Avid cyclists in the Oslo area won’t let winter’s snow or ice slow them down. Nearly 3,000 of them have applied for financial incentives from the city to shift over to winter bike tires, so they can keep cycling to get around town over the next several months.
“Oslo is really in a cycling boom,” Heidi Sørensen, director of the City of Oslo’s climate agency (Klimaetaten) told newspaper Dagsavisen. Demand was so strong to receive city support for winter bike tires that her agency is expanding the program to benefit 5,000 cyclists.
They stand to get half of their expenses for winter tires covered by the city’s taxpayers, so they can keep cycling through the slippery season. The winter bike tires are studded, to keep cyclists from sliding out of control on icy stretches of pavement. City officials are also rolling out newly refurbished bysykler (city bikes available for loan around town) that are equipped with winter tires.
Sørensen reported that cycling in general has increased by an estimated 54 percent in Oslo, based on numbers from traffic monitors mounted on key bike lanes into the city. “We want to give cyclists an opportunity to continue that trend into the winter months,” she said.