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BIXI will bring out the shovels and, if necessary, the blowtorch to de-ice its mounting points

BIXI will bring out the shovels and, if necessary, the blowtorch to de-ice its mounting points

In Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier travels mostly on the run, with his desk in his backpack, in search of fascinating subjects and people. He speaks to everyone and is interested in all walks of life in this urban register.

No more hibernation for five months from November to April for your Pixie. The bike-sharing service has decided not to imitate bears this year.

On my gray frame, I have to apply a little more pressure than usual.

Because I rented a Pixie with studded tires that stuck to the asphalt and made a metallic crackle while waiting for snow and ice.

Louis Philippe Messier

The pedals with small plastic spikes are non-slip.

This will be convenient for pedaling in large shoes with wet soles.

Louis Philippe Messier

About 1,500 of these BIXI vehicles will be distributed for the winter in 150 stations and 7 regions.

Laziness will not be allowed at BIXI this winter as all electric bikes will be removed on the eve of the first snow.

Unfamiliar terrain

Since its inception, the service has ceased its activities at midnight on November 15. So, since Thursday, we are moving into uncharted territory. Sooner or later it will get incredibly cold and tons of snow will fall.

“It’s a pilot project we’ve been preparing for years,” says Pierre-Luc Marais, director of communications, who is visibly excited by the prospect of this permanent Pixie residence.

Since Montreal has the only bike share service in North America that has to retrofit its bikes for the winter, we weren’t able to take inspiration from others when it came to logistics.

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“Two years ago we tested a station in front of our offices equipped with a heater that might end up being used elsewhere,” Mr. Marrier adds.

Outside employees will handle the snow removal process, while BIXI dispatchers will travel across the city to “delicately balance” the fleet between stations.

What if it freezes? If there is ice? We’ll see!

Functional up to -50

“The bikes have been tested in extreme temperatures ranging from -50°C to minus 50°C, but the fulcrums need to be seen,” says BIXI PR consultant Laura Boyle-Auclair.

“A bike-sharing service in Boston gave us the tip to use small blowtorches to melt the anchor points.”

Please note: If you are a BIXI subscriber this summer, this subscription will expire on Wednesday.

From now until April 15, you’ll have to pay for a one-way ticket at $1.25 or a month-long subscription at $20…which I’ve already done!

Louis Philippe Messier