Viewpoint : October 2019

Biking for the climate!

There are so many good reasons to travel by bike. Biking is not only efficient, enjoyable, economical and environmentally friendly, it also promotes physical fitness and emits no greenhouse gases. In short, it is good for us and good for the planet! Every bike trip is a benefit for society, according to researchers at the INRS Environmental Equity Laboratory in a segment recently aired on the show Découverte1. The fact that biking has so many qualities makes me wonder why our decision-makers aren’t more committed to devoting the necessary funds to this valuable activity. Québec has definitely invested regularly in cycling infrastructures over the past thirty-five years, but these investments still represent less than 1% of the funds injected into the construction or renovation of our major transportation infrastructures. And this opinion is shared by many more people than you may think. Recently, on a private open line radio show – featuring a succession of car and F-150 commercials – listeners were being asked if they would consider putting away their car and adopting the bicycle as a mode of transportation. The times are definitely changing.  According to the press, public opinion and more and more decision-makers, the popularity of biking has mushroomed over the past ten years.
 
The popularity of biking and its undeniable contribution to sustainable mobility create a favourable context for taking biking to the next level and ensuring more equitable sharing of public space and investments. But it takes political will to change our ways of doing things and preserve the health of the planet. This will be the focus of the General Climate Strike in which Vélo Québec will be participating on September 27. On this day, I urge you to use your bike to get around and thereby demonstrate that biking is an important part of the fight against climate change. The members of our team will walk for the climate and I invite you to do the same, whether in Montréal or any other city hosting a climate walk. The message must be spread far and wide. And if you have not yet adopted the bicycle for your daily travels, try it on September 27 in support of the planet, and who knows? This environmentally friendly mode of travel may well become a new habit!
 
On September 27, come out and ride and walk for our planet.
 
Suzanne Lareau
President and CEO

1 : A must-see - the segment Le vélo équitable aired on the show Découverte, SRC Télé, September 8, 2019