Vélo Québec Project Leader in the Research and Consulting division, Bartek Komorowski, will be joining us in February, fresh off the podium from the Winter Cycling Congress in Montréal. At Winter Cities Shake-Up, he'll be speaking as part of a discussion on walking and cycling in winter cities, activities of which he is a staunch proponent.

Below, Bartek shares a few of his favourite winter things, and how his love for the season can be traced back to stomping through the snow in child-sized plastic snowshoes:

1. What do you look forward to most about the winter season in your city?

I love the fresh smell and the muffled sound of the city after a snowfall. I like the squeaking sound that the snow makes under my boots or my bicycle's tires as I move through the city. I like the intense blue colour of the sky at dusk.

2. How does your city or community celebrate and/or embrace the winter season?

There are a variety of outdoor festivals and events. My favourites include Nuit Blanche in February, when museums and other cultural venues stay open all night and host various performances and happenings. I’m also a fan of Vélo Sous Zéro, a large, midwinter bicycle parade organized by Vélo Québec.

3. What is your favourite outdoor winter activity; what makes you want to get outside when it’s below zero?

I like cycling and cross-country skiing. I usually strap my skis to my bicycle to get to the trails on Mount Royal, the forest covered hill perched above downtown Montreal. I love how being active outside in the winter sharpens my appetite for hot drinks and rich foods - soups, stews, and roasts.

4. What is your favourite childhood winter memory?

I have fond memories of snowshoeing during physical education class at my elementary school in Ottawa. We would slip these plastic snowshoes with rubber bindings over our boots and hike around the sloping forest behind the school.

5. What is your favourite winter beverage?

Hot, boozy mulled wine!

6. How would you describe winter to someone who has never experienced it?

A chestful of cold air will make you feel alive.

Bartek's presentation at Winter Cities Shake-Up 2017 will take place on Friday, February 17, 2017. Follow him on Twitter at @CyclistBartek.

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