During the run-up to the federal election, Vélo Canada Bikes is spearheading the ‘Ride Your Riding‘ initiative as a way to get candidates talking about active transportation with their constituents.
“There is no better place to have a meeting and no better way to see the impact of cycling on your community than from the seat of a bicycle,” said the not-for-profit corporation in a statement to sitting members of parliament and candidates looking to connect meaningfully with constituents.
Vélo Canada Bikes is even encouraging Canadian voters who want to see how potential candidates feel about the federal role in active transportation to organize a ride.
Ride Your Riding
The rides are conceptualized as community-oriented, family-friendly, educational bike rides between now and election day (Sept. 20, 2021). The organization says Ride Your Riding will give politicians the opportunity to connect with constituents and the people that make active transportation decisions locally, increase community interest and will let them explore current infrastructure in the area while discussing successful projects and future improvements.
The concept isn’t new—a number of candidates have put on Ride Your Riding events in the past. Politicians such as Liberal candidate Dr. Doug Eyolfson hosted a ride in Winnipeg (Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia–Headingley) and Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Halifax West have hosted rides in the past. The NDP’s Gord Johns (MP Courtenay—Alberni) has held multiple rides to ensure he rode the entire riding.
Vélo Canada Bikes will be tracking all the rides happening throughout the country and encourages participants to post about their rides using the hashtag #RideYourRiding.
The organization has spent years pushing for a national active transportation strategy, a plan that was finally announced this year on July 28.
Now that the plan has been approved, the organization will be redirecting focus toward ebikes and micro-mobility as well as an ebike incentive plan, in order to get the most Canadians as possible access to the new infrastructure that will be built across the country.