You should know that Finland has been awarded as the happiest country of the world .
If you have been once in Finlnad you may also know the song “Olen Suomalainen”?
(Well, if you don´t know the song listen it below!)
It’s a kind of Finnish unofficial anthem, but somehow regarded more proudly than the official one.
If you translate the song, then you see how Finnish people is strong, determined, and resilient.
Well, I don’t doubt they are, but…
…what’s happening with all that strength when it’s about cycling?
Why nobody in Helsinki is able to pedal if is not summer time?
It seems that both institutions and citizens forget about the magic two-wheeled machine most of the year, when is not too warm.
Finland, the country that had been described as the happiest land, with the strongest folk, becames a desert of snow and lazy people in the winter, where cyclists have no rights, the bike lanes are left totally abbandoned. This is true at least for Helsinki.
Is it impossibile to cycle in the winter in Finland?
No. It’s actually easier than using a car, walking or even taking a bus.
BIKE VS CAR
If you use a bicycle, you don´t have to remove huge amounts of snow from it, as it happens with cars; you don´t have to warm up the engine, you don´t have to defrost the windows, you don´t have to worry for parking space under snow.
BIKE VS WALKING
If you have the right tires on your bike—and there is an actual acceptable bike lane—it may be less slipery than walking. You would warm up yourself cycling. And, if you don´t want to risk to sweat, you could get an electric bicycle.
BIKE VS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
With the bicycle you don´t have to freeze at the bus stop waiting for the bus, when you don´t move, you feel the cold even more and the time passes more slowly.
If you have the right bicycle, you may be even faster than a bus and could get straight from point A to B.
These above are just my simple considerations. These are some comparations that come straight to my mind, without even doing too much research about the topic.
However, if you do want to do a research about how easy is to cycle in the winter (with the right gear and the right biycle), just do it! I am sure that you will find more reasons why to use a bicycle in the winter.
I really can´t hope anything else than a wake up in Helsinki´s institution and residents. Let´s have a look at the cool–not too far–neighour Denmark: Copenhagen.