Your winter cycling route
Your favourite routes in summer may not be the best choice for winter. Some municipalities clear and maintain bike lanes and multiuse paths year-round, while others use the space for snow piles or recreational use such as cross-country skiing.
Snow clearing schedule
Before you head out, it is best to know what to expect. Most municipalities have information about snow clearing timelines and expectations on their website. Take a few minutes to research your route.
Talk to fellow cyclists
Often people who ride their bike year round are happy to share their tips and routes with others. Seasoned winter cyclists in your area will know what roads are great and which ones to avoid.
Busy streets should be avoided when possible, but they are often the first to be plowed. Your favourite side streets may not get plowed until well past the time you need to get to work. Sometimes, walking your bike a short distance to get to a maintained but less busy route is a great solution. Another reality is you may have to travel a little further to find a route that works for you.
Route planning will take a little experimentation in cities with heavier snow fall conditions. As you move into fall you may want to try new routes to have a few alternatives on stand by.
Take your time. Walk through parts where you do not feel safe to ride. Explore your options.