Nothing says Winter Solstice quite like 24/7 holiday music, 4:12 pm sunsets and shared personal transport systems going into winter hibernation. It’s true: Our program in Rochester, NY goes to sleep for a few months because Rochester’s annual average 84 inch-snowfall (3.5 times the average for cities that experience regular snowfall) makes bike riding kind of tough.
But that’s not the case in Roanoke, Virginia, which gets an annual average of 15 inches of snow each year, hardly enough to keep riders indoors. And that’s exactly the message Zagster’s Roanoke partner, Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions, wants to get across with its “Zag All Winter” campaign.
RIDE Solutions is offering members five free hours of ride time when they use the code “ZagAllWinter18” in the Zagster app. RIDE Solutions will also hold a drawing every Monday for free ride time, sweet Zagster and RIDE Solutions swag and gift certificates to an outdoor store (we recommend using it for gloves, a hat or ski band and a wind-proof coat, in that order). Every ride the previous week earns one entry in the drawing.
RIDE Solution’s director, Jeremy Holmes, offered an awesome explanation for the program in an e-mail to us:
Roanoke has a very strong cycling-for-recreation culture, so when it gets colder general discussion of and enthusiasm for cycling as transportation tends to dwindle. However, transportation is a year-round need, and we feel that cycling is a year-round solution. Because our Zagster system is built around transportation—connecting neighborhood centers to commercial, retail, and employment centers—we wanted to emphasize bikeshare’s position as a valuable transportation option.
With Roanoke’s increasingly humid summers and occasionally snowy and icy winters, cold weather is actually kind of a more comfortable time of year to ride around here. We want to challenge the image of cycling as a “fair weather” activity while pointing out that winter cycling is actually more comfortable than one might imagine, particularly for practical cyclists who don’t want to arrive at their destination sweaty. Further, as a community that doesn’t get much snow, and so sometimes can shut down if there’s even a dusting, cycling can sometimes be an easier way to get around than driving when streets haven’t been cleared yet.
As a winter bicycle commuter myself—and primarily a Zagster user since the front tire on my bike blew and I have been too lazy to fix it—I think the quiet and beauty of being outside during the coldest months is something to be enjoyed. And frankly, just because it’s gotten cold doesn’t mean that cycling isn’t still good for your health, good for the environment and good for your pocketbook.
We hope through the “Zag All Winter” campaign we can get a few more people challenging themselves to start bike commuting or continue their bike commute year ‘round.
We couldn’t agree more, and we encourage all our partners operating in climes like Roanoke’s to consider such a program. You can find more information at zagster.com/ridesolutions.
Now, where did we leave that Gore-Tex vest?