Vancouver Approves $250,000 for Two Mass-Cycling Events
Our Cityride and Bike the Night Expect 20,000 Riders
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