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Vancouver Approves $250,000 for Two Mass Cycling Events in 2017 – 20,000 Participants Expected

by John Symon

April 24, 2017 (Vancouver, BC) – Vancouver city council has voted unanimously to spend $250,000 on two mass participation cycling events this year. The “Our Cityride” on August 19 and the “Bike the Night” ride on September 16 are expected to collectively attract about 20,000 riders say the organizers.

Our Cityride  ©  M1 Sports Management
Our Cityride is a new event co-founded by Mark Ernsting, owner of M1 Sports Management that oversees BC Superweek and the H&R Block Pro Cycling Team and 5-time Olympian, Charmaine Crooks, a Member of the Order of Canada and owner of NGU Consultants.

Bike the Night  ©  HUB Cycling
Bike the Night, in its second year, was launched by HUB Cycling, 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.

“We are working closely with the City of Vancouver and City Stakeholders like Vancouver Parks Board to deliver a new world-class, non competitive, all inclusive family-friendly ride and festival,” said Ernsting, a 5-time national track champ.

Our Cityride  ©  M1 Sports Management
Ernsting describes Our Cityride as, “Vancouver’s signature mass participation ride. 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 that an event of this nature can help grow the sport at the grass roots level. The goal of Our Cityride is to bring communities together through an all inclusive platform.

“Along with the ride, there will be a festival that will have 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 Bike Valet. There will also be an International Nations ride where consulates from every nation will be invited to take the start line and have a designated Expo area where international business can showcase their cycling-related products.”

Bike the Night  ©  HUB Cycling
Meanwhile, Laura Jane of HUB Cycling told us, “This is the 2nd year that HUB Cycling will be hosting Bike the Night in Vancouver. The event is expected to grow substantially this year with over 5000 participants. It will also start and end in downtown Vancouver for the first time,”

“There are so many reasons to sign up for Bike the Night. 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,” added Jane.

According to a CBC report councillors from all parties said they supported the idea of community gatherings and said the idea could help combat the city’s “no fun” reputation.” The city says it would cover most of the traffic, route planning, engineering, policing and other event-related costs, according to a report from Jerry Dobrovolny, the general manager of engineering services. Dobrovolny acknowledged that the events would shut down streets to traffic for a short time, but unlike previous unsanctioned cycling events like Critical Mass, organizers would give commuters advance warning and offer alternative routes reads the report.

Our City Ride 2017  ©
“We are very appreciative of the City of Vancouver’s support from Mayor and Council, City Staff and City Stakeholders for their vision in joining other like-minded cities across the world in hosting a mass participation ride in their city. Without their support, it would not be possible to host a successful event at this scale. We look forward to launching Our Cityride in Vancouver and having it become the signature mass participation ride in Vancouver while looking at other strategic locations across the country,” Ernsting added.

“An official launch will be held in the coming weeks that will go into full detail about the ride and the Our Cityride brand, but this should give you some context to what we have been working on for some time now with the City of Vancouver to deliver for them a world class mass participation ride under the Our Cityride banner,” he concluded.

These two new rides in Vancouver are inspired in part by existing mass rides in London and Montreal. Montreal’s annual Tour de l’Île mass ride dates back to 1985 and can attract 30,000 riders. In recent years, a Tour de Nuit evening ride was added to the mix; both rides there are organized by Vélo Québec with support from the City of Montreal.

“Each year HUB Cycling teaches bike education to thousands of children and adults while leading campaigns to improve cycling conditions and hosting numerous events to encourage people to get on two wheels,” added Jane.

The 15km Our Cityride mass ride on August 19 will wind its way through downtown, the West End, and Stanley Park. Meanwhile, Bike the Night ride is expected to start in September at the corner of Pacific Blvd and Carrall Street, go over Burrard Bridge to Kitsilano and return back to its starting location.

Our Cityride
What: a new world-class non competitive, all inclusive, family-friendly ride and festival
When: August 19, 2017
Where: 15km circuit around downtown Vancouver, BC
Who: some 10,000 riders expected
Why: to promote cycling, Vancouver, and local businesses

Bike the Night
When: September, 2017 ?
Where: Vancouver, BC
Who: some 10,000 riders expected
Cost: Adult tickets $8-$20, youths under 16 are free
Why: to promote cycling, Vancouver, and local businesses

Our Cityride here
HUB Cycling here.
CBC report here.
Vancouver Sun here.

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