Rebecca Ferguson
COLUMNIST

The snow is melting, the sun is out, and the world is coming alive in Waterloo Region! This means one thing – it’s bike season. Luckily for us, this vibrant region has cycling opportunities for everyone. Wherever you live, whatever your background, and cycling ability level, there are plenty of exciting biking initiatives to discover, events to attend, and reasons to bike in Waterloo Region.

Over the next few months, the Community Edition is publishing a series of cycling related articles to help residents connect with the bike culture. The aim of this series is to make biking as accessible and as much fun for everyone as possible.  Check out the monthly articles to discover the Region’s bike paths, tips on bike safety and maintenance, and to learn about bike friendly businesses, infrastructure and events in the city.

Biking is good for the environment, reduces traffic congestion, and improves health and wellness.  Cycling is also affordable: to make cycling available for everyone, The Working Center introduced an initiative called Community Access Bikeshare (CAB) in 2013. For just forty dollars a season, residents can gain access to the public bicycles located at stations around Kitchener and Waterloo. “Thanks to a grant from Libro Financial, CAB is able to increase the number of stations and bikes in the bikeshare, which will drive important collaborations that will improve cycling culture in the region” says CAB coordinator Suzie Taka.  “We have a lofty goal of making this place a cyclists’ utopia” Taka continues “and to make bikesharing and cycling a mode of transportation and tool for health and fun.”

CAB’s season lasts from mid April to mid November, and there is a three-hour time limit per ride. However, as there are no overcharge fees, you don’t have to worry if you lose track of time while browsing the Kitchener Market or sipping coffee in the Queen Street Commons café.

Excited about becoming involved in the cycling community? Upcoming events for May include Bike Safety Fun Day and the third annual Bike Fest 2015. Bike Safety Fun Day is hosted by the Stanley Park Community Association, and will take place from 10am to 1pm on May 30th, 2015. The event will run rain or shine and will include bike safety courses for children, basic bike inspections, entertainment by Erick Traplin, bouncy castles, mini golf, and food.  Bike Fest will take place at Kitchener City Hall from 11am to 3pmon May 31, 2015. The community festival will celebrate the power of the simple bicycle and cycling’s positive influence on our community. The event will feature free bicycle tune-ups, food trucks, free community bike rides, lots of prize giveaways, cycling skills training workshops, kids activities and more.

So grab your helmet, jump on your bike, and get out to explore Waterloo Region by bike!

 

SITE SEEING:
Community Access Bikeshare
BikeKitchener and BikeFest 2015
Stanley Park Community Association