Association, especially through actions, projects, workshops and similar activities.”
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Catherine McKenna
Awards and the mantle of “leadership” do not rest on the merits of a couple of social media posts, but allow us to draw your attention to the posts by our joint winners in the “leadership” category so that you can better understand the context.
Ms.Gregoire Trudeau is a journalist and entertainer but you’ve probably heard thanks to being married to the famously “aesthetically pleasing” prime minister of Canada . Everything she does is scrutinized upside down and sideways, which is why, when she chose to post a picture of herself cycling to school with a child in a carrier – in Ottawa Canada, in the winter, we were impressed. In North America, especially in cities with few bike lanes, and even less snow clearing of them, you can be ridiculed – or worse – just for riding in the snow. That’s changing, and its images like this that make a big difference.
Ms. Gregoire Trudeau shares the award with another famous, powerful and social media savvy woman active in the political world – the Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. Her job is nothing short of, well, helping to save the planet. So when she posts images of herself cycling to work – and lets the world know about it, well, we notice.
Bike Traffic Report – Peter Chapman and Karly Coleman
What? The Bike Traffic Report spoofs regular traffic reports done for automobile traffic. It is a weekly 30-minute segment of bicycle talk on topical issues (weather, number of cyclists, cycling culture) hosted by Peter Chapman and Karly Coleman. They also have longer segments, called Bike Bits, where they interview people who ride, keep up with cycling innovations, and examine new cycling research. The intent of the Bike Traffic Report and Bike Bits is to normalize cycling and promote activities which provoke interest and participation in, and discussion of, cycling generally. This normalization includes winter cycling, an activity both Peter and Karly do.
Who are they? Peter and Karly, both volunteers at CJSR (the university radio station in Edmonton Alberta, Canada), talk about aspects of cycling culture on a weekly basis. Peter is a dedicated cycle commuter who moved to Canada several years ago with his wife. He has embraced all things wintery, and can be frequently found out of doors with his family. Karly grew up in Northern Saskatchewan, has been a bicycle advocate for 20+years, and is now doing her PhD on bicycles.
2018 marks Peter and Karly’s 10 year anniversary of talking about bicycles.
Coffee outside got the nod this year because its such a simple idea. Easy to organize and the kernel of a community. Here is what they wrote about what they do: “Coffee Outside is an Edmonton community of bicycle riders who meet once a week, no matter the season, to stop for coffee before going our separate workday ways. And to talk to each other face to face. And to laugh. And talk about our city. And about bicycles. And to plan ways we can help others. We started in winter. It is our zero season. It is where we come from. We come from different walks of life. One of us, an emergency room doctor, has fashioned his cargo bike into a rolling coffee shop. We call him The Handlebarista. We have become friends. We have been featured in local media. We have hosted a delegation of Japanese politicians who had heard about us in Sapporo!”
Morten Kabell is Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs at the City of Copenhagen. Mr.Kabell was nominated by the Danish Cycling Federation and was ultimately chosen for, well, making Copenhagen even better. No small feat in a place where bicycle snowplows deploy within 45min of the first snowflake.. But apparently Mr.Kabell has won fans for taking “snow clearing on Copenhagen bike lanes to the next level. Apparently a new and more intelligent and efficient approach was introduced under his watch. They actually look where most cyclists are going and clear the snow in that order – and several times during the day if needed. Before there would be one fixed route.”
Zime Dorogu (Winter Roads)
It is fitting that the inaugural project award should go to a project that is all about fun, love and humour. Nadja Zherebina of Let’s Bike It! accepted the award for their project “Zime Dorogu”. Roughly translated in English to mean “Winter Roads”, this international animation contest is all about the pure joy of riding a bicycle in the snow. Just watch:
City of Calgary
The City of Calgary was nominated by a swooning resident named Kevin. Now, if that’s not enough for you, remember that Winter Bike to Work Day is made possible by some pretty amazing non-profit organizations and people with incredible heart. Not everyone thinks of governments in such fuzzy terms, and quite a few well-deserving NGOs could have won this one, so it may seem odd to pick a government, but…. The City of Calgary won out because it really did stand out for doing some of the little things and the big things that cycling advocates everywhere ask for, well, right. This award goes literally to everyone, form the snowplow contractors to the Mayor. OK, maybe not to some councillors, but they will come around.
Calgary is not the first place that comes to mind for most people around the world when they think “sustainable winter transportation paradise”. Lovingly called “Houston North”, Calgary is an oil rich headquarter-bristled mostly-suburban post-war corporate boom-town known more affectionately in North America for its pickup trucks and real-life cowboys than for its bike infrastructure. Calgary, though, is now making people think twice. It may be precisely because of this reputation that so many people all across North America are happy to see Calgary “surprise” everyone and do so well. Quite a bit lies below the surface of Calgary, and if anyone could prove that cycling was possible in car culture” it may be them.
Not only did Calgary start rolling out a blanket of protected bike lanes across their entire downtown before neighbouring cities’ politicians could pronounce the word “sharrow”, Calgary started off by insisting that their new on-road bikeways had to be open and accessible year-round no matter what the weather. It meant measuring winter use and studying it. It meant constant snow clearing on their first tiny piece of “test” track. City staff took things seriously and they plan to continually improve. It is paying off. With the millionth trip on just their downtown network already far behind them and a recent vote to keep them permanent, Calgary’s newfound cycling craze is expected to grow and grow. Calgary has created a buzz that is reverberating across North America.