Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Orillia Bike Rally 2.0

Orillia's Trails for Life Committee organized its second Bike to Work Day and Bicycle Rally yesterday.


The turnout was smaller this year. I think there was a lot of excitement last year because it was the first one, and the local cycling community was so surprised that some cycling activism was happening, that they made sure to come out and support the cause. This year it seemed a bit harder to recreate that enthusiasm. Next year we'll have to get Bruce Springsteen to show up or something.


The point of all this is to try and get some momentum building in town which will lead to improved active transportation infrastructure. The cycling community in Orillia has rarely ever been political before. I always remember a story about Glen Murray, the former mayor of Winnipeg, and his advice to cycling activists: Basically he said that cyclists need to make life hell for municipal politicians until they get what they want. In Winnipeg it must have worked - in 2005 they had $300 000 budgeted for Active Transportation initiatives, and then it went all the way up to $3 million in 2008. The City is also planning to 450kms of "active transportation infrastructure" (not sure quite what that means) to the 190kms they already have.


Anyway - onward and upward. And let's do it for the little guys, like this five year old who powered pretty happily through the whole 10km route!