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HOW TO: How to run a Ward Group – A glimpse at Ward 18

4a04462165d7e16ec9253f73dc3327cfJust a quick shout-out to Ward 18 in the city’s west end.  They’ve released the minutes from their latest meeting and there are some things in there other groups (or wannabe groups) can learn.

FUN! Ward 18 has really stood out for me during the past year as I try to keep abreast of bike stuff in Toronto (and in turn pass it along to you here on BikingToronto) as they run unique and fun sounding events. A Garden Ride, a Polka Ride, a Portugese Custard Tart Ride.  Fun is how you get people involved and engaged.  Not politics, not advocacy.  Fun.  Politics and advocacy are a by-product of engaged and committed people… brought together by fun.

ENGAGEMENT: Ward 18 pays attention to infrastrucure – where bikelanes are needed, and how to improve access to existing trails, but they realize that infrastructure is only 1 of many agenda items.  I’ve read too many Ward group minutes that talk only about bikelanes and nothing about engaging the ward community.  With enough engagement, the infrastructure is easier to get.

PARTNERSHIPS:  Ward 18′s first item under planning events for 2014-15? “Keep W18 events free and accessible to all.”  This is followed by an idea to engage with cyclists in nearby apartment buildings by working with supers to get access to party rooms and lobbies, perhaps working with Bike Pirates to offer free tune-ups. Ward 18 understands that partnerships often make things easier.

Anyhow, these are my quick impressions from their latest minutes.  Go download the PDF for yourself.

Learn More:

 

via: Ward 18 July meeting notes posted – next meeting is Monday, August 11 | Cycle Toronto.

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TOURISM: Sightseeing by pedal power: Toronto (doesn’t) tout cycle tourism options

This article is basically an ad for Toronto Bicycle Tours… but more interesting is that it is NOT about Toronto touting cycle tourism options but that we are failing… that cycle tourism is big business and Toronto is letting it slip away by ignoring cycling infrastructure.  Make EVERY street bike-friendly.  Not just one here and there.

Inside a hotel in the grey, concrete-dominated downtown core, Stephanie Kampmann thought Toronto seemed dark, congested and uninviting.

The first-time visitor from Germany had resigned herself to the idea that Vancouver, the next leg of her cross-Canada tour, would make up for the disappointment. Seeing the city as a cyclist, she says, gave her a new perspective.

On a bright July morning, Kampmann, her husband Axel and their two teenaged children took a pass on the sightseeing bus and zipped around the city as many locals do – by pedal power. Led by a guide from Toronto Bicycle Tours, Kampmann and her family covered significant territory in the span of a few hours, crossing well-known tourist destinations such as the CN Tower, the Rogers Centre and the Eaton Centre off their list.

Read More: Sightseeing by pedal power: Toronto touts cycle tourism options | Metro.

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OH YEAH: Why Riding Your Bike Makes You A Better Person

Overall a good read. Too much emphasis on cycling for recreation though. All of these things apply to even cyclists like me who mainly just commute to work and go on an occasional longer ride for the fun of it.

From the 2,500-mile Pacific Crest Bicycle Trail to the colorful RAGBRAI across Iowa — complete with party buses and the occasional costume — it’s safe to say that long-distance cyclists lead extreme lifestyles. But as it turns out, logging miles upon miles on two wheels is also a fast track to health. Whether you pedal regularly or haven’t been behind the handlebars since your ride had training wheels, we could all learn a thing or two from cyclists.

Here’s what cyclists can teach the rest of us about leading a happier, healthier life.

Full Article: Why Riding Your Bike Makes You A Better Person (According To Science).

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WANTED: Models for Cycle Toronto Campaign

Girl-On-A-Bike

Via CycleToronto:

We’re looking for cyclists to star in a streetcar ad campaign about cycling in the city!

We’ll be running streetcar ads in September to “normalize” bike commuting for people who might be hesitant to try riding to work or school. The ads will have photos of Toronto cyclists riding their bikes on city streets, with each cyclist’s first name and a few words about who they are and why they love to ride. The ads will also link to an online toolkit with resources on safe riding and on how to advocate for better local infrastructure and support at work or school.

Photos will be taken the morning of Sunday, July 20, and the evening of Monday, July 21. You must be available, with your bike, for at least one of these dates. Monday will also act as a rain date forSunday.

Interested and available? Please email a paragraph description of yourself to siva.v@cycleto.ca by Monday, July 14. We’re looking for a diverse group of people of all backgrounds, ages, and cycling abilities/interests, so please be specific about why you think you’d be a great cyclist to feature!

We’ll get back to you by Wednesday, July 16 about whether you’ve been selected for the campaign. Please note that we are not able to offer compensation beyond a digital copy of the photo we take of you.

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ELSEWHERE: Introducing the #bikeYVR Print Campaign

I love this.  What a great campaign!  Let’s get on this #bikeTO!

We just adore exploring Vancouver’s serene streets, separated lanes, and stunning seawall on a bicycle. The beautiful landscape and moderate climate make cycling an easy, year-round activity. We’re not alone, either. Our #bikeYVR campaign features fun and playful photos of twelve Vancouverites – of all ages and abilities – sharing inspiring words on what makes them passionate about riding a bike. Each person in the series has their own reasons to cycle for transport, but they all have one thing in common: an unbridled love for the joy and simplicity of two-wheeled travel.

Read More: Introducing the #bikeYVR Print Campaign | Spacing National.

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