Van­cou­ver Ap­proves $250,000 for Two Mass-Cy­cling Events

Our Ci­tyride and Bike the Night Ex­pect 20,000 Rid­ers

Pedal Magazine - - Out In Front - BY JOHN SY­MON

Two mass rides in Van­cou­ver, B.C. this year will col­lec­tively re­ceive $250,000 in sup­port from Van­cou­ver City Coun­cil. “Our Ci­tyride” will launch its in­au­gu­ral mass-par­tic­i­pa­tion ride and fes­ti­val on Satur­day, Aug. 19 with a 15-kilo­me­tre ride through down­town, the West End and Stan­ley Park. Then on Sept. 16, the city will see “Bike the Night,” a 10-kilo­me­tre ride around False Creek. Be­tween Our Ci­tyride and Bike the Night, some 20,000 rid­ers are ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate.

“We’re ex­cited to join cities [such as] Mon­treal and Lon­don with our very own mass-par­tic­i­pa­tion ride, and I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing this new sig­na­ture sum­mer event grow in the years to come,” com­mented Gre­gor Robert­son, Van­cou­ver’s mayor.

Our Ci­tyride is a new event co-founded by

Mark Ern­st­ing, owner of M1 Sports Man­age­ment (re­spon­si­ble for BC Su­per­week and the H&R Block Pro Cy­cling Team), and five-time Olympian Char­maine Crooks, a mem­ber of the Or­der of Canada and owner of NGU Con­sul­tants.

“We are work­ing closely with the City of Van­cou­ver and city stake­hold­ers [such as] Van­cou­ver Parks Board to de­liver a new world-class, non-com­pet­i­tive, all-in­clu­sive fam­ily-friendly ride and fes­ti­val,” said Ern­st­ing, a five-time Na­tional track cham­pion.

Ern­st­ing de­scribes Our Ci­tyride as “Van­cou­ver’s sig­na­ture mass-par­tic­i­pa­tion ride.” He goes on to say that “we will be work­ing closely with Cy­cling BC and Cy­cling Canada along with sev­eral other spon­sor stake­hold­ers to en­sure that not only the city’s man­dates are met, but [also] that an event of this na­ture can help grow the sport at the grass­roots level.”

“We are mo­bi­liz­ing the Dutch com­mu­nity in the greater Van­cou­ver area to par­tic­i­pate and we are work­ing with our col­leagues from other con­sulates to give Our Ci­tyride an in­ter­na­tional flavour. We be­lieve bikes are the fu­ture for cities,” ex­pressed Gert Hei­jkoop, con­sul gen­eral of The Nether­lands.

David Lam Park in Van­cou­ver’s Yale­town neigh­bour­hood will be the fes­ti­val venue, with a main en­ter­tain­ment stage show­cas­ing lo­cal tal­ent, a kids zone with ob­sta­cle cour­ses and learn-to-ride ac­tiv­i­ties, an expo zone, a beer gar­den and a bike valet.

Bike the Night was launched by a char­i­ta­ble non-profit group that has been work­ing for the past 19 years to build a more sus­tain­able Metro Van­cou­ver com­mu­nity by get­ting more peo­ple on bikes.

“This is the sec­ond year that HUB Cy­cling will be host­ing Bike the Night in Van­cou­ver,” said or­ga­nizer Laura Jane. “There are so many rea­sons to sign up for the event. In ad­di­tion to a fun car-free 10km bike ride on Van­cou­ver streets and across the iconic Bur­rard Bridge, par­tic­i­pants will be in­vited to a pre-party with mu­sic, free hot chocolate, free bike dec­o­rat­ing and free ba­sic bike-me­chanic ser­vices from Moun­tain Equip­ment Coop [MEC]. Par­tic­i­pants will also be en­tered to win great prizes,” she added.

Van­cou­ver joins Toronto’s Ride for Heart, which at­tracts ap­prox­i­mately 15,000 rid­ers and cel­e­brated its 30th an­niver­sary this year, while Mon­treal’s Tour de l’Île mass ride, which dates back to 1985, at­tracts more than 30,000 rid­ers and is rec­og­nized by the Guin­ness Book of World Records as the largest gath­er­ing of cy­clists in the world. In re­cent years, a Tour de Nuit ride was added to the mix; both rides are or­ga­nized by Vélo Québec with sup­port from the City of Mon­treal.

Our Ci­tyride co-founders Olympian Char­maine Crooks

and Mark Ern­st­ing

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