I'm happy that the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada has launched an awards program to recognize those who contribute to Canada's cycling community, but I think there could have been five awards, instead of four.
The awards, announced earlier this month, are to recognize groups that demonstrate innovation and commitment in promoting cycling in their sphere: Independent Bicycle Retailer; Municipal/Regional Government; Contribution by a Political Leader; and Initiative by Local Cycling Association.
Nominations close on July 1. Nominations must be in writing. Details are here.
I think there is a missing category: Cycling Champion.
In many communities, improvements to the cycling environment start because of one person. It could be a vocal councillor or cycling advisory committee exec member. It could be an outspoken transportation advocate, or a university researcher, or a public interest research group member. When I talk to planners or school board officials, they often reference back to the need for that "champion" to take the idea of, say, a bicycle caravan to school every Wednesday, and go with it.
Those people are the real heroes.
I e-chatted with Bill Yetman, exec director of BTAC, about the potential for this new category. He replied that this is the first year, and these four are the inaugural awards. He says there is already discussion about an award something along these lines. Watch for it next year.