In Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier travels mostly on the run, his desk in his backpack, looking for fascinating things and people. He talks to everyone and is interested in all aspects of this town’s history.
There is no five-month hibernation period from November to April for BIXI. The bike-sharing service decided not to impersonate the bears this year.
On my gray frame, I have to force myself a little more than usual.
Because I rented a BIXI with studded tires gnawing at the asphalt, emitting a metallic crackle as I waited for snow and ice.
As for the pedals, they are equipped with small plastic spikes that are non-slip.
It is comfortable for pedaling in big shoes with wet soles.
About 1,500 of these BIXIs will be “handled” and distributed across 150 stations and 7 districts for the winter season.
No laziness allowed at BIXI this winter as all electric bikes will be removed during the first snowfall.
Since its inception, the service has ceased its operations sharp midnight on the evening of November 15. Starting Thursday, we’re moving into uncharted territory. Sooner or later it will be very cold and tons of snow will fall.
“This is a pilot project that we have been preparing for several years,” says Communications Director Pierre-Luc Maurier, excited about the prospects of this permanent BIXI.
Since Montreal has the only bike-sharing service in North America that requires bikes to be modified for the winter, we couldn’t draw inspiration from others for logistics.
“For two years we’ve been testing a station with a heating device in front of our offices that could probably be used elsewhere,” Mr. Marier said.
External employees handle snow removal, while BIXI dispatchers criss-cross the city to “microbalance” the fleet between stations.
What if it freezes? If there is snow? Let’s see!
Functional down to minus 50
“The bikes have been tested for extreme temperatures from minus 50 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius, but the anchor points have to be looked at,” says BIXI Public Relations Advisor Laura Boily-Auclair.
“A bike-sharing service in Boston tipped us to use small blowtorches to melt the anchor points.”
Please note: If you subscribed to BIXI this summer, this subscription will expire on Wednesday.
Between now and April 15, you can pay for one-way tickets at $1.25 or subscribe for $20 a month… I already did!