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Saskatoon Cycles June 2024 Newsletter

Bike Valet

Thanks to our amazing team of volunteers and a whole lotta eventgoers who like getting around by bicycle, the 2024 Bike Valet is off to a busy start. So far this year we’ve parked bikes at the Saskatchewan Marathon, the Saskatchewan Children’s Festival, and Saskatoon Pride and collected a bunch of appreciative smiles along the way.

The weather hasn’t always been the most cooperative (lots of rain and lots of wind), but we suspect things will really start to warm up in the next two months, so we’re looking for enthusiastic people to sign up and help deliver some professional valet services.

Shifts are a zippy two hours long, and if you haven’t already earned your volunteer shirt, you’ll get one for helping out.

Check out the upcoming events/venues below and find a spot that looks like fun. We’d love to see you out there!

Ride for Your Life Saskatoon 2024

Doug Kramble (Natasha Fox’s father) speaks to the crowd.

On Saturday, June 15th, Saskatoon Cycles was honoured to be a part of Ride for Your Life Saskatoon 2024.

Organized by Tod Fox in memory of his wife Natasha, the event was described as “a rally for change and remembrance”, and aimed to raise awareness around the need for pedestrian and cyclist safety and infrastructure.

Four speakers addressed the crowd of over 250 people prior to the ride.

Tod Fox spoke of the sadness, anger, and gratitude he has felt over the past year and channeled that into a concise demand that the City of Saskatoon fix three intersections this year. “Fixing three intersections is not a monumental task – it is a necessity. It is a moral obligation. It is an act of compassion and responsibility.”

Doug Kramble provided a candid perspective as Natasha’s father and expressed an ongoing frustration with Heidelberg Materials and their callous response and noticeable lack of remediation in the aftermath of his daughter’s death. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough… we need action… we need change.”

Dr. Jim Arnold (Saskatoon Cycles) reaffirmed Tod’s demand to fix “at least” three intersections a year, and suggested that cyclists should not feel as if “their city is trying to kill them”.

Mayor Charlie Clark thanked the crowd for writing letters to council, and acknowledged how the slow pace of change from city administration could be challenging. He supported Tod’s demand and suggested that “bike lanes” should not be joked about, nor should safety “be a politically loaded conversation”.

Cyclists and pedestrians then took a highly visible route that followed Wiggins, 8th, Broadway, 12th, and Clarence, concluding in President Murray Park.

Two City of Saskatoon vehicles and one from Burton Concrete were on site to display the Direct Vision Technology that could have prevented Natasha’s death. Tod’s efforts to make this equipment a standard feature in all large trucks continues, and it is a testament to his passion that both Saskatoon and Martensville administrations are piloting/approving these technologies.

Also in attendance:

  • Pebl Goods – T-shirts*
  • Saskatoon Cycles “Tune-Up Tent”
  • City of Saskatoon BYXE Street Team

Our thanks to Tod’s organizing and speaking, Doug, Jim, and Charlie for their speeches, and ALL of the participants who showed up to support this community safety effort.

This is, of course, only one step along what will be a long road of sustained advocacy. The issue of better infrastructure and regulations to protect road users, particularly the most vulnerable, will require the ongoing work of the entire community through council meetings, elections, events, protests, and more meetings.

We’re signed on to it, and we hope you’ll stay along for the long ride as well.

*we have one Large Youth/Small Women’s T-shirt left for sale. Contact us for details.

Movement for a Bicycle Friendly Canada

On Wednesday, June 12th, Velo Canada Bikes Executive Director Samuel Benoit was in Saskatoon as part of a University of Saskatchewan program organized by Dr. Daniel Fuller (PhD).

At the presentation titled “The Movement for a Bicycle Friendly Canada”, Mr. Benoit provided an overview of the vital work Velo Canada Bikes does at the federal level and reminded the audience that while a lot has been done in the past 12 years, there is still much more to do when it comes to creating better, safer infrastructure for active transportation across the country.

He encouraged people to join local and national groups to keep up the pressure.

Thanks to Glass & Lumber for the venue!

Keep Rolling 2024

Our second year of providing safer cycling education to newcomers is underway. With the Keep Rolling program, we’re once again connecting with organizations like Global Gathering Place, Saskatoon Open Door Society, and the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association to provide free support to anyone who wants to learn how to cycle or just improve their handling skills and safety knowledge.

Our part-time program coordinator Jory, and nice guy mechanic Rob are the bones of the team, with additional volunteers from Saskatoon Cycles and partner organizations adding experience to the mix.

It can be easy to forget the exhilaration of learning to ride a bike, or to take the skill for granted, but seeing the look on participants’ faces as they increase their proficiency is a very rewarding feature of the program. We’re hoping to fit in as many sessions as possible this year.

We acknowledge and appreciate the support of the Saskatchewan Lotteries Community Grant

Explore Saskatoon Parks

From the City of Saskatoon’s webpage saskatoon.ca/ExploreParks:

This summer, the City of Saskatoon invites residents to bike, bus, or walk (in any combination) to explore the city’s Green Network—the system of parks, natural areas, and green spaces. 

The locations have been chosen to easily connect with transit and active transportation routes. So, whether you are hopping on a bus, wandering on foot, or pedalling your way through the city, exploring Saskatoon parks has never been easier. Each spot promises a unique outdoor experience, from hidden gems to beloved favourites. 

How Can You Participate?  

  1. From July 2 through August 18, 2024, plan your trip to one or more of the destinations below.
  2. Take a selfie or a video of your Saskatoon Parks adventure.  
  3. In your post, tell us why you love the Green Network.
  4. Tag @CityofSaskatoon on Facebook, Instagram or X and use the hashtag #ExploreYXEParksOpen to Saskatoon residents aged 18 and over.

Each post gives you a chance to win 1 of 14 prize packs, which include a $100 Leisure Gift Card and swag.

Get more details at saskatoon.ca/ExploreParks

Slow Rolls

Everything we do is grounded in a spirit of building community: the Bike Valet makes it cheaper and easier for everyone to gather at local events by bicycle, Keep Rolling helps develop skills that connect newcomers to the people and services in their new city, Pedal Express builds relationships with local business, couriers, and customers through bikes, and our advocacy depends on citizen engagement with municipal government.

Building community is also what our Slow Rolls are all about. They are an opportunity for people of all ages and cycling ability to get together and ride for an hour or so. You might not meet your new best friend there, but Slow Rolls provide a chance to chill with other interesting people in a comfortable environment.

For the rest of 2024, we’re embracing a music theme for most of our rides. We don’t traditionally sing while we roll, but it helps capture a mood!

  • Saturday, July 27 – “Summer Breeze” Slow Roll
  • Saturday, August 24 – “In the Summertime” Slow Roll
  • Sunday, September 8 – Cathy Watts Memorial Roll
  • Saturday, September 28 – Nuit Blanche “Glow Roll”
  • Saturday, October 26 – “The Thriller” Slow Roll
  • Saturday, November 30 – “November Rain” Slow Roll
  • Saturday, December 14 – “Winter Wonderland” Slow Roll

Check out our Slow Roll webpage for more details.

Terry Fox Ride

Inspired by his brother Terry, Darrell Fox and a few friends organized the first Terry Fox Ride of Hope in 2015 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope. The one-day 350 km ride culminated at the base of Mount Terry Fox in British Columbia. Today the Ride of Hope is a collection of diverse rides that offer recreational and challenging distances and terrain. All rides include camaraderie, scenic vistas, and wonderful experiences for the rider!

The Horizon 100 Cycling Club is hosting the first Ride of Hope in Saskatoon on July 6, 2024.

They will be offering two rides (100 km & 50 km) on paved roads in the beautiful countryside around Saskatoon. This will be a group ride and all riders need to be a member of the Saskatchewan Cycling Association or another approved provincial association to participate this year. 

You can register online and start your fundraising today.

(NB: The Terry Fox Foundation is looking for people who might be interested in organizing a recreational Ride of Hope in Saskatoon. Contact Saskatoon Cycles here if you would like more information.)

Donate

Your donations give us the resources to press toward a Saskatoon where cycling is a viable, year-round mode of transportation that is safe, convenient, and comfortable for all ages.

We want your kids and their grandma to simply hop on their bikes to go grab an ice cream and enjoy the beauty of Saskatoon. For you or your partner to pick up groceries or a library book. And we really want you to be able to commute to work and back safely and conveniently.

Your donation helps us work on these three ‘pillars’ of cycling development for Saskatoon:

  • Infrastructure – A safe, convenient, comfortable and well maintained cycling network throughout the city that allows cyclists to go from every neighbourhood to key destinations
  • Ridership – Educate, encourage, and promote cycling so more people choose bicycles as a convenient and safe transportation option year round.
  • Culture – Educate, encourage, and promote diversity in ridership with respectful inclusion of all modes of transportation.

Please Donate Today


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