The Cycling and Enviro Fair on September 19 was an incredible success. We cannot thank our partners enough: the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA), the Department of University Safety, and Safer Roads Ottawa; as well as everyone who tabled at the event. Your enthusiasm was unparalleled!
Although we had to reschedule the original time, it was well worth it; the sun was shining all day long!
We were fortunate to meet with plenty of new faces and talk to many folks who were interested in learning more about cycling in the Carleton community. Many cyclists that stopped by for free tuneups had been biking to campus for some time, while others used it as an opportunity to resurrect a bicycle they’d forgotten about!
A huge thank you goes out to the mechanics of RightBike and the Students’ Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) Bike Co-Op, who worked all day cleaning up and fixing up bicycles. Between the four mechanics, they were able to look at 72 bicycles! And for each bicycle, they showed the owners what they were doing and how they could fix up their bike.
We fielded a lot of questions about cycling, particularly at Carleton. But our most popular question went along the lines of: “are you going to be having this event tomorrow? Next week? Again?”
The free bike tuneups were wildly popular, so we’re already planning for our next event in the spring. In the meantime, we want to offer classes and opportunities for interested Carletonians to learn more about how to repair and maintain their own bicycles.
Some basic courses on maintenance and repair could go a long way for cash-strapped cyclists!
At the fair, we also asked individuals to try and answer the question of how cycling could be improved at Carleton University. We got some great responses, which include:
- More racks at Dunton Tower
- Safe crossing from the canal
- More free bike tune ups – we’ll do our best!
- Carleton bike paths integrated with municipal bike paths
- Covered bike lock areas
- More bike maintenance places like at the Architecture building
- Bike lanes
- More bike racks near Loeb and UniCentre
- Fix the roads
- No more stolen bikes! Improve security!
- Secure bike parking like at Rec Centre except near UniCentre
- Don’t waste money on parking structures!
- East-West throughway for commuters going through campus
At the C.U. Cycling table, we had materials galore. We were so pleased to talk to everyone who stopped by. We were giving away free maps, C.U. Cycling and RRRA bikeshare postcards, reflective armbands, and other materials we’ve collected over the months.
The kind folks at the Safer Roads Ottawa tent were handing out bike lights for anyone who brought their bike with them. They also had a number of reflective armbands to give away! We’ve spotted a number of bikes sporting the armbands. Also at the purple tent was a representative from Ottawa Public Health distributing Adopt-a-Helmet bracelets. You can check out their video on how to adopt a helmet at AdoptaHelmet.com.
All of the exhibitors’ booths were busy the entire day. We saw petitions being signed all day at the Ottawa Bicycle Lanes Project and Ecology Ottawa tables. At the EnviroCentre booth, a magnet-covered car was a big attraction! Bushtukah had their high-visibility clothing decorating their tent, making it the brightest booth of them all! And Citizens for Safe Cycling had material galore for students to snag. CKCU-FM had music playing all day long and there may have been one or two spontaneous dance parties during the event! We also saw some pedal carts going by, courtesy of the folks at Advanced Recreation.
Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to table at the event and thanks to everyone who dropped by! It was great seeing so many people who were interested in cycling and the environment.