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A Montreal cyclist shared their first experience with the Bixi winter pilot project

Jacques Nacouzi talks about what it was like to use the bike share in the snow

Bixi Montreal winter project Photo by: Jacques Nacouzi

The Year-Round Montreal BIXI project launched across seven city boroughs from Nov. 16, and cyclists have taken it by storm. Celebrating its 15th season, BIXI Montreal will extend beyond Nov. 15 for the first time, covering a 150 km ² pilot area, lasting until April 14.

Bixi’s fleet will comprise 1,500 regular bikes with studded tires and non-slip pedals in the initiative. Bixi Montreal is the only North American bike-sharing service offering winter-adapted bikes. Jacques Nacouzi took to X (formerly Twitter) what it was like to use the bike shares on a particularly snowy day.

“This is my first winter experience with Bixi Montreal,” Nacouzi posted. “Even with the snow, it was very easy to access and dismount the bike. Special mention for the seat, which despite a layer of ice, is very easy to clean.”

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As far as riding in the snow, it was a breeze, he said. “Cycling in the snow is perfect, the weight of the bike creates rearward stability and good grip (also on packed snow), the forward movement of the handlebars typical of Bixis is not at all problematic,” he said. “Of course, still impossible to climb a big pile of snow.”

The only difficult aspect, he said, was returning the bike to the stand–but not impossible.. “Anchoring the bike: this was problematic, the snow accumulated at the base reduced the vertical space, which made it impossible to anchor the bike,” he posted. “I had to dig with my gloves and voila!”

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The Bixi station was a 10-minute walk from his workplace, but he said that he was totally understanding of this. “It’s a pilot year, the objective being to test the system and not necessarily the attractiveness of the clientele,” he concluded.