by Kira Judge, co-chair, Saskatoon Cycles
Thank you to everyone who supported our inaugural Keep Rolling event on October 16th. The weather was fantastic and the site was magic with the view of the South Saskatchewan river – our city’s pride and beauty. On top of the gorgeous day, I was constantly reminded of Shakespeare’s wisdom as the event was held at the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan* site.
Through our participant survey, we are learning what went well and what needs improvement. For those of you who have not yet completed it, please do so — it takes less than three minutes. Based on in-person feedback and the surveys we’ve received so far, we’re planning to add a Slow Roll as part of next year’s Keep Rolling event.
At the event I was humbled beyond words to receive the blessing and smudging by elder Joseph Naytowhow. Every time I ask myself how — out of all the places in the world I could have lived — I ended up in Saskatoon, I always get one answer from my inner wisdom: You are here to serve the people of Saskatoon and learn from the river. Thus, it was a special moment for me to see our community coming together from various backgrounds and cultures to experience the engaging performances of local talents.
We received over 20 requests to mentor newcomers. Therefore our next efforts will be focused on establishing a mentorship program. Again, we cannot do that alone and we will be collaborating with our partners Bridge City Bicycle Coop (BCBC) and Saskatoon Open Door Society (SODS). We will also need help from experts and will be consulting with Malvina Rapko from Cultural Bridges to ensure that the matching is fruitful and people not only learn how to be safe on their bikes but also establish valuable and meaningful friendships.
We were pleased to practise some small scale “bike-enomics” at last weekend’s event. We supported our Friends of Cycling sponsors by purchasing gift certificates from them to use as thank you gifts for our guest speakers and volunteers. We were also proud to offer a garbage-free meal to all participants, thanks to our friends at Odd Couple restaurant.
*Our weekly Bikes and Banter meetups will take place at the Shakespeare site until the end of the year.