The Ottawa bicycle advocacy group, Citizens for Safe Cycling, has a good idea.
The group has persuaded a number of the Ottawans who went to Velo-city Global 2012 in Vancouver in June to attend an evening debriefing tonight (Thursday, Aug. 9) for the public. They have room for 50 people, so if you live in the Ottawa area and want to attend, better let them know now.
CfSC member Hans Moor makes the point in the Ottawa Citizen article that the registration, flight, accommodation and food costs (an estimated $3,000) priced Velo-city out of the budget of most cycling adovcates, and frankly, out of most municipal budgets. This debriefing is an economical alternative.
I tend to agree. I went to Velo-city Global 2010 in Copenhagen and Velo-city Global 2012 in Vancouver because: as the media, the registration was waived; the trips chewed up my holiday travel budget; and I had somewhere free to stay.
The Copenhagen organizers worked out a system of volunteer billets. For the cost of lots of wine and a thank-you dinner out, I stayed free in Copenhagen (in a basement, admittedly). I stayed with a family member in Vancouver (several thank you dinners).
If such international events expect to attract participants from around the world, they will have to think about ways of keeping the costs manageable. The next global Velo-city is 2014 in Adelaide, Australia. As much as I'd like to go, I don't know anyone there and imagine that the flight to Australia will drain my holiday travel account. The hosted billets idea was a good one to help keep costs down.
In the interim, if you can't go to Ottawa for the debriefing, you can go to the Velo-city website for highlights of Velo-city Global 2012, and downloads of the presentations. Not as much fun as sitting around listening to participants give their personalized views of the events, but almost two hours of chit-chat will barely scratch the surface of what was discussed in Vancouver. You'll get more from the source material.