Come to Gore Park on May 28 and cast your vote for cycling in Hamilton.
By Matthew Sweet
Published May 17, 2012
Cycling culture is growing in Hamilton and it is being fed by the community and by government. There is so much happening in all quarters, so much to be celebrated, and so much work left to do. In Gore Park on May 28th, let's all gather on our bikes in one place, cast a vote for cycling in Hamilton, and keep up the momentum.
Bike to Work Day on May 28 is taking place amid a whirlwind of cycling activities in the City of Hamilton. Hamilton has participated in Bike to Work Day through the Smart Commute program for the last five years with a gathering and reception in Gore Park each year. 2012 will be no different.
The difference lies in the growth of the cycling culture in Hamilton between 2006 and 2012. Bike to Work Day represents an opportunity for all of the cycling champions in Hamilton to gather together in one place when City staff and politicians will be paying attention.
Cycling is gaining momentum in our city and now is the time to get as many people together at once and create a very visible statement of support for cycling. Ride your bike to Gore Park between 7:30 and 8:30 AM on Monday, May 28 and cast your vote for cycling in Hamilton.
With so much going on, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a quick inventory of recent cycling events and wins. This year, from May to June, there are tons of awesome cycling events and initiatives going on in Hamilton. Each of them has a slightly different focus and its own angle on cycling. Their common bond is people powered two wheeled transportation. Let's celebrate each of these awesome initiatives!
Steel City Bike Festival: June 6 - 10, a week of events focused on cycling including a film festival, a photo exhibit, bike repair courses, and a memorial ride in honour of Blane. Kudos goes out to New Hope Bike Co-op for being the driving force behind the Steel City Bike Festival. New Hope will be giving out cycling tips at the Hamilton Farmer's Market on Tuesday May 22nd as part of the buildup to Bike to Work Day.
Open Streets Hamilton: Sunday June 24, OSH returns for its third year of taking cars off of James Street North and giving the community a temporary road-shaped park for the day. Watch for Open Streets McMaster Edition to be added in September, and check out the Open Streets Hamilton fundraiser this Friday night at Club Absinthe! Representatives from Open Streets will be at the Gore Park reception on May 28th.
Bike for Mike: Created in memory of Mike Chamberlain, Bike for Mike is dedicated to giving a bicycle to every child in Hamilton, regardless of financial ability. At the second annual Mike Ride on May 6, 300 cyclists enjoyed a casual ride around Hamilton and raised enough money to provide 350 to 400 bikes to kids in Hamilton. Anyone biking to work on May 28 can also raise money for Bike for Mike.
Downtown Bike Hounds Contest: DHB is running a great contest through Facebook and Twitter where anyone who sends in a message about a cycling spot in Hamilton (good or bad) gets entered in a draw for some cool prizes. A nice way to encourage conversations about cycling in our city.
While the community is busy promoting cycling, the City is working to improve the state of cycling in Hamilton as well. These recent achievements have been highlighted previously but deserve mention again. Let's continue to celebrate our successes.
Dundurn North Bike Lanes: new bike lanes between York Blvd and King St W which actually removed a full lane of vehicular traffic as well. Residents in the area previously fought with the City over Dundurn North as a truck route.
403 Bridge: the new bridge that extends the Brantford Rail Trail across the 403 to connect to Aberdeen Avenue is a welcome new route from West Hamilton into the centre of the city.
Can-Bike: cycling skills training courses offered through the City's Recreation centres. The CAN-BIKE program is a series of courses on all aspects of cycling safely and enjoyably on the road; it is oriented toward recreational and utilitarian cycling. The CAN-BIKE cycling safety program provides a nationally standardized set of courses.
In addition, the City continues to investigate the possibility of bringing a public Bike Share system to Hamilton in the near future.
All in all, cycling is on the agenda at both the community and government levels. Bike to Work Day is one of several events taking place with a focus on cycling. Come out on the morning of May 28th and cast your vote for cycling in Hamilton.