There’s a “cool” new way to ride in Edmonton now: ice bikes! The introduction of ice bikes to the new skating surface at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park in Edmonton on Dec. 29 marked a significant addition to the city’s winter offerings.
As part of the winter-city strategy, the City of Edmonton unveiled eight ice bikes, available for free public use on Friday evenings and Saturdays, featuring either one, two, or four saddles.
Ice bikes are bicycles adapted for ice use, featuring frames without a front wheel and equipped with runners along the bottom. This design allows individuals to comfortably ride on the ice surface. Offering stability, these ice bikes present an accessible winter activity, catering to those who may face challenges with traditional ice skating.
Designed to provide a fun and different winter experience, ice bikes are especially beneficial for individuals who cannot skate or may feel hesitant to do so. They also offer an enjoyable option for those with physical disabilities.
Isla Tanaka, Edmonton’s winter city planner, highlighted that the introduction of these bikes aligns with the city’s strategy to increase skating opportunities for residents. “There are a lot of Edmontonians who cannot skate. We have some really great ice surfaces, but for various reasons, newcomers who come as adults or those with limited mobility can’t skate. The ice bikes provide them with an opportunity to enjoy the ice that they otherwise wouldn’t have,” Tanaka explained during an interview with CTV.
Tanaka said that several other Canadian cities, including Calgary, as well as some U.S. cities, already offer ice bikes for recreational use. The Edmonton ice-bike project, totaling $50,000, covered expenses for the bikes, a storage trailer, and additional lighting.
For those interested in renting ice bikes, groups can inquire directly with the city to explore this exciting winter activity. For more information, click here.