If you (in Waterloo Region) were ever envious of the plethora of cycling events in Toronto's annual Bike Month, you need be envious no longer.
The Region of Waterloo is promoting the month of June as Bike Month. This commitment involves a change in loyalties: the Region is basically withdrawing its investment of time and staff in the National Commuter Challenge, the one-week effort to promote commuting alternatives to the one-person/one-car approach.
If you have been a workplace co-ordinator for the Commuter Challenge in years past, you probably already got the email this week, inviting you to continue your efforts and pointing you to the Commuter Challenge website for materials or online support. But there won't be a regional co-ordinator or local training sessions for workplace co-ordinators.
The shift to promoting the whole month as Bike Month ties in to the regional efforts to get more people walking, biking or busing as an alternative to driving. It's all part of the Region's Active Transportation Master Plan. So, the Region is asking residents, if not to bike in June, to walk, car-pool or take the bus and to commit to these alternatives via its online Pledge webpage.The Region is also planning to sponsor a Bus and Bike photo contest and a Leadership Bike to Work Challenge during the month.
As well, the Region is hoping to link to other cycling events in the area, including the Kitchener Bikefest on Sunday, May 26; the Cambridge Tour de Grand on Sunday, June 9; the Commuter Challenge, Sunday, June 2 to Saturday, June 8; and the Tour de Waterloo on Sunday, June 23.
It doesn't exactly fill your daybook for June, but it is a framework for other events to join in, such as Waterloo's Open Streets festival on Sunday, June 16; and the Iron Horse Trail Animate the Trail event on Sunday, June 2.
You have to start somewhere.