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Bruce Timmermans AwardAccepting the award
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Pathway Patrol at the Awards CeremonyPathway Patrol at the Awards Ceremony
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Our FamilyOur family
It's time to nominate your favourite cycling advocate for the annual Bruce Timmermans Award.
There are two awards given out by the City of Ottawa for outstanding contributions in the encouragement of cycling each year. One is for an individual and the other is for a cycling organization.
Last year our family was nominated for the individual award. Because the award is supposed to go to an individual, I was chosen to receive it. This enormous honour was especially lovely because it literally opened doors for the Hintonburg Cycling Champions -- a neighbourhood cycling group that I co-chair -- to further promote cycling in the city and to connect meaningfully with other cycling advocates and educators from around the city including city staff, city planners and polititians at all levels of government.
The award meant a lot to my family who are very good natured (generally) about having me out at cycling-related meetings in the evenings and on weekends. Derek -- who runs his own bike repair club at the high school where he teaches; co-founded an outdoor leadership credit course at his school which includes a bike repair and bike riding component; takes his students on bike rides around the city; is a head mechanic at Re-Cycles; keeps our rather large fleet of bikes in good repair and stole my heart many years ago with his enthusiasm for cyling (and life!) -- felt like he was married to an Oscar winner. And the kids loved the beautiful bikey trophy and put it in their room beside Anna Sierra's bike racing trophies.
The award meant a lot to me. Because it's not every day that you are officially recognized for being yourself and for enjoying your life to the fullest. Which is how I see promoting cycling and cycling education.
The Pathway Patrol received the group Bruce Timmermans award. These volunteers cycle Ottawa's many recreational paths in pairs in their bright yellow shirts, making the paths safer places for everyone to enjoy.
Now that it's time to send in your nominations for this year's award, I'm thinking of quite a number of people working hard, working creatively and working generously to raise the profile of cycling in the city. I'm sure you have your own favourites in mind. And I would strongly encourage you to nominate those favourites.
Here are just a few of the people I know who have made an outstanding contribution to cycling in Ottawa this year:
There are folks in our neighbourhood who have started a cycling committee on our BIA. They have a number of projects in mind including surveying customers at local businesses to see how many people ride their bikes to run errands. This information would be used to advocate for more local bike infrastructure on public and private property.
There are also some folks working hard at setting up a local bike share called Right Bike in our neighbourhood. The program will launch this spring and soon our main street will be dotted with bright purple bikes.
Then there's a certain fellow who was inspired last year to start a bike festival here in Ottawa called CapitalVeloFest. The celebrations include a night ride, all kinds of bikey activities and bikey booths to visit during the day, and, for the first time this year, a second day of community biking fun in several neighbourhoods around the city.
Then there are a whole pile of keen cyclists from across the city who inspire others by:
riding in the winter; advocating for bike parking at their work places; organizing bike rodeos at their children's school; leading learn to race bike clubs; starting street bike clubs; biking with their kids; creating bike art; hosting bike art shows; sharing bike stories in a wide variety of media outlets; organizing bike fashion shows; welcoming whoever comes into their bike shops; leading youth cycling expeditions across Canada; teaching other people to fix their bikes; hauling rusty frames out of the garbage and creating transportation; successfully pushing for road diets; building their own wild bikes that are extra long or extra tall; running mountain biking kids' camps; organizing family bike-camping trips; thinking about the current and future needs of cyclists in road reconstruction projects; advocating for official bike polo courts; including bike parades in community festivals; finding time in their work days to include a little cycling advocacy and education; organizing memorial bike rides; teaching other people's kids to ride their bikes; using social media to create a bigger bike buzz; making sure that great cycling infrastructure is created whenever there's an opportunity; and generally riding with joy, just like Bruce Timmermans did.
And finally there are the incredible cycling advocates in the Citizens for Safe Cycling, Ottawa's foremost cycling advocacy organization. I could go on and on about these positive, dedicated, amazing folks and all the volunteer hours they put in blogging about cycling, speaking to the media about cycling related issues, organizing Winter Bike Parades, going to many, many meetings with city officials to discuss cycling in all kinds of contexts, speaking about cycling in Ottawa across the country, and generally mentoring and supporting up and coming cycling advocates in all kinds of capacities.
Off the top of my head, I can think of at least a hundred different deserving cyclists to nominate for this award. That alone is wonderful news for our city and for the state of cycling in it.
Whose efforts would you like to celebrate this year? Does your city have a cycling advocacy award? If not, could you establish one?
Happy biking and happy celebrating!
Got family biking stories to share? I love to hear them: familiesonbikes[AT]momentumplanetDOTcom