THE PRESS ROOM - for immediate release

A grand 25th Tour de l’Île de Montréal!

Altogether now: Viva Vélo !

>> par Vélo Québec Événements 
Montreal, Sunday, June 7, 2009 — The 2009 Montréal Bike Fest just wrapped up in Jeanne-Mance Park, with the arrival at 5 p.m. of the last cyclists to complete the route. The 25th annual Tour de l’Île de Montréal attracted some 35,000 cyclists, all of whom spent a full day in the sun celebrating cycling.

This special anniversary edition of the Tour de l’Île met—and exceeded—all expectations, much to the delight of the participating cyclists! This morning, at 9:25 a.m., in the presence of the mayor of Montreal, Cirque du Soleil orchestrated a most unique send-off—featuring very boisterous toreadors!—for this big annual parade of cyclists. After gathering at the foot of Mount Royal, thousands of cyclists set out to explore a brand-new route criss-crossing 11 boroughs and municipalities on the western part of the island. And the day ended on a very high note in Jeanne-Mance Park, where Daniel Bélanger and his band put on a very memorable closing show. So the Montreal Bike Fest clearly kicked off both the cycling and festival seasons in the grandest possible style!

Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay pays tribute to the Tour de l’Île de Montréal

“2009 is the 25th anniversary of the Tour de l’Île de Montréal. For a quarter of a century now, thousands of citizens have been traversing our city streets by bicycle during this mass festive event, thus helping to promote active, environmentally friendly means of transportation. To mark this major milestone, the entire riverside bikeway network, a key component of the Montreal Transport Plan, will be marked with the name Circuit cyclable du Tour-de-l’Île-de-Montréal (Tour de l’Île de Montréal bicycle route),” announced mayor Tremblay.

“With a total of 533 km of bike paths, BIXI and the Bicycles in the Metro program, not to mention the brand-new Tour de l’Île de Montréal bicycle route, there can be no doubt that Montreal is a bicycle city!” added Mayor Tremblay.

“This new route not only has significant potential in terms of bicycle tourism for Montreal, it is also a very fitting reference to the origins of the Tour de l’Île de Montréal, which, as early as its very first year, was conceived as a means of inaugurating the bike paths running along the shores of the eastern part of the island of Montreal,” said Joëlle Sévigny, executive director of Vélo Québec Événements. “On the occasion of the 25th Tour de l’Île, it’s a great honour for Vélo Québec to be given an opportunity to leave an indelible mark on Montreal!”

The 2009 Montreal Bike Fest: key facts and figures

•    A total of 73,000 people took part in the various Fest events.
•    Company teams were highly visible throughout the Montreal Bike Fest, particularly during the Tour de l’Île: Cirque du Soleil set a record by registering 500 employees, while the 325 Concordia employees who took part earned the university second place.
•    A group of 150 Americans cycled all the way from Vermont to take part in the Tour de l’Île de Montréal.
•    3,700 volunteers kept the festivities rolling all week long.

Highlights of the inspiring 25th-anniversary edition of the Tour de l’Île de Montréal!

•    Over the past 25 years, over a million cyclists and 100,000 volunteers have been at the very heart of the festivities.
•    Statement from Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade Raymond Bachand saluting the 25-year history of the event (National Assembly, June 5);
•    La Presse (Newspaper) named the Tour de l’Île de Montréal volunteers its “people of the week”;
•    Le Lait (Sponsor (milk)) and Tour de l’Île de Montréal celebrated 25 years of collaboration—a one-of-a-kind partnership in Quebec;
•    The Great Bike Tour exhibition at the Château Ramezay Museum paid tribute to the Tour de l’Île de Montréal (May 5 – September 7)
•    Twinning of the Tour de l’Île de Montréal and the New York Five Boro Bike Tour (5BBT);
•    The Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec, with the collaboration of Vélo Québec Événements, brought bicycle bliss to 25 young people at Dr. Gilles Julien’s social pediatrics centre Assistance d’enfants en difficulté (AED) by providing each of them with a bike and inviting them to take part in the Tour de l’Île de Montréal.

About the Montreal Bike Fest
Presented by the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec, in collaboration with the Jean Coutu Group, the Montreal Bike Fest is organized by Vélo Québec Événements, a division of Vélo Québec. This full week of cycling activities is also made possible thanks to the collaboration of the Ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions, de Tourisme Québec and Ville de Montréal. Operation Bike-to-Work runs throughout the year, thanks to the support of the Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable (FAQDD) and its financial partner, the Government of Québec.

Putting Quebecers on bikes since 1967

At Vélo Québec, we’ve been hopping on our bicycles for quite some time now! Almost 40 years! A not-for-profit organization, we promote bicycle use and active transportation as means of enhancing the environment as well as the health and well-being of the general public.

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