With bike sales up and spring weather upon us, a Winnipeg bike expert is sharing some of his favourite paths to cycle on.
Tim Woodcock is the owner of Woodcock Cycle in Winnipeg.
"The overall growth [for purchasing bicycles] last year, the numbers were up around 40% globally," says Woodcock. "A lot of people had more time on their hands, wanted to get in shape, and something a little more COVID friendly as you can be isolated when you're riding."
On their website, the bicycle shop Bikes and Beyond in Winnipeg is saying this year's inventory is affected by the surge from last year.
"The impact of the increased demand experienced by the cycling industry during 2020 is still being felt as we sprint into a busy Spring 2021. If you are used to visiting the bike store in springtime to browse our showroom, that won't be the case this year."
For those families and individuals that do have bicycles and want to know where best to take them out in the city, Woodcock shares his advice on some great paths.
Five Great Bike Paths
1. Southern Comfort (St. Norbert Loop)
"One of the best off-trail ones is in St. Norbert. You can look it up online and all through there is a nice rolling route there and back," says Woodcock.
2. Bishop Grandin Greenway
"You can go for as long as you want and it wraps all the way around on both ends. You can go around to Waverley or come all the way back to the Mint."
3. Assiniboine Park
"There are bike paths all over this park," says Woodcock.
The Assiniboine Park says there are many biking trails in the park that they welcome and encourage visitors to use.
Walking paths through the zoo and Leo Mol Sculpture Garden are also at the park.
4. Crescentwood Park
"You can ride along there and there's a connecting route behind the businesses on Pembina Highway that brings you to the University of Manitoba. It's paved but also off-trail."
5. The Forks
"This is another really nice one. You can start at Fort Gibraltor and there's a trail that runs all along the river, goes under the bridge, then up and over the bridge to the Forks. As you exit the Forks you go over the walking bridge, drop down under the St. Vital bridge and carry along the south side of the railway tracks. That route goes all the way down Osbourne Street to BDI," where cyclists can enjoy an ice cream on the river.
Things to Keep in Mind
"This time of the year you have to be really careful of the gravel, slow down going through corners and breaking at an intersection," says Woodcock.
Biking on city streets brings a few more challenges and things to be aware of.
"When you're passing cars you have to look up ahead. When a motorist is coming out of the car, make sure a cyclist isn't coming through in your lane."
Hydration is also an important aspect when being physically fit, especially in the summer heat.
"In the summertime, we recommend drinking one bottle of water an hour to stay hydrated."
An earlier update stated bike trails go through the zoo as well as the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden. This has since been corrected.