Large Turnout for First Fisher Heights Bike Day


Wow, was that ever a fun afternoon.

Bike tune ups are always popular. Here is Shane educating a cyclist.

Bike tune ups are always popular. Here is Shane educating a cyclist on tire pressure.

The whole week we had been watching the weather at Fisher Heights. The entire week, the weather forecasters predicted a gray and rainy Saturday. Until it was Saturday: wall to wall blue sky in the morning, clouds in the afternoon, but sun all day.

Safer Roads Ottawa shows gelatin brains and teaches proper helmet fitting.

Safer Roads Ottawa shows yellow gelatin brains and teaches proper helmet fitting.

Fisher Heights and Area Community Association Bob McCaw had suggested a bike afternoon already months ago. The association wanted to have a spring event and asked if something like that would be feasible. We invited the City Wide Sports department staff, who design a few mini road situations with a “car”, including an open door at the driver’s side, a stop sign, a right turn etc. Safer Roads Ottawa was available with safety instructions, helmet fitting and an 3D ‘sample’ of a brain, made of gelatin. I had seen that thing before, that wobbly dessert looking, but never realised someone actually makes it every time they go to an event. I had assumed it was some rubber thing.

There were line ups for the entire two hours.

There were line ups for the entire two hours.

Two bike mechanics (the illusive Shane from RightBike and a volunteer from Fisher Heights) worked two hours (and longer actually) non stop to do small bike tune ups, such as adjusting gears, brakes etc. A surprising number of people don’t know that one should pump up the tires once in a while…

A bike too after all. Which boy doesn't want to sit on a motor bike....

A bike too after all. Which boy doesn’t want to sit on a motor bike….

Just before 3, a small group of kids with 4 adults took off for a ride around the neighbourhood. A three year old buy cycled the entire 4 km route on his tiny bike with training wheels with his dad running beside him. Although we suggested he might want to turn back, he insisted he wanted to complete the tour. One little girl fell because she took the corner to short and I took her in my bakfiets, which was not only appreciated by her, but drivers thought it was the cutest thing too.

Some people were told that that chain really was too rusty and that it was time to replace it.

Some people were told that that chain really was too rusty and that it was time to replace it.

Parents discovering the play structure again..

Parents discovering the play structure again..

I was crafty and made a map of Fisher Heights with some cycling distances to several places such as grocery stores and the library. Even to the Association's president's surprise, Mooney's Bay beach is only 3 km from our community centre.

I was crafty and made a map of Fisher Heights with some cycling distances to several places such as grocery stores and the library. Even to the Association’s president’s surprise, Mooney’s Bay beach is only 3 km from our community centre.

Yes, everyone can wear a helmet.

Yes, everyone can wear a helmet.

Alex with his wife on a cargo bike. Will he campaign in it too?

Alex with his wife on a cargo bike. Will he campaign in it too?

Is this a future bike mechanic?

Is this a future bike mechanic?

The bike tour through the neighbourhood of Fisher Heights.

The bike tour through the neighbourhood of Fisher Heights.

Time for the best decorated bike. I think everyone walked away with a prize in the end.

Time for the best decorated bike. I think everyone walked away with a prize in the end.

After she fell, I took her in my cargo bike (bakfiets in Dutch) . Drivers were rubber necking, they'd never seen such a thing. Obviously a high cuteness factor too.

After she fell, I took her in my cargo bike (bakfiets in Dutch) . Drivers were rubber necking, they’d never seen such a thing. Obviously a high cuteness factor too.

People had a chance to try several cargo bikes in the park. The two wheeld Bulitt from Denmark and the three wheeled Babboe from the Netherlands.

People had a chance to try several cargo bikes in the park. The two wheeled Bulitt from Denmark and the three wheeled Babboe from the Netherlands.

We think we counted about 60 bikes and even more people. Lots of people I had never met before and I discovered hte Murdoch Mysteries are partly written in my own street! The city staff mentioned they were very pleased with the numbers and thought it was a great success. So did we.

I think it was an eye opener for all of us that there was so much more interest than we had expected. Increased interest in cycling is a good reason to keep working on finishing the Nepean trail.

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