While we were already aware of the many virtues of cycling, over the past two years of the pandemic, the bicycle has emerged as a formidable tool in transforming so many aspects of our environment. With its numerous benefits, cycling has become a practical solution for staying active, getting about, boosting morale and even (re)discovering Québec.
Riding the bicycle’s wave of popularity and taking advantage of an outstanding cycling network, notably the Route Verte, bicycle touring has helped relaunch the tourist industry and position itself as a favourite activity of many Quebecers, regardless of their age or skill level. Cycle tourists practice slow tourism, which involves staying longer in one place and spending more on local products and services. Responsible, sustainable tourism is trending and its spinoffs are benefitting the entire local economy. This trend is here to stay and will only increase in 2022, given the boom in e-bikes.
The increased number of cyclists is strongly linked to the creation of favourable environments. Quebecers have high expectations for cycling infrastructure development, which they expressed in the recent municipal election by choosing an administration that promotes cycling for travel as well as for recreation. The new municipal representatives will have to meet these expectations.
At the dawn of the 2022 provincial elections, it is essential that the provincial parties integrate a strong, clear vision for active transportation into their programs. We will be sure to remind them of the importance and advantages of investing in active, sustainable transportation for the health and wellbeing of the population, the economy and the environment.
This is excellent news for Vélo Québec and the cycling community. And as always, we will be there to support and encourage communities and organizations throughout Québec by offering them different tools and programs, such as the BICYCLE FRIENDLY movement, Cycliste averti and Toutes à vélo, to help them develop this cycling culture in their milieu.
Developing and promoting cycling for everyone is at the heart of Vélo Québec’s mission. For us, organizing and encouraging participation in public activities allows many people of all ages to discover the joys of cycling. We are pursuing our mission in 2022 by presenting the flagship events of the Go Bike Montréal Festival – the Tour de l’Île de Montréal, Tour la Nuit and Metropolitan Challenge – from May 29 to June 5, as well as the Petite Aventure, from July 1 to 3, and the Grand Tour, from August 6 to 12. Our offering also includes a wide range of bike trips throughout Québec and Canada, and even Europe. Needless to say, we will be closely monitoring the evolving health situation and adjusting our activities accordingly.
We are looking ahead to 2022 with optimism and the firm conviction that our mission is more important than ever in promoting the cycling cause and helping to build the cycling Québec of tomorrow. There is still much work to be done, but we will persevere.
Happy cycling in 2022!
President and CEO