Mobility  |  Successes  |  08.12.2011

Oulu – the city of winter cycling

Oulu, the biggest university city in Northern Finland, is well known for good cycling opportunities. You can see cyclers in the streets of Oulu throughout the year in spite of the weather. The city of Oulu seeks to encourage its citizens to move around by cycling and to get more people inspired by winter cycling.

Cycling facilities in Oulu have been purposefully improved since 1960’s. Oulu’s cycle path network is extensive and bicycle maps and information about various bicycle routes for tourists are available in the tourist office and on the website. One of the routes includes free audio guide service, which tells about attractions along the route in English or in Finnish. The service is easily downloaded from the website.

Winter cycling is more popular in Oulu than anywhere else in Finland; there are more winter cyclers in any age- or social group in Oulu than anywhere else in Finland. The winter conditions has been taken into account very well and cycling paths are ploughed and sanded even in the midwinter. 

The latest decision, after the initiative of a Green party member, is to mark cycling paths also in the roadways. In Oulu there’s an understanding that if the city invests in cycling, and especially in winter cycling, Oulu will become more attractive, energy efficient, environmentally friendly, healthy and safe.

The text was provided by Ville Ylikahri, a green member of Helsinki City Council and a Secretary General of the Finnish Green foundation ViSiO.

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