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Valérian Mazataud

Hurluberlus. Portraits de cyclistes d'hiver à Montréal.

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Montréal se classe parmi les villes de plus d'un million d'habitants les plus froides et les plus neigeuses au monde, avec Moscou et Sapporo. C'est cependant la seule qui se classe dans le top 20 de l'indice Copenhagenize qui récompense les villes les plus cyclables du monde. L'hiver on compte plus de 50000 cyclistes, de 10 à 15% de la population vélocipédique totale. Alors qu'il y a dix ans le cycliste d'hiver était considéré comme un original, un hurluberlu, nous sommes aujourd'hui très loin du phénomène marginal. Et si ces hurluberlus autoproclamés étaient les fers de lance d'une population qui a choisi de vivre avec l'hiver pour mieux l'aimer ? Ce serait là une manière d'accepter «l'hivernité» de la ville, telle que définie par le géographe et linguiste québécois Louis-Édmond Hamelin. Car en fait, «le Nord n'est pas seulement dans les latitudes mais surtout dans les attitudes».  -- Along with Moscow and Sapporo, Montreal is one of the coldest and snowiest city above 1 million inhabitants. Nevertheless, it's the only one which finds its way into the top 20 of the most bicycle-friendly cities, according to the Copenhagenize index. During the winter, an estimated 15% of cyclists remain on their saddles, around 50000 of them. If ten years ago the winter cyclist could be considered as a freak (hurluberlu in french), the phenomenon is now far from being marginal. These self-proclaimed «huluberlus» may well be the first represents of a urban population accepting its «winterity». In other words, choosing to embrace winter rather than fight it. «North is not so much in latitudes, as it is in attitudes» reminds us Louis-Édmond Hamelin, famous Quebec linguist and geographer. Could accepting one's «winterity» be a first step towards accepting one's identity ?
 

Along with Moscow and Sapporo, Montreal is one of the coldest and snowiest city above 1 million inhabitants. Nevertheless, it's the only one which finds its way into the top 20 of the most bicycle-friendly cities, according to the Copenhagenize index. During the winter, an estimated 15% of cyclists remain on their saddles, around 50000 of them. If ten years ago the winter cyclist could be considered as a freak (hurluberlu in french), the phenomenon is now far from being marginal. These self-proclaimed «huluberlus» may well be the first represents of a urban population accepting its «winterity». In other words, choosing to embrace winter rather than fight it. «North is not so much in latitudes, as it is in attitudes» reminds us Louis-Édmond Hamelin, famous Quebec linguist and geographer. Could accepting one's «winterity» be a first step towards accepting one's identity ?