You’ve heard of winter cycling, but what about cycling on ice?
Some local entrepreneurs are hoping Winnipeggers will embrace their new idea — a bike made for ice.
Winnipeg’s Spark Rentals is behind Ice Cycles — Canada’s first ice cycle company, which launched on the Assiniboine River over the weekend.
“An Ice Cycle is pretty much what it sounds like,” co-founder Nick Meyer told 680 CJOB.
“You have a back tire, just like any other bike, but you replace the front tire with either a blade or skis, and that makes it optimal for riding on ice.”
Meyer said the idea came from his business partner Sinan Leylek, who was travelling in northern China in 2014 and saw similar vehicles that were very popular.
“During the pandemic, we all had a lot more time while we were stuck at home…. We kind of figured it was a no-brainer to bring it here,” he said.
The bikes are available as single models or tandems, which can also carry young children and dogs.
They got a test run on the Assiniboine near Bourkevale Community Centre, and despite the frigid weather, Meyer said the public reaction was a positive one, and seemingly part of a growing trend of Winnipeggers embracing their city’s frozen waterways.
“I think people are embracing it more and more every year — you just see how busy the river trails are, and you see different river trails popping up, too — there’s community-led ones.
“Winnipeggers are realizing that we have these rivers throughout the city, why not use them for enjoyment or even transportation to help us get around in the winter.”
The Ice Cycles will be on the main river trail at the Bonnycastle Park access point, a few minutes west of The Forks, three days and nights this week, in an attempt to take advantage of upcoming warm weather.