2016 Calgary Bike Awards

Way back when at the beginning of July, the Calgary bike community celebrated the 2016 Calgary Bike Awards. The event was hosted by Bike Calgary at the downtown Legion. That was the night that we premiered the Bicicles official trailer. I also wrote about some of our “people” that were nominated and that won awards that night. We also did a bit of filming to capture as much of the ceremony as we could. It’s taken us a bit to pull it all together, but here, for your viewing pleasure, are all the highlights of the Awards ceremony.

 

The Bicicles Trailer – A Promise of More Things to Come

Here it is. The official Bicicles movie trailer. It premiered at the annual Calgary Bike Awards ceremony tonight where several of our friends were honoured with nominations. Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners at tonight’s Awards. A special shoutout to Fa-Linn and Mike on being nominated as Bike Commuter of the Year. Also to Kim and Kayley of Commit to Commute, who we interviewed for the movie, for winning as Commuter(s) of the Year, and especially for all the work they do to normalize cycling, especially winter cycling, in Calgary. Winning the Lawrence Hong Bike Advocate of the Year award was Kyle Stewart for his work for YYC Bike to School Day and for getting kids on bikes. Sean Carter of BikeBike fame, another of our excellent interviews, was also nominated for the Bike Advocate of the Year.

Kudos to Kimberley Nelson from Bike Calgary for pulling this all together at the last minute after the unexpected and sudden change of venue and the unexpected loss of some of the volunteer help. In the end, with everyone pitching in, it all came together fabulously. Not to mention the excellent MC work by Mike Morrison of Mike’s BloggityBlog.

Kids on Bikes – YYC Bike to School

Counted amongst our winter commuters are students of all ages that make their way to and from school by bike. We never did get around to talking with the Elboya Bike Gang (and Lori Beattie’s Kids Winter Bike to School Gang), some of Calgary’s most famous student winter commuters, but we did have a conversation with Kyle Stewart and a couple of this students about Calgary Bike to School Day. Calgary Bike to School day is an annual event that happens every June. Kyle started the program three years ago, overcoming a few hurdles that stymied previous attempts at getting schools behind kids on bikes. It’s grown from a local event at Simon Fraser School in the NW to a program with thousands of students participating at schools across the city. The goal is to encourage students to get on their bikes and ride to school, and to demonstrate that isn’t that big a deal. Hopefully the feeling rubs off and they’ll continue to ride every day and not just on that one special day every year. Judging by what Kyle’s students are saying, it seems to be working.

Kyle has been nominated for the Lawrence Hong Advocate of the Year at the upcoming Calgary Bike Awards.

 

Calgary Chamber of Commerce: The Business Case for Cycling

When we were in the early days of Bicicles, we were asking around about who we should interview on either side of the issue of cycling – about winter commuting by bicycle in Calgary, in particular, but, anyone that would talk with us about cycling, in general. Amongst the usual suspects, like City councillors, City staff, and other cycling advocates, what stood out was the recommendation to talk with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. They were pointed out as one of the key business stakeholders in the conversation, one that had come out strongly in favour of the Cycle Track Network.

The cycling community is fully aware, of course, of the benefits that cycling can and does bring to business. When properly researched, the business case in favour of cycling infrastructure should be relatively easy to make. That was certainly the case with the Chamber. Although they didn’t take on an active role in the conversation, they did publish and promote their recommendation to the City and to their membership. Although it seems obvious, I have to admit that I was somewhat surprised about their favourable stance.

To get the behind-the-scenes story on the Chamber’s position on cycling and the Cycle Track Network, we sat down with Justin Smith, the Director of Policy at the Chamber. We talked mostly about cycling and cycling infrastructure. What struck me most was the way that Justin articulated the business case for cycling infrastructure in the City, and the Chamber’s approach to arriving at that policy decision. This is only part of a much longer interview, but I think you’ll find it most enlightening.

 

Except They’re Riding Their Bikes on the Sidewalk

Now that summer is upon us, for the most part, and gauged solely by the weather and not the calendar, I’m seeing a lot more bicycle commuters out there. One of the things that I’ve noticed now that there’s more cyclists on the streets is that there’s also way more people riding on the sidewalk Sure, I understand, as Sean Carter at BikeBike, and others have pointed out, that they have to do this because of the lack of safe and efficient cycling infrastructure. Never-the-less, whenever I see someone on the sidewalk I’m always reminded of the very first interview, and filming that we ever did for the movie.

Way back when, at Tom Babin’s FrostBike book launch at Shelf Life Books, René Potvin dropped in while we were setting up. At the time, René was a recent transplant from Montreal. He started talking to us about the differences in cycling between his home town and Calgary. This is some of the more interesting things that René had to say about bicycle commuting, Montreal, and Calgary, including riding on the sidewalk…

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Introducing the Four Riders of Bicicles

Welcome back, winter cyclists. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Last year was all about profiles of a few winter cyclists that I was privileged to interview. Four of those bicycle commuters will be featured in our Bicicles documentary – (clockwise, below) Ellen HadleyFa-Linn WoollingsMike Scullen, and Scott Walton.

FourRiders

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Ellen and Andy: Bicycle Love

For my last interview of last “season”, I rode my bike south to Elbow Park to meet up with Ellen Hadley and Andy Sharp. We met at their place after work to talk about riding bikes in the winter. It was the end of January and the weather was about what it’s like now – more like shoulder season weather than “real” winter. However, it was “real” winter when I went back a couple of weeks later to take pictures as they headed out to work in the morning – snow and the temperature was about 25 degrees colder. However, there’s nothing like a kiss to keep you warm on your way to work ….

Ellen Hadley & Andy Sharp #2

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Colin on the “super nice” pathways

Colin Sproule and I met at the Kaffeeklatsh in the Community Wise Resource Centre which is just around the corner from where he works. Our fabulous winter riding weather continued with above freezing temperatures and snow-free roadways.

Colin Sproule #1

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Mike, yet another a stubborn, middle-aged, male bike commuter.

Michael Scullen and I got together to chat about winter commuting on one of those fine riding days that we had last January, right in the middle of that extended period of above normal temperatures. I don’t even think it went below freezing the night before. I met up with Mike after work at his downtown office in the Burns Building.

Michael Scullen #1

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Scott said “Why Not?” to Winter Commuting

I met up with Scott Walton a couple of times for his story about winter commuting. The first time, in mid-December last year, we talked about cycling and commuting. He wasn’t riding then because he’d come down with some kind of nasty bug, so I came back in early February to take some pictures of him riding into work.

Scott Walton #1

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