I am excited to write you about a bicycle related event that I am planning in collaboration with John Johnston and Better Bicycle Commuting. We would like to invite you, on September 18th, to join us in Red Deer’s first bicycle parade. The idea for this event was born out of a coffee shop conversation in which John and I recognized a need to bring Red Deer’s cycling community together. We have identified three main goals for this event:
1. Having spent years as committed bicycle commuters, and long distance and recreational cyclists, we know how much fun and freedom bikes provide. We also know that from the saddle of a bicycle, cities are quickly transformed from asphalt and concrete jungles to people based places where greetings between strangers and conversations at stop lights become the commonplace. Accordingly, our first goal is to celebrate the bicycle and all of the fun, freedom, and friendliness it represents.
2. An important part of developing a strong cycling culture in Red Deer includes a commitment by city administration to invest in cycling infrastructure that ensures the safety of cyclists. To this end, our second goal is to send a message to city council, the mayor, and city planners: we need dedicated bicycle lanes to ensure our safety while traveling the roads of Red Deer, and we need more bicycle racks in order to protect our investments.
3. A municipal election is just around the corner, and we want to show both the citizens of Red Deer, and the candidates in the election that there is a group of people in Red Deer who are passionate about cycling. As such, our final goal is to increase public support for cycling initiatives which will be instrumental in helping Red Deer develop as a more environmentally and socially responsible community.
We have identified a number of organizations in Red Deer that serve cyclists, consist of cyclists, could benefit from increased access to cycling infrastructure, or that have environmental and social mandates. Because your organization falls into one or more of these categories, we are inviting you to represent your organization and be a part of this bicycle parade.
The parade will start on Saturday, September 18th at 11:00 am from Notre Dame High School and finish at City Hall, where we will present a representative from the city with a letter signed by all participants bringing our requests and concerns to their attention.
We would be grateful for your confirmation of participation in this event by Monday, September 6th. Please let us know how many representatives from your organization will be riding with us. We invite you to wear any clothing that identifies your organization, or alternatively, clothing that is bright, exciting, or exotic. This is a parade after all! In addition, feel free to decorate your bike in any way that makes it look unique and stand out – this is about celebrating bikes, so lets have fun!
Peace and bike grease,