By Kira Judge, Saskatoon Cycles board member
As most of you know, we lost our beloved leader Cathy Watts in September. To continue to celebrate her legacy and her amazing community-building spirit, Saskatoon Cycles is starting a weekly, socially distanced gathering called Hot Drinks Outside.
Hot Drinks Outside will happen every Friday morning from 7 am to 9 am at various interesting spots around the city. The casual gatherings will be an opportunity to celebrate cycling and its benefits to society, and to get to know people in our beloved community.
When my partner Robert and I moved to Saskatoon back in 2007, it took us almost two years to find new friends. My hope is that Hot Drinks Outside will become a welcoming, inclusive celebration of community building for anyone who wants to take part.
The inaugural gathering will happen this Friday morning (December 18th) in front of D’Lish by Tish Cafe, at 14th and Temperance. Bring your own hot drink (or pick up something at D’lish) and meet people in your community. Masks are required.
We will be meeting every Friday regardless of the weather conditions, except over the Christmas break. Details will be posted on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Later on, when the pandemic is over, we will be sharing food, drink, and more! You can invite friends, new comers, visitors, leaders…anyone who wants to chat about things.
To ensure that everyone who shows up has a chance to participate — and that we do not exceed the 10-person people cap* for outside gatherings — Saskatoon Cycles board members will ask people who have been there the longest to leave following a First In, First Out (FIFO) principle. To stay warm, we may stage some active games to get the blood flowing!
Credit for the idea goes to Edmonton’s Glen Kubish, who has presented at various conferences about his city’s Coffee Outside movement. Glen says the gatherings are a great way to increase awareness of and interest in winter cycling, and to make new friends.
Our plan is to host Hot Drinks Outside year-round. For people curious about cycling as transportation, these informal gatherings will be a great opportunity to get inspired and to be coached by veteran cycle commuters.
We will be inviting local coffee/tea shops to use the opportunity to introduce their products and services.
(Photo Credit: WinterCity Edmonton)
* Updated 4 pm Monday, December 14th as per new provincial measures announced today