Monday May 30 was Bike Day in Canada, a nationwide celebration of cycling. Here in Ottawa, we were lucky to be able to attend “Bike Day on the Hill”.
This was a fun bike ride, a BBQ on Parliament Hill, and, most importantly, an opportunity to discuss a national cycling strategy with parliamentarians. If you weren’t able to join us, maybe we’ll see you there next year, but for now, here’s a recap of the evening…
A tip of the hat to the organizing committee, which included Canada Bikes, John Weston, Senator Nancy Greene Raine and staff, the OBC, and many others. Bike Day on the Hill was a fantastic opportunity to network with decision-makers, advocacy representatives, and people who enjoy riding their bikes. The event kicked off with some inspiring speeches, including some words from our Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, who said she wants to see a National Cycling Strategy. We’re happy to help! But first, let’s ride.
Senator Nancy Greene Raine thanked the attendees for their enthusiasm, and reminded us that leaders will make change happen when the public support is there. So we need to keep showing up, to keep speaking up, and to keep cycling on the agenda.
One of the important things to recognize from Bike Day on the Hill is that members from all parties were represented, and working together. That’s really inspiring to see, and we think that it goes to show that this is one of those ideas that just makes sense. It’s time. We really look forward to the day when we’ll see an all-party caucus on cycling take shape.
Some of the last words of the night went to one of the organizers, Anders Swanson, of Canada Bikes. He made the trip from Winnipeg to be here, and is clearly passionate about uniting Canadians around cycling. We really recommend you read what Canada Bikes has already brought forward as a proposal for Canada’s National Cycling Strategy. One of the messages that Anders wanted to share is “love” – riding a bike is about love – loving your country, being part of a supportive community, taking care of each other. We were certainly feeling the love, let’s keep it going.