Impressions of 2015 Tulips on Two Wheels


 

Every year, I think I should improve those banners. At least we didn't forget the stakes this time.
Every year, I think I should improve those banners. At least we didn’t forget the stakes this time.

This year was already Citizens for Safe Cycling’s fourth Tulips on Two Wheels event in Ottawa. Every year around the time the 1 million tulips are blooming, we are out at the canal near Canal Ritz with our bike tune up station (managed by Cycle Salvation) and our information booth. Unfortunately, we get the muddiest spot along the entire canal. It is a spot that is used for truck parking during winterlude and it totally ruined. That’s why you hardly see any tulips in the pictures (only across the street).

2nd generation Dutch mother visiting her daughters in Ottawa.
2nd generation Dutch mother visiting her daughters in Ottawa.

The event is a great opportunity to talk to cyclists who might not follow us on social media, don’t come to meetings and are usually not involved in any cycling advocacy. We tell them what we do and why we do it and encourage them to talk to their city councillor about issues that bother them. On the fly we explain sometimes a bit of the official decision making process in city hall (and whisper about the informal process), the HTA and planning processes.

Paul from Cycle Salvation explaining the basics of bike maintenance.
Paul from Cycle Salvation explaining the basics of bike maintenance.

We tend not to go to bike festivals, as we feel we mostly talk to the converted who know us already. Being out and about among the general public is a better way for us to reach out, to understand their concerns and hear how happy people are about the cycling improvements in the City. I would guess we helped about 50 cyclists in 2.5 hours. Modest as we are, we never asked for donations, but we gave it a try this year and we were pleasantly surprised that people did donate some money.

Here are some impressions from Saturday:

Educational conversations.
Educational conversations.
A happy cyclist in this XO Velo-esque photo.
A happy cyclist in this XO Velo-esque photo.
Our set up along the pathway near the Canal Ritz.
Our set up along the pathway near the Canal Ritz. Paul Clarke in the blue T-shirt is our Advocacy Group coordinator.
Felicity tightening a visitor from Brazil's  rental bike.
Felicity tightening a visitor from Brazil’s rental bike.
Instructions by Cycle Salvation
Instructions by Cycle Salvation.
Considering his shirt and the happy passenger, they must be Dutch....
Considering his shirt and the happy passenger, they must be Dutch….
A steady stream of visitors and passers by.
A steady stream of visitors and passersby.
A long time coming, but bike baskets are appearing in Ottawa.
A long time coming, but bike baskets are appearing in Ottawa.
There is Peter Sloan, former treasurer and now helping to deliver newsletters to bike stores.
There is Peter Sloan, former treasurer and now helping to deliver newsletters to bike stores.
It was a hot day, around 30 degrees Celsius (86F).
It was a hot day, around 30 degrees Celsius (86F).
Her innertube  exploded but the Cycle Salvation guys went to a store and bought her a new one.
Her inner tube exploded but the Cycle Salvation guys went to a store and bought her a new one.
The mandatory @alexthepuffin picture so he doesn't complain he is never in the picture.
The mandatory @alexthepuffin picture so he doesn’t complain he is never in the picture.
Don and Felicity discussing donations perhaps?
Don and Felicity discussing donations perhaps?
Thank you Rightbike for the cargo bike. It saved the day as we couldn't get the trailer hooked on to Don's bike.
Thank you Rightbike for the cargo bike. It saved the day as we couldn’t get the trailer hooked on to Don’s bike.

 

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