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Calgary hosts Winter Cycling Congress International experts to discuss riding in dark and snowy streets

Packing their spandex, headlamps, and helmets, cycling experts and enthusiasts from the world’s coldest cities have come to Calgary for the Winter Cycling Congress.

The City of Calgary is hosting the 7th Winter Cycling Congress from Feb. 6 to Feb 8, 2019 within the new Central Library in downtown. The event is a large international meeting featuring presentations, workshops, and panel discussions on ideas, challenges, and innovations surrounding year-round cycling in cold climates.

As a meeting of cycling enthusiasts is not complete without a bike tour, several are provided, including two community events open to the public.

The congress will bring in speakers from across the northern hemisphere, including Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, and Russia, as well the US and other Canadian cities, explained City of Calgary transportation planner Katherine Glowacz.

“There’s going to be a really good international perspective, but also some local perspectives being shared as well within the North American context,” she said.

“Northern cities have a lot to learn from one another.”

While the city is officially hosting the event, it was is the cumulation of work from several stakeholders interested in bringing the ongress to Calgary, explained Glowacz.

“It’s a been a real collaborative effort, with different community organizations – we’re working with everyone from Bike Calgary, the University of Calgary, and the towns of Banff and Canmore, as well as some key sponsors,” she said.

The congress is a way to discuss the ideas relating to winter cycling that exist globally, explained Gary Millard, president of Bike Calgary, a community volunteer organization focused on advocacy, education, and community for promoting cycling for commuting and leisure throughout the city.

“It’s a forum for people who have questions, have learned the answers through experience or research, and have an interest in progressing winter cycling,” he explained.

Hosting the event in Calgary will present new ideas to potential cyclists, as well as those creating and building cycling infrastructure within the city, said Millard.

“It’s going to create opportunities for a lot more Calgarians to learn about winter cycling knowledge and expertise from participants around the world,” he said.

“Calgary will benefit from getting more of that knowledge into the heads of residents, urban planners, and designers.”

Hosting the Winter Cycling Congress will help to establish Calgary internationally as a cold climate cycling city, said Millard.

“We’re going to have a lot of people come [to Calgary] and realize that we have some really good infrastructure and a lot of enthusiasm for winter riding,” he said.

“It puts us on the map as a great cycling destination in the world.”

Community Events:

While attending the Winter Cycling Congress requires registration, there are several free community events available held in and around the new Central Library downtown:

Tuesday, Feb. 5 @ 6:00 PM: Free screening of the local film “Bicicles,” directed by Kim Kelln. Held in the Particia A. Whelan Performance Hall.

Wednesday, Feb. 6 @ 6:00 PM: Connecting to the river, connecting to the land –  A bike tour through Calgary’s prairie river valley. Hop on this two hour mobile bike tour! Meet at at the indoor staircase in the Shaikh Family Welcome Gallery.

Wednesday, Feb. 6 @ 6:00 PM: Free Winter Cities Panel discussion: Winter in Calgary – Love it or leave it? Held in the Particia A. Whelan Performance Hall.

Friday, Feb. 8 @ 3:00 PM: Winter Bike to Work Day Group Ride. Meet outside the new Central Library

For more information, click here.

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