The W.R.E.N.C.H and Bike to the Future are hosting a community bike ride
and you are invited!
The satellite (or longer rides) are intended as a way for you to explore a
new area of the city and enjoy the Sunday car-free bike routes with other
cyclists. Chose a corner of the city and ride with a group to the Forks
where you will meet other riders and proceed on a short family orientated
ride to the Legislature for a celebration.
*Satellite Rides – 11:30 AM meet up, 12:00 PM depart*
Each satellite ride will have two ride leaders to guide the group to the
Forks. The rides starting at:
1. *Kildonan Park – *meet at the Pavilion
2. *Omand Park/Creek – *meet at the corner of Raglan Rd and Woseley Ave
3. *St. Boniface/St. Vital – *meet at the entrance to Windsor Park Golf
Course on Des Meurons
ending at: Oodena Celebration Circle, the Forks Market
*All Ages Family Ride – 12:00 PM*
12-1 pm : Bike decorating with Art City and bike repair stations. Meet up
at the Oodena Celebration Circle, the Forks Market
1 pm : All ages ride along the Assiniboine Cycle Track to the Manitoba
2pm : *Celebration* and gathering at the Legislature. Food, music, games
Feel free to bring a picnic blanket, music or a game to play. There will be
*Bike Valet <http://www.bicyclevaletwinnipeg.ca/>* at the Legislature
during our celebration.
*Parking at the Forks Market – *There is parking at the Forks. You can take
a look at this map<http://www.theforks.com/attractions/at-the-forks/the-forks-market>
find out more.
*Kidsfest <http://kidsfest.ca/>* will be happening at the Forks all weekend
so double up and go to the festival and join our ride.
*Volunteers needed and extra trailers.*
Contact us at: info(a)thewrench.ca or call 296-3389
The surprising rise of Minneapolis as a top bike town
By Jay Walljasper, photos by Zach Vanderkooy, Thu, 04/05/2012
People across the country were surprised last year when Bicycling Magazine
named Minneapolis America’s “#1 Bike City,” beating out Portland, Oregon,
which had claimed the honor for many years. Shock that a place in the
heartland could outperform cities on the coasts was matched by widespread
disbelief that cycling was even possible in a state famous for its
But this skepticism fades with a closer look at the facts. Nearly four
percent of Minneapolis residents bike to work according to census data.
That’s an increase of 33 percent since 2007, and 500 percent since 1980.
At least one-third of those commuters ride some days during the winter,
according to federally funded research conducted by Bike Walk Twin Cities.
Even on the coldest days about one-fifth of them are out on their bikes.
*Read the full article
My life as a cyclist I expected conservative attitudes when I returned to
Winnipeg, but driver disdain was a shocker
By: Amanda San Filippo
I recently came home to Winnipeg after a five-year hiatus.
I knew moving back to this city I'd be dealing with typical Winnipeg
conservatism. We've always been slow to evolve. Coupled with the fact the
typical North American city has been designed around the automobile, I was
prepared for a slight regression in cycling culture and, consequently, less
What I was not prepared for was the actual disdain so many drivers seem to
have for cyclists, to the point where my life has intentionally been put at
risk. For these reasons, I often pick and choose when to follow the rules.
Let me explain:
I arrive at a stop sign. I slow down, but don't come to a complete stop,
because I'll hold traffic up too much. A driver yells at me: "It's called a
stop sign for a reason!" as he gently rolls through the stop sign himself.
Wanting to avoid another outburst, I decide to come to a complete stop at
the next intersection. The driver behind me grows impatient and decides to
pull up beside me. I arrived at the intersection before the car approaching
the intersection to my left, but the car that pulled up beside me arrived
after. Since it is my turn to go, I proceed cautiously, only to have the
driver to my left flip me off, because he had to stop in the middle of the
intersection to let me go.
This doubling-up (bike and car in the same lane) is especially common when
making left turns. I can't clear an intersection as quickly as a car. If I
am not commanding my lane, drivers will often drive up beside me to try to
clear the intersection before me. This can be dangerous because I have to
get from the left curb on one side of the intersection to the right curb on
the other. If the car doubles up, and there are other cars behind it, I
become sandwiched between the vehicles that should have been behind me and
the oncoming traffic.
But when I do try to command my lane, I am often met with anger. I am
reminded of one incident when a young woman in an SUV started yelling.
Rarely can I make out a person's words when they are in their car.
Naturally, I turned to make sure I was not in any danger. Her turn signal
appeared just as I looked behind me. I didn't notice it right away. This
infuriated her even more, at which point she stepped on the gas and
squealed her tires, nearly knocking me off my bike.
I wish I could say these were isolated incidents. They are not. I am met
with this type of impatience, belligerence and often danger, every day.
I'll often cycle on the sidewalks, risking a heftier fine than the average
speeding ticket. I'm left wondering if this city really does care more
about the almighty dollar than the safety of its citizens.
It's not all bad, though. If cycling were really so bad, I wouldn't do it.
I've designed some coping mechanisms. For one, I couple an obnoxiously
large helmet with an airheaded smile. People seem less inclined to yell at
you if they think you're missing a few screws. I am also overly courteous
to drivers who are respectful of me, even when they are visibly irritated.
I often wave and thank them for their patience. Generally, they smile back.
You'd be surprised how much a smile from a stranger can make a person
forget their annoyance.
I try to de-escalate where I can. Last month, I was biking down River
Avenue. The parked cars were lined up leading up to Osborne Street. If I
stayed in the curb lane, I risked having someone open their door in my
face. This happens more often than one would think. So, I biked in the next
lane. On this particular day, a car started honking while approaching me
from behind. This is particularly dangerous, as the sudden sound of a horn
startles a cyclist, causing them to lose balance or instinctively swerve
into another lane. My partner, who was cycling in front of me, approached
the driver at a red light, and asked why he had honked at me. The driver
quickly became defensive and told us to meet him in the parking lot up
ahead. He came out of his car, fists clenched, threw his hat to the ground
and said: "What's your problem? You looked pretty far out in your lane
there. You wanna fight, buddy?" This isn't the first time a driver has
threatened to fight us, simply for asking them why they were yelling. My
partner informed him we weren't looking to fight. We explained to him we
were simply trying to avoid opening car doors. He looked at us
begrudgingly, fists still clenched, and huffed: "I'm just really having a
bad day. I'm sorry I took it out on you," and stomped off. I thought,
"Well, it's a start."
*Amanda San Filippo is the co-ordinator for Bicycle Valet Winnipeg, and is
such an avid cyclist, she decided to sell her car.*
Confessions of a Winnipeg sidewalk cyclist
By: Sarah Whiteford
I am a criminal, and the offence of cycling on the sidewalk in Winnipeg
could land me a fine of $110. But the alternative of cycling along the very
busy and far-too-narrow thoroughfare of St. Mary's Road during my daily
commute seems far more risky.
Most of the 12-kilometre route lacks any form of cycling-friendly
infrastructure, with no dedicated paths or bike lanes and only a few short
sections of diamond lanes.
Several times I have attempted cycling on the road, jostling for position
among the multitude of cars during the morning and evening rush hours.
While the aggressive and belligerent drivers are no picnic, much more
frightening are those drivers who fail to notice you are there.
Manitoba Healthy Living states on its website that, on average, 150
cyclists are hospitalized or killed every year in the province.
This week in Winnipeg, cyclist Violet Nelson fell victim to that statistic
when her bicycle collided with a vehicle, throwing her into the path of a
While the details of that accident are not known, what has been
demonstrated by research is cycling safety is correlated with having the
transportation infrastructure for cycling.
Anne Harris, an epidemiologist and investigator with the Bicyclists'
Injuries and the Cycling Environment Study at the University of British
Columbia, states "More and more, we're seeing evidence that dedicated
cycling infrastructure on roads, separated from motor vehicles, protects
cyclists from injuries."
In contrast to dedicated cycling lanes or tracks, cycling on the sidewalk
does pose a high risk for injury.
Vehicles at intersections frequently do not look for fast-moving traffic on
Sidewalks are multi-purpose trails and may be used by a variety of persons,
including pedestrians, in-line skaters and those using motorized scooters.
In order to minimize the risk to others and myself during my commute, I
leave very early in the morning when the sidewalks are relatively free from
My bicycle is outfitted with many forms of safety equipment, including a
bell, front and rear lights and additional reflective tape.
I generally go much slower on the sidewalks, moving onto the grass when
passing pedestrians and reducing my speed as I approach each intersection.
While occasionally a pedestrian will object to my presence on the sidewalk,
most give me a wave or wish me a good day as I swerve past.
But when I do come across one of my fellow cyclists who is braving the
morning commute on the road, I hang my head in shame, feeling as though I
am somehow letting down the side.
The City of Winnipeg has announced that in July it will begin construction
of a dedicated cycling lane along Pembina Highway.
And while the city also has many existing cycling paths along major
arteries, such as Bishop Grandin Boulevard, the infrastructure for the many
cyclists who commute downtown each day is still woefully lacking.
So, until this infrastructure improves, I am afraid I will likely continue
my life of crime by cycling on the sidewalk.
*Sarah Whiteford is a policy manager for the provincial government.*
Hi - please help us spread the word on the Sun Trek event by forwarding
it onto your networks, adding it to your calendar of events or
Join Winnipeg in motion and our many community partners for the 1st
annual Sun Trek Event - Free summer fun for all ages!
Pick up your passport and take part in any of the following activities:
* Floor Shuffleboard
* Horse Shoes
* Lawn Bowling
* Sand Volleyball
* Slack Lining
* Urban Poling
* Children's Games and much more!
Sunday, June 10, 2012
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Harbour View Golf and Recreation Complex - 1867 Springfield Road
For additional information - visit www.winnipeginmotion.ca
<http://www.winnipeginmotion.ca/> or call 204-940-1676
in motion Coordinator
2nd floor - 490 Hargrave Street
Telephone 204 940-1676
Cell 204 232-7546
Sign up to receive updates from Winnipeg in motion @
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE HAVE RECENTLY MOVED (MAY 5, 2012) - our mailing
address and fax number has changed.
This email and/or any documents in this transmission is intended for the
addressee(s) only and may contain legally privileged or confidential information. Any unauthorized use, disclosure, distribution, copying or dissemination is strictly prohibited. If you receive this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately and return the original.
Ce courriel et tout document dans cette transmission est destiné à la personne ou aux personnes à qui il est adressé. Il peut contenir des informations privilégiées ou confidentielles. Toute utilisation, divulgation, distribution, copie, ou diffusion non autorisée est strictement défendue. Si vous n'êtes pas le destinataire de ce message, veuillez en informer l'expéditeur immédiatement et lui remettre l'original.
[From Bike to the Future's cycling news page at
May 24, 2012
*Construction set to begin in July*
One of Winnipeg's busiest streets, Pembina Highway, is about to get a
The City of Winnipeg will begin construction in July of dedicated cycling
lanes northbound and southbound on Pembina between Chevrier Boulevard and
"They're going to narrow the median, move the vehicles over, and so we'll
have the sidewalk, we'll have a bike lane, and then we'll have the same
number of lanes for traffic," Janice Lukes of the Winnipeg Trails
Association told CBC News Thursday.
"There won't be any reduction in traffic, no reduction in parking," she
Lukes said she's not sure when construction of the lanes will be completed,
but she said it's a priority given the new Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium
that is currently being built at the University of Manitoba.
The city is also looking at ways to expand the Pembina Highway underpass to
accommodate cyclists as well as add an extra lane of vehicular traffic.
Audio interview of Janice Lukes by CBC Radio One's Larry Updike on *Up To
Speed* -- 5:14<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/05/24/mb-pembina-highway-…>
Cyclist killed on Higgins Avenue was passionate mentor, volunteer
By: Mary Agnes Welch
A longtime North End volunteer who died Wednesday in a bike accident was an
expert cyclist who always followed safety rules.
Violet Nelson taught dozens of neighbourhood girls proper road safety and
organized a 15-kilometre bike-a-thon when she ran the North End's
aboriginal Girl Guides program.
"She biked for transportation. She didn't like the idea of driving a
vehicle," said her mother, also named Violet Nelson. "She didn't like the
At the time of the accident, the mother of two was cycling the few blocks
from her work as the finance manager of a cutting-edge art gallery to the
Native Women's Transition Centre, where she planned to join two of the
province's most powerful politicians for a news conference.
Nelson, who chaired the NWTC's volunteer board, worked for years on a new
halfway house for former female inmates. Premier Greg Selinger and St.
Boniface MP Shelly Glover were on hand Wednesday to open the 15-unit lodge
meant to help offenders get back on their feet and reunite with their
"She was always late," her mom said with a small laugh. "But I knew
something was wrong when she didn't show up. That was a very important
project to her."
In a short interview, Lucille Bruce, executive director of the NWTC, said
staff was in shock over Nelson's death.
Nelson was cycling westbound on Higgins, just past Main Street, when she
was in collision with a westbound vehicle in the curb lane. The collision
threw her under the wheels of a semi-trailer, also travelling westbound, in
the median lane. The driver of the semi wasn’t aware that he had run over
Nelson and continued on. He was later contacted by police.
Nelson, known as Vie to all her friends, leaves behind two young children
-- an 11-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son.
"Her life revolved around them," her mother said.
She was very fit and sporty and had a wall full of trophies, her mom added.
She suffered from dyslexia and dropped out of school a few credits into her
Grade 9 year. But she was a whiz with numbers and later taught herself all
kinds of administrative skills. Most recently, she was the finance manager
at the Graffiti Gallery on Higgins Avenue.
Nelson was an avid volunteer from the time she was in grade school at
Faraday School in the North End, where she also routinely stuck up for her
brother when he got picked on. As a teen, she spent nine months as a
Katimavik youth volunteer in Quebec. Later, when she was on staff at the
Indian and Metis Friendship Centre, she founded the aboriginal Girl Guides,
recruiting and training the leaders and designing the curriculum for a
program that quickly spread into several low-income neighbourhoods. It was
through the Guides that she offered bike riding and safety lessons, and
organized the bike-a-thon.
"She was a very passionate woman. She'd come into the room and she'd light
up the room," her mom said. "She knew how to get people doing things."
A wake is planned for Wednesday at Thunderbird House, likely beginning at 6
p.m. A formal service will follow Thursday at 11 a.m. at Thunderbird House.
Wear those bike helmets, kids NDP introduces law making headgear mandatory
for those under 18
By: Larry Kusch
After refusing for years to mandate the use of bicycle helmets, the
Manitoba NDP relented with legislation that will require cyclists under the
age of 18 to don protective headgear.
Healthy Living Minister Jim Rondeau, who introduced the legislation on
Wednesday, said the government's approach was to rely first on public
education and programs that provided free or inexpensive helmets to
preschool and school-age children. Those programs saw 80,000 helmets
distributed to kids over the past half-dozen years, he said.
Introducing a bike-helmet law was "the next logical step," Rondeau said
"The amendments introduced today are a critical step forward in protecting
our children and young cyclists and preventing serious injuries and
fatalities," Rondeau said.
Anke Sinclair, a mother of two boys, Mehru, 9, and Yannick, 3, said her
children use helmets.
"I think it's a safety issue. I think if they do fall -- whatever the cause
-- I think it will protect their heads," she said.
Sinclair said she thinks there needs to be more education for motorists
"Me, as a cyclist, I see that some motorists don't really know what to do
with me," said Sinclair.
She said she's spoken to other people who want to ride their bikes more,
but "do not feel safe."
Sinclair also said it's very important to improve bike lanes in the city.
Rondeau told reporters he doesn't expect police will be handing out many
tickets once the bill is passed and proclaimed. He did not indicate when
the new law would take effect.
"We're not going to have a lot of cops chasing kids -- ever," Rondeau said,
noting that in jurisdictions with similar legislation "very, very few
tickets are given out."
What the government is counting on, he said, is once a law is in effect,
folks will understand it and obey it. "The major goal is to get people to
know the law."
Manitoba is one of only four provinces without some kind of bicycle-helmet
law. Several jurisdictions, such as Alberta and Ontario, have had laws in
place for a decade or more, while four provinces require all cyclists wear
In provinces where child bicycle-helmet use is mandatory, compliance rates
are 80 per cent or more. The usage rate in Manitoba sits at 42 per cent
The Manitoba Liberals have beat the drum for a bike-helmet law since 2006,
but every time one of its members introduced a private member's bill
touting a bike law, it was shot down by the ruling NDP. Liberal Leader Jon
Gerrard said he was "very pleased that the government at last has listened"
to his party and introduced the legislation. But he said it should have
applied to adults as well as children.
A Winnipeg pediatric neurosurgeon agreed. "There's nothing more protective
about an adult's skull and brain versus a 17-year-old's. When your head
hits the concrete... the impact is the same," Dr. Patrick McDonald told The
Rondeau didn't rule out expanding the helmet law to cover adults, but he
said for now the government was content to apply it only to kids. He said
children are less-experienced riders and prone to "the most risky
behaviours" on a bicycle. "We'll monitor (the legislation) to see if we
have to go further in the next little while."
Charles Weaver, a spokesman for the Winnipeg cycling group Bike to the
Future, said he is disappointed the government isn't doing more to protect
cyclists. He noted his organization is split on whether bike-helmet use
should be legislated.
The province should be doing more to promote cycling as a healthy form of
transportation and to educate motorists and cyclists on road safety, he
said. Right now, many people are discouraged from riding their bikes
because of safety fears.
"We'd much rather they (the government) spent an effort on making cycling
safer rather than protecting us from our own crashes," Weaver said.
In some countries, such as Holland and Denmark, bike usage is much higher
and injury rates are lower because of better laws, bike infrastructure and
education, he said.
"In this legislation, government is telling Manitobans: 'Our roads are
dangerous for cyclists, so wear a helmet to protect yourself.' This is a
Band-Aid solution," Weaver said.
Will Belford, a mechanic/owner at Natural Cycle on Albert Street, said
there are "many different aspects" of safety on the road.
"As it stands right now, for Winnipeggers, it is still dangerous," he said.
"Given the complexity of the situation, helmets for minors... would not be
a mistake in my mind. Children are certainly at most risk because they have
the least experience riding on roads, and that's really where most of the
-- with files from Gabrielle Giroday
*Cycling injuries (2005-2009)*
An average of 165 cycling-related injuries requiring hospitalization
occurred each year in Manitoba between 2005 and 2009, the most recent
period for which statistics are available. Forty-five per cent of these
injuries involved children.
An average of 22 people per year were hospitalized for cycling-related head
injuries during that time. About half were children.
13 people, including one child, died as a result of cycling mishaps between
2005 and 2009.
-- source: Province of Manitoba
All Manitobans under 18 years of age would be required to wear a proper
helmet when riding a bicycle.
Exemptions would be made on religious grounds. Kids riding on private
property would also be exempt.
Children under age 14 would not be prosecuted for failing to wear a helmet,
but their parents would face fines of up to $50.
Provision would be made for alternatives to fines for a first offence;
those alternative penalties are still to be decided.
Kids riding as passengers on a bike or being towed by a bicycle would also
be required to wear a helmet.
*Helmet safety tips*
Buy a helmet that is approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
for use while riding a bicycle.
Replace a helmet that's got a crack in it, since it might not offer maximum
Ensure the helmet fits properly and is adjusted regularly.
-- source: Safety Services Manitoba (formerly Manitoba Safety Council)