6) It Ruins Bikes
Ride a bike around city streets in any wintery American city and you’re guaranteed to murder a chain, butcher brake cables, kill spokes, and corrode cogs and sprockets. For many, it’s just the price you pay for biking in winter.
For the residents of Oulu, it’s a price they’re not willing to pay. “The only problem we have with bikes are pretty much some parts freezing,” says Tahkola.
“As the use of salt is not allowed at all, that causes no trouble for us.”
“I can’t imagine having to live with all the excess salt you are using here in Minnesota.”
“It’s just so unimaginable and horrible.”
7) Bike Lanes Aren’t Cleared
All the salt, gravel, lights, and snow plows won’t matter one bit if the paths aren’t cleared when cyclists need them. In Minneapolis, plows typically clear the Greenway starting at 7:00 a.m., maybe earlier if there’s a significant snow event.
In Finland, primary routes are cleared by 7:00 a.m., before city streets! “Bike paths and their maintenance are the main priority in the city.” In the snowplow video above; the plows are clearing snow at 3:00 in the morning.