Viewpoint : June 2014

Pedalling mainly for the fun of it!

You just have to take a stroll around the city to realize that there are more and more cyclists on the road. In 2010, there were already 4 million cyclists in Quebec, including 3.1 million adults! What will this number be in 2015? One thing is certain; the popularity of biking continues to grow.

Too often we forget that the main reason we get on our bikes is for the fun of it. Biking in the city is pleasant, cool and chic! It gives you the freedom of getting from one place to another quickly, while maintaining contact with the people, the neighbourhood and the city. The huge success of BIXI is due primarily to the fact that it is one of the best ways to commute around the city.

Choosing to get on your bike is mainly about enjoyment. It has become natural way of life. But the shock we feel upon learning of the death of a cyclist on the road makes us doubly cautious. In actual fact, the bicycle remains the safest mode of transportation, as long as we conduct ourselves responsibly.

This brings to mind the importance of adapting our environments to make more room for bicycles. Even though some motorists see us as intruders, we are full-fledged users. We need more cycling infrastructures, as well as a fair share of the road. In addition, biking safely gives us the legitimacy to demand the same kind of behaviour from motorists and truckers.

Vélo Québec created events like Tour de l’Île de Montréal and Un Tour la Nuit in order to give people the experience of biking in the city in complete safety. For a few precious hours, the streets are car-free and Montreal belongs to cyclists. These bike tours have long been a wonderful way for people to enjoy the city and realize that it is possible to have fun while pedalling. The fact that over a million cyclists have taken part in these events since 1985 sends a clear message to the authorities that more accommodations must be made for urban cyclists.

This weekend, let’s pedal mainly for fun of it. Will you among those participating in Un Tour la Nuit on Friday, May 30 and the 30th edition of Tour de l’Île de Montréal on Sunday, June 1? I certainly will!

Suzanne Lareau
President and CEO