Bike events across Canada celebrate everything velo!
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Story by Cayley James
Toronto -- Toronto’s Bike Month has evolved from a single Bike to Work Day in 1998 to become one of the largest events of its kind in the country. Bike Month is organized by the City of Toronto and the Cycle Toronto (formerly Toronto Cyclists Union). The evolution has seen it grow throughout the Golden Horseshoe in multiple municipalities that includes; Hamilton, Mississauga, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, as well as the Durham and York regions. Although there have been events smattered throughout the Month of May the lionshare of events will take place in June.
In Toronto, Bike Month kicks off with the Toronto Group Commute on May 29. Commuters from around the City will meet to ride together from start points and converge at Yonge St and Charles St for 7:30am. City wide start points are staffed with ride coordinators and a police escort to a celebration breakfast at Nathan Phillips Square. Riders will receive a complimentary breakfast at City Hall (while supplies last). This event is organized by Cycle Toronto in partnership with the City of Toronto and Smart Commute Toronto.
From May 29 to June 2, 2017 it’s Bike to School Week. You can register your school’s activities to support EcoSchools and Healthy Schools programming. Cycle Toronto has put together an excellent selection of resources to help with planning and promoting events at your school. As of print time 379 schools have signed up!
Throughout the month there will be a number of safety and sponsored commuter stations dotted throughout the GTA. With the likes of MEC, Urbane Cyclist, and CLIFF Bar providing assistance across the city.
But there are dozens of citizen organized rides and events celebrating cycling culture throughout the city that are added every day! So keep your eyes peeled and mark your calendars.
MONTREAL -- From May 28 to June 4, Montreal celebrates cycling with Bike Fest, an annual event where thousands of cyclists happily take over Montreal’s busy streets.
First launched in 1999, Bike Fest is comprised of four main rides
- The Tour de l’Île de Montréal, which was first held in 1985, is a famous 50-kilometer bike ride that brings out over 25,000 cyclists of all ages. This year it will be held on June 4.
- Beginning at dusk, costumed cyclists pedal 22-kilometers throughout Montreal for the Tour la Nuit, a truly ethereal nocturnal ride. This year it will be held on June 2.
- The Metropolitan Challenge, on May 28, is a truly scenic experience with valleys, vineyards, orchards and sugar bushes as the backdrop. Four distance choices and various start times mean this is an ideal ride for cyclists of all skill levels.
- If you can’t make the organized rides well then you should still participate in Bike to Work. On Wednesday May 31 there will be commuting activities along McGill avenue.
Satellite events that aim to complement the rides include a lecture on Cycling infrastructure in Vancouver from Dale Bracewell, a History of Cycling in Montreal on May 31, and the Bicycle Friends Awards on May 30!
HALIFAX -- Earlier this month we wrote about the first ever Atlantic Community Cycling Conference in Moncton, NB. Halifax’s Cycling Coalition had a strong showing with workshops and panel discussions. And the city's Bike Week programming is a further testament to the engaged community in the region's largest city. They’ve packed all of their bikey events into one very busy week from June 2-June 11. With 29 events lined up cyclists will not be short of things to do in the greater Halifax area. From a mobile maintenance station, to groups rides, town hall meetings, a trivia night and even a bike scavenger hunt, one thing for sure is that Haligonians sure know how to organize.
One exciting week long incentive is the “B-Line Launch Bike Week Challenge!” A beta testing experiment with a Halifax based active transportation app. The B-Line is, “an analytics platform that allows green builders to engage occupants in generating real-time transportation data that can help them advance their sustainability and wellness initiatives”.The B-Line will be free to 10,000 participants who will be able to log their routes.
VANCOUVER, SURREY, BURNABY -- From May 29 - June 2 it’s Bike to Work Week and Bike to School Week in the Metro Vancouver area. Organized by HUB Cycling (formerly the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition). What’s exciting about the way Vancouver does the whole bike to work thing is that the onus to organize is on the individual. They want people to great what are essentially bike-pooling groups. You register your team of colleagues, log the kilometers and are eligible for prizes.
Besides the HUB’s incentives there is also Velopalooza, a two-week festival from June 9 - June 25. Two and a half weeks of community oriented events that are sure to please every kind of rider out there! From raves, and fundraisers to group rides and car free festivals there’s no shortage of bike themed events.
Keep checking on bike month events in your community and look for dandy coverage of the ones you miss.
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