Norwegians are very proud of their ability to get out and active at any time of year – they say there is no bad weather, just bad clothes. The same is also proving true for bike tyres.
Recently the City of Oslo thought it would offer an incentive to encourage more people to ride rather than drive during their bleak winters.
As the roads get icy and slippery and can often be under snow, it was decided to offer a subsidy on studded bike tyres.
The response was an avalanche, with more than 4,000 people applying in the first week, and 2700 in the first day!
The scheme, funded by the Norwegian Climate Agency, is now being expanded.
The scheme pays for half of the cost of switching their bikes over to specialist winter tires, including workshop fees to fit the tires.
The tyres have metal studs inserted into the tread and provide a good grip in the snow and on dry pavement. A similar style of tyre is also necessary on cars in Norway during winter months.
“Oslo is experiencing a bicycle boom,” Climate Agency director Heidi Sørensen said: “We want to give cyclists an opportunity to continue with the good trend into the winter.”
“You do not need more than two good tires to ride safely in the winter,” Sørensen added.
Norway is keen to capitalise on its cycling boom and keep people on two wheels for as long as they can to maintain their habit.
Compared to September 2019, there’s been a 54% increase in the number of trips taken on two wheels across the same period this year.
Norway already provides attractive incentives for electric cars, and the population in on board with the nation’s moves to slash CO2 emissions.
But around the world not enough attention is being paid to the role bikes can play in the mode switch from internal combustion vehicles.
For not very much money there are lot of people who would switch to bikes with just a little financial encouragement, and the weather won’t matter.
The Norwegian saying det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær translates to there is no bad weather, just bad clothes. It has a sister saying ut på tur, aldri sur, which translates to out on a trip, never sour.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.