Think biking isn’t an activity for the ice? The City of Calgary challenges that idea with a new initiative at Bowness Park!
The recent addition of ice bikes – the first of their kind in Canada – is part of the City’s commitment to creating experiences in public green spaces. Also at the winter park is a new 1.6-kilometre ice trail for Calgarians to enjoy recreational skating, experiences that support the City’s ongoing commitment to enhancing available winter activities. Current public health orders must be adhered to when using both the bikes and ice trail.
“Today, we’re celebrating a new sport – ice biking!” Coun. Ward Sutherland said in announcing the ice bikes, available to rent for use on Bowness Park Lagoon. “It’s brand new to Canada and we are proud to offer 10 bikes specially-designed for use on the ice. Bowness Park is one of the most versatile parks in western Canada and, with the addition of the new ice trail and ice bikes, there is truly an activity for every member of the family.”
Rent your bike from the Bowness Park Skate Shop, operated by the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre.
A safe, stable alternative to skating, or for those who want to try something new, the ice bikes are like traditional bicycles, but mounted on a sled-like platform, so users can pedal and steer around the ice as they would on a road.
The bikes are single speed and users can simply pedal backwards to stop. Because little balance is required, ice bikes accommodate a wide range of ages and users, including those with physical accessibility challenges.
Adult and child-sized bikes are available for rent at a cost of $12/half-hour or $20/hour. Helmets are mandatory for those under 18 years-old, and strongly recommended for all users.
“Between each rental, the bikes are sanitized, cleaned and then they’re brought back out and ready for use,” says Todd Reichardt, Manager Parks North and West Region with The City of Calgary. “We ask that all park visitors and users maintain a proper safe distance of two metres, as well as consider wearing a face covering or a mask.”
Lace up at the lagoon
For those looking for an alternative to skating on the Lagoon, the Bowness Park ice trail is a new option. The surface of the ice trail is approximately eight centimetres thick, created by flooding the grass with water, in layers, until a thickness for skating was reached. Once the ice trail is open, park visitors will be able to enjoy a skate during regular park hours (5 a.m. to 11 p.m.), with LEDs lighting the way after dark.
If you go:
- Visit Calgary.ca/BownessPark for more information on the ice trail and for the latest information on closures.
- Visit Calgary.ca/icebikes for information on rental conditions and how to reserve a bike online.
Please note that Provincial Health Protocols are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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