4 key advocacy actions bike clubs can take in 2019

by Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director, Share the Road Cycling Coalition

Me with Ontario Cycling Association (OCA) CEO Jim Crosscombe

This February, Share the Road had the opportunity to spend the day with bike club leaders from across the province as part of the Ontario Cycling Association’s (OCA) Club Summit. We were there to discuss cycling advocacy and to strengthen connections with the bike club community.

Our presentation about ongoing cycling advocacy efforts was followed by an engaging discussion about how this advocacy has made cycling safer for club riders and how we can best represent club needs at Queen’s Park and in municipalities across Ontario.

We also presented our “4 key actions” that bike clubs can take in 2019 to support cycling advocacy in Ontario. With over 12,000 members across the province, bike clubs have a powerful voice to leverage to help grow cycling and make it safer and more convenient.

Club leaders highlighted the new infrastructure that has been built over the past few years that has enhanced their cycling experience. This includes paved shoulders along their ride routes, and new trails and urban connections that help them get to their starting points for group rides.

In terms of important improvements they highlighted as priorities moving forward, those included:

  • Increased awareness and education around the 1m safe passing law;
  • Clarification regarding the Highway Traffic Act and cycling 2 abreast;
  • Clarification regarding the Highway Traffic Act and making group stops at stop signs;
  • “Share the Road” signage that incorporates visuals about cycling 2 abreast.

We all want the same thing – to arrive home safely after a bike ride. But cycling safety doesn’t just happen. As community cycling leaders, bike clubs and their members can make a meaningful contribution to cycling safety by taking 4 key actions in 2019:

  • Invite your MPP on a bike ride: We want to get every Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) out on a bike so that they can experience the joy of cycling and see first hand how the province can make cycling safer with cycling infrastructure and education. For more info on how to organize the bike ride, check out this past blog post.
Niagara Freewheelers hosting a bike ride with MPP Sam Oosterhoff in 2018
  • Attend Greg’s Ride on September 22, 2019: Chances are that your club already hosts a bike ride each Sunday. On Sunday, September 22 bring your club members to Greg’s Ride and participate in a beautiful bike ride in support of cycling advocacy. All bike clubs get 20% off if they register before May 31st and use the discount code “bikeclub19”. More details & registration at www.sharetheroad.ca/gregsride
Brant Cycling Club participates in Greg’s Ride (photo: David Keogh)
  • Become a Bicycle Friendly Community: Ensure that you live and bike in a Bicycle Friendly Community. Encourage your municipality to submit an online application: www.sharetheroad.ca/BFC
  • Support cycling advocacy in Ontario: Clubs that make a $500 annual donation to cycling advocacy in Ontario are recognized as Share the Road partners on our website, and can use our logo on club jerseys. Individual donations are also welcomed: www.sharetheroad.ca/donate
Representatives from various bike clubs participating in Greg’s Ride 2018 (photo: David Keogh)

Together, we will build a more bicycle-friendly Ontario. We need the voices of bike clubs and bike club members to help us get there.

Amplify the voice for cycling in Ontario — you can support the work of Share the Road through our new donation platform! Learn more at: www.sharetheroad.ca/donate

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Share the Road Cycling Coalition

Working to build a bicycle-friendly Ontario since 2008