Bruce Timmermans cycling awards
Who was Bruce Timmermans?
Bruce Timmermans was a long-time cycling educator and advocate , an active member of the Ottawa Bicycle Club and a founding member of Citizens for Safe Cycling. Bruce worked tirelessly to promote cycling and safety for cyclists. His legacy lives on through the awards program created by the City of Ottawa to recognize individuals and organizations committed to cycling in our community.
Bruce Timmermans Cycling Awards
The City of Ottawa presents two annual awards to recognize outstanding contributions in Ottawa’s cycling community. See a list of past winners.
The Bruce Timmermans Cycling Award for an individual honours one exemplary citizen of the City of Ottawa each year who proactively and publicly promotes the benefits and virtues of cycling as a principal mode of transportation. This may include, but is not limited to, leading by example, advocating for cycling and supportive facilities, teaching cycling skills, and encouraging others to start cycling.
The Bruce Timmermans Cycling Award for an organization honours the exemplary contributions or investments of one business, organization, government or other entity each year that promotes the benefits and virtues of cycling as a principal mode of transportation. This may include, but is not limited to leading by example, advocating for or providing cycling and supportive facilities, and encouraging employees or clients to start cycling.
Annual Award – Individual
2022 Individual Award: Dr. Eugenie Waters
Dr. Eugenie Waters is a fierce advocate for cycling for transportation and leads by example, cycling year-round to her Family Medicine practice at the Carson Clinic and to her work as a General Practitioner in Oncology at The Ottawa Hospital.
She has shared her love (and tips) for winter biking in a winter cycling guide published by the Hospital, and by interviewing a fellow winter bike user for an article in the Manor Park Chronicle.
Eugenie also advocates for biking as a component of climate action, including through her work organizing MD Moms 4 Healthy Recovery.
She has spoken at Ottawa council and committee meetings in support of cycling, sustainable transportation, and climate action, and she is active in promoting the benefits of cycling on social media.
2019/2020 Individual Award: Jeffrey Tindall
Jeffrey is an avid biker who commutes from Stittsville to Dow’s Lake for work as many days of the year as he can. In 2019, he biked over 5000 km.
He leads and promotes Let’s Bike Stittsville, an organization that advocates for cycling rights and safety, and promotes the benefits of cycling. This group has organized a few local rides, making good use of the Trans-Canada Trail that runs through Stittsville.
Jeffrey’s garage is unofficially the "Stittsville Bike Shop". He takes time to promote his tips on bike maintenance, such as how to clean your chains and put your own toolkit together. Jeffrey also promotes cycling routes around Stittsville while always promoting fun and positivity.
2018 Individual Award: Denise Inglis
Denise Inglis delivers training for bike safety throughout the city of Ottawa. Every summer since 2012 she has worked through Velo-Vanier's bike loan program to promote safe cycling in Vanier. She leads young people on bike excursions and has earned their gratitude not only for her guiding abilities, but also for fixing mechanical problems during cycling outings.
Denise engages participants and increases their confidence by making learning about road safety fun and challenging.
Denise’s joy in cycling is infectious. Her many contributions to cycling in Ottawa include:
- Setting up bike rodeos for hundreds of children in the community, travelling by bike carrying supplies in her bike trailer whenever possible
- Offering “learn to bike” sessions for newcomers and for women
- Donating bikes to the Vanier bike loan program
- Finding a donor to support a program extension of Velo-Vanier into the fall
- Connecting people involved in all aspects of biking in Ottawa, seemingly without effort
- Delivering Meals on Wheels by bike, using her bike trailer
- Encouraging residents to be responsible cyclists
So many children in community summer camp programs have learned from her. Young volunteers specifically ask for her to help run their bike rodeos at summer camp programs.
2017 Individual Award Recipient: Brian Smith
Brian Smith has been cycling in the National Capital Region for many years. Since the summer of 2012, he has been writing a cycling blog (ottawavelooutaouais.com).
While documenting his rides across town and into the smaller villages surrounding Ottawa and Gatineau, he realised our city has many unknown shortcuts and routes that would benefit cyclists who are less familiar with safe cycling routes in the city.
He came up with the idea to give travel advice through his blog posts.He asks residents for a destination they would like to bike to, then offers to scout out a safe route, which he describes on his blog with turn-by-turn directions and photographs of key landmarks.
In addition to offering a useful service to other cyclists, his blogs feature architectural and historical areas of interest and guide residents on bike tours along historic sites, thereby promoting the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Brian’s tours might introduce cyclists to historical figures such as architect James Strutt or business person Thomas Ahearn. Cyclists have been able to discover the Nepean Bell and even Ottawa’s collection of free roadside libraries.
Beside his blog, now in its 6th year, Brian also designed a trailer for the Ottawa Tool Library, allowing the organisation to attend events to promote the tool library. The Tool Library allows people to borrow hand tools, power tools, garden tools and kitchen tools. This ‘booth on wheels’ is a welcome addition for outreach by the Tool Library and shows Brian’s dedication to voluntary activities in the community.
Brian encourages cycling in a very innovative way by nudging people to consider a bicycle to move around as well as by tickling people’s interest in our culture and history and offering up the enjoyable idea of exploring it on a bicycle.
2016 Individual Award Recipient: Gareth Davies
Gareth came to Ottawa from Toronto and brought with him a level of energy and enthusiasm that can only be described as “all Canadian”. He loves his newly adopted city as much as his country and it shows in everything he does.
Gareth is a community builder. Taking on the role of President of Citizens for Safe Cycling in 2015, he has made advocacy something that is not only positive but a truly pleasant experience. He works on bringing people together to collaborate on strengths and make cycling better for all. It is not always easy to discuss topics of safety and accessibility as people have very strong opinions, concerns, and ideas. Gareth keeps the conversation positive. He looks at potential solutions, and builds bridges between partners to ensure many voices are heard before a recommendation is made.
Whether you are a leisure rider who needs a safer route to the library, or a commuter who needs respect as a vehicle on the road, Gareth will listen, smile, and help. He is truly passionate about cycling and works tirelessly on promoting cycling, advocating for safe and efficient bike infrastructure and has become the voice of cyclists in Ottawa.
Gareth is a strong supporter of Causeway, Safer Roads Ottawa, EnviroCentre, the Parkdale Food Centre and many other community and non-profit groups in Ottawa. He truly is an outstanding citizen not just for his bike advocacy work, but in making Ottawa a more sustainable, vibrant place to live. We all got lucky when he decided to make Ottawa his home!
2015 Annual Award Winner - Individual - Paul Clarke
Recognized with the individual award, Paul Clarke leads the Advocacy Working Group of Citizens for Safe Cycling in Ottawa and plays a co-ordinating role between cyclists, City and NCC staff, and the private sector. With that group, Paul has provided valuable insight to the City and developers on more than 30 projects, including street designs for O'Connor Street, Main Street, Churchill Avenue and Laurier Avenue. He has also consulted on the O-Train pathway, construction of light rail transit, the Trillium Line extension, and the widening of the Airport Parkway. By working with City Council and City staff, Paul continues to illustrate the effectiveness of being engaged, and of encouraging other cyclists to do the same.
2014 Annual Award Winner - Individual - Monna-Leigh McElveny
Monna-Leigh McElveny has been recognized with the 2014 Bruce Timmermans Award for her work promoting safe cycling in the community and in particular with the Kanata Nepean Bicycle Club.
Recognized with the individual award, Monna-Leigh McElveny has been the safety and training director for the Kanata Nepean Bicycle Club for more than five years. During that period she has produced a safety manual for the club and conducts a series of safety courses for club members every year at no charge.
Participants have consistently praised her instruction and the value of these multi-day courses. Monna-Leigh believes that the training leads to safer and more confident cyclists. She is also the Director of Safety for the Multiple Sclerosis Ride and conducts training sessions for the ride's tour leaders.
2013 Annual Award Winner – Individual – Sarah Partridge
Sarah Partridge was the founder and coordinator of the Vanier Cycles sub-committee of the Vanier Community Association and was recognized for her community involvement towards making Vanier a safer and more accessible area for cyclists. However, Sarah's community involvement has not been limited to this sub-committee; Sarah regularly collaborated with the Vanier BIA, Safer Roads Ottawa Program, several non-profits in the area, and neighbouring community associations.
Sarah has advocated for more bike lanes in Vanier due to its urban geography and proximity to the downtown area and believes they are essential to reducing cyclist involved collisions along arterial roadways. She also organized the first Vanier Vélo Fest which included a bike rodeo, BBQ, free bike maintenance, and free cycling materials to promote cycling in the area.
2012 Annual Award Winner – Individual – Spencer Sloan
Spencer Sloan has been a long time bike commuter and strong advocate for cycling in his workplace at Infrastructure Canada. As the founder of the cycling newsletter in his workplace, Spencer not only advocated to his coworkers in his relatively small department, but has also included management and employees from other federal branches, and his workplaces' landlord and building managers.
Spencer has been known to lead bike maintenance clinics in front of his workplace for colleagues and passersby alike and usually has coordinated these clinics with the City's Bike to Work Program. After hours, Spencer also enjoyed organizing group rides with his coworkers while sharing cycling safety and maintenance tips. Spencer has studied urban planning and has espoused opinions regarding cycling in Ottawa suggesting that more time and dedication be spent on closing the gaps between existing cycling facilities across the City.
Spencer has been riding his bike from a young age and it has carried on into his teenage and adult life (good habits die hard). He enjoys the independent, low cost, and traffic free aspects of the cycling lifestyle and often takes the scenic route!
2011 Annual Award - Individual - Hans Moor
Hans Moor has been a strong leader and champion of the cycling movement in Ottawa – inspiring new cyclists and building consensus amongst cycling advocacy groups.
Since arriving from his native Netherlands in 1999, Hans has become a prominent advocate and proponent for cycling in Ottawa – now serving in his second term as president of the Citizens for Safe Cycling.
His cycling expertise combined with his laid-back and engaging demeanour has made him a popular spokesperson in lectures, seminars and consultations – including the Canadian Automobile Association and Members of Parliament.
In addition, Hans has been a reliable and invaluable resource for input on many City of Ottawa policies and projects that involve cycling issues– including the pilot project of the segregated cycling lanes on Laurier Avenue.
In his relatively short time in Ottawa, Hans Moor has made an intangible impression and impact on the community. He continues to support existing cyclists and engaging other residents to discover the benefits of recreation and commuting cycling.
2010 Annual Award - Individual - Kathleen Wilker
Kathleen Wilker is a founder of a new cycling advocacy group in Ottawa called Hintonburg Cycling Champions. As co-chair of this group, she delivered a significant presentation to the City’s Transportation Committee in support of the City’s segregated bike lane pilot project.
She has also been spearheading efforts to identify Cycling Champions in neighbourhood schools, to organize safe cycling events for kids, and to put on a bike parade in Hintonburg, all with a view to getting more people out on bikes in safe conditions. Kathleen also maintains a blog on families and bikes through Momentum Magazine (a publication that promotes cycling), and writes regularly in that magazine and others, including local Ottawa papers, on cycling issues.
Kathleen, her husband Derek and their children, 7-year old Annasierra and 4-year old Jasper, have been riding together as a family since Anna was born, using bike seats, trailers and tandem bikes. Now Anna and Jasper are on their own two wheels. Both kids are extremely comfortable on bikes given all of the experience they have riding with their parents. The family can be seen year round all over the community and beyond showing everyone by example how a family can get around by bike and rely as little as possible on a car.
2009 Annual Award - Individual - Mark Rehder
Mark has been the director of re-Cycles Bicycle Co-op since 2001. His leadership, his keen understanding of bicycle mechanics and his passion for cycling advocacy have helped this charitable organization thrive. Every year, re-Cycles refurbishes hundreds of bicycles and bike parts destined for the trash and puts them back on Ottawa's streets and bike paths. These efforts not only divert reusable materials from our landfills, but also provide affordable or free bicycles to our community and beyond. Mark has also spearheaded re-Cycles' support of the Ottawa chapter of Bicycles for Humanity, donating surplus bikes and parts for shipment to disadvantaged communities in developing countries in Africa.
Mark and his team of volunteers also support the local cycling community by providing low-cost access to a fully-equipped repair shop where cyclists can learn to fix their own bicycles. By making tools available to people who otherwise cannot afford them, and by teaching them the skills they need to do their own repairs, re-Cycles encourages people to embrace affordable, healthy and environmentally-friendly transportation.
Mark is also known as a creative mechanic. His creations are part of Ottawa cycling lore, including his cargo trike (named Kyoto) that he used to move residences. In conjunction with the Human Powered Vehicle Operators of Ottawa (HPVOoO), his constructions have won various awards in parades and other events.
2008 Annual Award - Individual - Brian Martin
Brian Martin has proactively and publicly promoted cycling as a viable, environmentally-friendly mode of transportation for over a decade. He has led by example, advocated for cycling and supportive facilities, taught cycling skills and, encouraged others to start cycling
Brian has been a long-time volunteer for several cycling-related organizations in multiple roles. These roles include being a member of the "One More Bike" Bicycle Theft Task Force with the Ottawa Police, which initiated several successful projects to reduce bicycle theft; acting as a volunteer at the Bluesfest secure bicycle parking, ensuring that attending cyclists would cycle home more safely in the dark properly lit; serving as a frequent organizer of and volunteer at Citizen’s for Safe Cycling (CfSC) information booths across the city, spending many hours helping members of the public; and as the organizer of the successful CfSC Harvest Ride (fundraiser ride) in 2000, which helped subsidize the Cycling Promotion and Education programs.
Brian was an early member and continues to be an active member of Human Powered Vehicle Operators of Ottawa (HPVOoO), contributing to online discussions and participating in and helping organize parades, weekly meetings, and special events. He has helped with the Ottawa Bicycle Club's Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour, driving a “sag wagon” for cyclists who were unable to complete their tour. He has been a tour leader for the MS Bike Ride, one of the biggest charity rides in Ottawa.
Brian graduated from the advanced CAN-BIKE II cycling skills course in 1989, and later became a certified CAN-BIKE instructor. His son, Nicholas, is also certified as an instructor and has taught cycling skills to others
2007 Annual Award - Individual - Stella Val
Stella Val has been a great supporter of cycling in the region in many ways. She is currently the President of the Kanata Nepean Bicycle Club and enthusiastically promotes biking both within the club and in the City. Stella has been on the club’s Executive since 1994 and was first the Secretary, then the Tour Director for five years, before being elected President in 2005. As the Tour Director, Stella organized a wide range of successful cycling trips both within the City of Ottawa and beyond. She is excellent at providing safety tips to our members before and during rides. Stella is a CAN-BIKE II graduate and promotes the program and encourages KNBC members to take the CAN-BIKE II course, which makes them safer and more confident riders.
Stella supports biking on a city-wide basis. For three years, she was the KNBC representative on the Ottawa Cycling Advisory Committee, which became the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee. Stella did excellent work as the Chair of the Education and Enforcement Subcommittee for the advisory committee and was instrumental in bringing forward motions to support the implementation of the Integrated Road Safety Program with the advisory committee as a partner. For several years, the committee worked with the Ottawa Police Services on an annual campaign to reduce sidewalk cycling in our community as a part of that initiative.
Stella leads by example and commutes to work by bike, encouraging her colleagues to cycle also.
Through her work as a teacher, Stella has also been involved in cycle training to children receiving bikes through the Shenkman Foundation’s Kids and Values in Motion program that provides free bikes to students in Beacon Schools in the Ottawa area.
2006 Annual Award - Individual - Manny Agulnik
For more than a decade, Manny Agulnik has been promoting recreational and transportation cycling, through individual initiatives and through his work with the City of Ottawa Cycling Advisory Committee (OCAC), the former City of Ottawa Cycling Advisory Group (OCAG), the Ottawa Bicycle Club (OBC), and Citizens for Safe Cycling (CfSC). In all this work, Manny has been consistently positive, hard working, and focused on getting useful results.
Manny is a perfect example of a cyclist who has tirelessly contributed to the Ottawa cycling community and personally promoted many types of cycling. He has:
- led by example, through his work in establishing bike tours and rides and actively participating in recreational riding,
- advocated for cycling and supportive facilities in his work with OCAC, OCAG, and CfSC,
- encouraged others to start cycling, in his years of work helping manage the CfSC Cycling Promotion and Education programs, and through his involvement with CfSC and the OBC.
2005 Annual Award - Individual - Dr. Peter C. Mason
Dr. Peter C. Mason is a dedicated cyclist who feels that the way you live should reflect what you believe. He lives out this belief each day by actively promoting cycling as practical mode of transportation that supports a healthy lifestyle, a functional city and the environment.
Except on those brutally cold and snowy days, he makes his daily 40-kilometre cycling trek to work. For each of the last two years, he logged over 6,000 kilometres.
As an experienced cyclist, Dr. Mason prepares for the unexpected by equipping himself with a suite of tools and back-up parts. Unselfishly, he also assists stranded cyclists along his rides by giving away extra cycling tubes and making repairs such as patching tires and mending broken chains.
Dr. Mason defines a leader as a person who guides by example, first influencing at the local, grass-root level and eventually getting more to follow. In 2005, he put that inner belief into motion by making a challenge to his colleagues at the Defence Research to join him to in a 10,000km cycling commuting contest. This challenge quickly transformed into movement, with 80 per cent of his colleagues signing on.
Three quarters into the year, the 20 new cyclists accumulated over 25,000km. Dr. Mason provides advice to his new cyclists with tips on defensive cycling, selecting the appropriate outerwear, and cycling maintenance. He provides encourage by awarding bicycle lights as prize for those cyclists that have reached their personal goals.
Peter is also an avid recreational cyclist, enjoying morning detours with friends to Champlain Lookout on his way to work, and an aspiring mountain bike racer who enjoys riding evenings and weekends in the soon-to-be-blown-up trails of Kanata Lakes or the ever-improving single-track of Camp Fortune. He spent much of this season encouraging friends to ride with him, teaching them the basics of mountain biking and helping to ensure their bikes were running smoothly. Peter believes this award is recognition of the willingness of his friends and colleagues to join him in the challenge to ride.
2004 Annual Award - Individual - Tracy Beardsley
Tracy Beardsley lives, works and plays on a bicycle. From morning to night, she can be seen cycling to work, spinning at work, or riding home with her infant daughter.
With a passion for health, fitness and physical exercise, Tracy began her career in fitness in 1994 and formed her own business, TJ Fit, in 1997. This passion, coupled with her love for working with people at a personal level, has focussed her approach on helping individuals to believe in themselves, set realistic health and fitness goals, and then achieve them. Tracy's personal accomplishments as a marathon runner, adventure race survivor, cyclocross racing participant and, especially as a cyclist, set a strong foundation for her to support clients, as Tracy motivates them to pursue their own personal fitness goals.
Tracy Beardsley not only practices what she preaches for good health, but also for the health of the environment. She is a visible example of a commuter cyclist, regularly riding to work or for business, and encourages everyone she knows to cycle too. At TJ Fit, Tracy has established a commuter cycling program that includes providing facilities, such as showers, for her employees to bike to work. Tracy even chose the bicycle over the car on her wedding day, when she cycled out to Westport. But perhaps that’s to be expected, because she met her husband on a bicycle too.
2003 Annual Award - Individual - Alayne McGregor
Alayne McGregor has worked tirelessly for better cycling conditions in Ottawa since the late 1980s, when she was a founding member of the City of Ottawa's Cycling Advisory Group. Representing the group, Alayne served on the project steering committee that developed the first cycling plans for the City of Ottawa and the former Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, and substantially contributed to the final form of the plans.
She continued her dedication to better cycling throughout the 1990s and into the 21st Century in many ways – as a board member and then President of Citizens for Safe Cycling, as Chair of the Transportation Environment Advisory Committee Community Advisory Group, and as a friendly face at many cycling booths. She is particularly proud that her persuasion resulted in secure bike parking at every branch of the former Ottawa Public Library.
Recently, she co-wrote a report on road and path maintenance standards for cyclists, which was endorsed by the City's Cycling Advisory Committee, and substantially influenced the overall staff maintenance standards report to Council.
In fact, according to Citizens for Safe Cycling, "There isn't a councillor in Ottawa or the Region who has escaped her calm, reasonable, unyielding arguments in favour of cycling." That was in 1997, and the same can still be said in 2003.
Alayne continues to be a visible role model for safe and effective cycling. You can see her cycling most months of the year, in light or dark, rain or shine, always acting responsibly and courteously while riding in traffic.
2002 Annual Award - Individual - Sidney Board
Friends and acquaintances of Sidney Board claim that he is one of Ottawa's safest cyclists. Always donning his helmet, retro-reflective vest, lights and other safety equipment, this engineer uses his bicycle to get around the city all year. Sidney has also been active in advocating for safer conditions for cyclists through his involvement with the former Nepean Cycling Advisory Committee, his seven years on the board of directors for Citizens for Safe Cycling, and his ten years with the Ottawa Safety Council, of which he is currently president.
But Sidney doesn't have to be part of an organization to be a role model. He's been a CAN-BIKE cycling skills instructor, teaching aspiring cyclists how to cycle, and was instrumental in saving the Children's Safety Village at Britannia Park. He even has time to help out his friends and their children with their bicycles - servicing them, advising on what equipment to purchase, and providing tips to use their bicycles effectively.
After all, Sidney is very experienced in using his bicycle for transportation - he's been cycling since he was three! Whether he's heading off to volunteer, riding to the cross-country ski trails, or out for an evening of Scottish country dancing, you can bet that Sidney Board will be arriving by bicycle.
2001 Annual Award - Individual - Frank McGregor
Frank McGregor's achievements begin with his personal commitment to year-round cycling, braving wind, rain and even snow. From there, Frank's dedication to the bicycle as a mode of transportation is made exception through his efforts to encourage co-workers to ride to work and to improve the accommodations for parking at their workplace. In his spare time, Frank can be seen teaching others cycling skills, especially with his newly acquired certificate which allows him to teach CAN-BIKE II, the most advanced CAN-BIKE cycling skills courses.
2000 Annual Award - Individual - Ed Ripmeester and Graydon Patterson
The selection committee had difficulty choosing one winner so decided to recognize two individuals for their outstanding commitment to cycling and for their contributions to the community.
Ed Ripmeester is a valued member of the cycling community for his work as a volunteer member of the Pathway Patrol as well as assisting at various cycling events such as Kids CAN-BIKE and bike rodeos. Ed has also been a member of the cycling advisory committee, providing advice to City staff and politicians on cycling issues. Graydon Patterson has given countless hours of volunteer time instructing CAN-BIKE courses as well as participating on two cycling advisory committees. In his other life, Graydon instructs the police bike squad, thereby making our community safer for everyone.
1999 Annual Award - Individual - Bruce Timmermans
Bruce Timmermans was a valued member of the cycling community. Both as director of the Ottawa Bicycle Club and as a founding member of Citizens for Safe Cycling, Bruce donated countless hours of time to promoting the safe use of bicycles as transportation. Bruce was well known as a bicycle mechanics instructor as well as a CAN-BIKE instructor evaluator.
Annual Award – Organization
2022 Annual Award - Organization – Bike Ottawa
First launched in 2018, and available free to the public, the Bike Ottawa Interactive Maps have been a vital tool to help new cyclists find comfortable routes to ride, and experienced cyclists find new ways to get places.
The maps cover a wide range of topics that are often seen as barriers to cycling including:
- Route planning based on comfort level to the cyclist (Level of Traffic Stress maps and Route Planners)
- Knowing which bike paths are cleared during the winter (Winter Cycling map)
- Knowing where your nearest bike rack, bathroom, ice cream shop, or bike repair stand are (Amenities map)
- Interesting data visualizations of things like desire paths and traffic collisions
These maps are helping people across Ottawa overcome barriers that traditionally keep people from cycling to a new destination, or even cycling at all.
2019/2020 Organizational Award: Ottawa Mountain Bike Association (OMBA)
The Ottawa Mountain Bike Association (OMBA) is a not-for-profit mountain biking organization that is was founded in the summer of 2005. The original intent of the organization was to secure continued mountain biking access in the South March Highlands Conservation Area (SMH). OMBA is run by volunteers.
In October of 2019, the Carlington Bike Park opened atop Carlington ski hill in the City’s west end. It consists of a mountain bike pump track and skills area. This project, in partnership with the City of Ottawa, was made possible by thousands of volunteer hours by members of the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association (OMBA). The OMBA worked diligently with many stakeholders including the City of Ottawa, the Carlington Community Association, local residents and the Ottawa mountain biking community.
OMBA is also partnered with Trips for Kids Ottawa - whose mission is to enrich the lives of economically disadvantaged and at-risk youth through outdoor activities that help them to develop physical skills, gain environmental knowledge, form positive relationships and acquire leadership opportunities. The Carlington Bike Park offers a key venue inside the urban core to fulfill this mission.
2018 Organizational Award: EnviroCentre and Bike to Work Month
EnviroCentre is an Ottawa based non-profit organization that offers practical solutions to help people, communities and organizations lighten their environmental impact in lasting ways.
For the past 10 years, EnviroCentre has held its annual Bike to Work Month campaign during the Month of May, with the support of the City of Ottawa.
During those 10 years, Bike to Work Month has:
- Averted 526,242 KG of Greenhouse Gases due to residents commuting by bike
- Hosted 183 Commuter Cycling and Basic Bike Maintenance Workshops to educate and empower new and experienced cyclists
- Seen Bike to Work Month participants collectively log over two million kilometres
- Encouraged almost 4,000 new cyclists to try biking to work.
- Collected and handed out $125,000 in prizes donated by local businesses, including local bike shops, that benefit from the promotion.
The educational programs organized by EnviroCentre and Bike to Work Month help to create a safe cycling culture within Ottawa by informing and educating citizens about city cycling rules and initiatives.
Not only do they help cyclists in Ottawa feel safe, confident, and ready to commute to work on their bikes, they do the same for all their employees. EnviroCentre has bikes and an e-bike available for staff to use. They have two large bike racks in front of their building on Somerset for both staff and the community to use. And they provide in-house peer support with bike mechanics and route planning for all staff. Their commitment to sustainable transportation extends beyond biking to bussing and walking and they are proud to report that 100% of their 20 staff commute sustainably.
Bike to Work Month is an excellent city-wide initiative that gets people active, encourages health and wellness, educates people and organizations about alternative commuting options, and has a lasting impact on the environment.
2017 Organizational Award Recipient: Vélo-Vanier
Among other things, Vélo-Vanier operates a bike-share program which loans bikes to the residents of Vanier. Its program is bilingual.
Vélo-Vanier is headquartered in the heart of the Vanier community at the Centre des services communautaire Vanier (CSCV).
For the past six years it has focused on bringing donors, borrowers, volunteers and service agencies together to sustain its program.
Vélo-Vanier helps potential riders overcome barriers to cycling, whether it’s a cost deterrent, or simply being unsure if their commitment is serious enough to warrant buying a bicycle. Still others have no storage space for a bike over the winter months. Vélo-Vanier helps overcome these barriers by loaning bikes, locks and helmets for a period of a month, with an opportunity to renew.
When Vélo-Vanier loans out a bike, they take a picture of the borrower with the bike. The pictures are uploaded to an online photo album. The photos are laminated and displayed in the lobby of the community centre over the summer and presented to the borrowers when they return the bikes. A collage of borrowers’ photos is also used to promote the program the following year.
The annual Vanier Vélo Fest brings community partners and residents out to celebrate cycling. Last year, 80 children participated in a safety rodeo and 15 of those children borrowed bikes from Vélo-Vanier to participate in the rodeo.
Vélo-Vanier is a success, in part because of the support it receives from the community, whether it’s the community newspaper, the BIA, local politicians or even individuals from the community who have donated bikes, parts and labour.
Vélo-Vanier also organizes group bike outings, Can-bike training for safe-cycling, maintenance workshops and an “eyes on Vanier” bike patrol initiative.
Vélo-Vanier has also attracted applicants from Ottawa’s Youth Futures, a program designed to prepare low income high school students for full participation in post-secondary education and the workforce.
Vélo-Vanier offers a six-week placement to a graduate of Youth Futures. Young employees have learned to fix bikes, serve the public and use the administrative systems which support the program.
While the focus of Vélo-Vanier has been on offering the freedom and independence cycling brings to individuals, the fleet of 90 bicycles has become a community asset which has only begun to be exploited.
- 117 individuals borrowed bikes (40 more than in 2016)
- 60 children road Vélo-Vanier bikes for summer camp activities
- 100 bike loans supported weekly outings for youth activity programs
- 40 residents attended three outdoor bike maintenance workshops
- 14 residents went on two community rides –to Lac Leamy and to the Aviation Parkway
2016 Organizational Award Recipient: Ottawa Safety Council
Founded in 1957, the Ottawa Safety Council is a non-profit organization that advocates for and delivers high-quality risk reduction and injury prevention programs in our community. In 2016 the Ottawa Safety Council’s Bike Rodeo Program provided over 2,000 young cyclists across Ottawa with the chance to learn safe riding skills and rules of the road. Through fun activities and demonstrations, the rodeos helped children from JK to Grade 4 learn about various elements of safe and responsible bicycling including: a) proper helmet fitting; b) maintenance (tires, brakes, chain, pedals, seat); c) rules of the road and traffic signs; d) hand signals; e) shoulder check; f) balance; g) weaving and manoeuvring. The rodeos are offered at no charge to participants and most are delivered in a school setting in conjunction with Bike to School events. For that reason the program is also a key component of broader efforts to increase rates of active school travel in Ottawa. Children who learn to cycle, and to cycle safely, are more likely to be utilitarian, commuter or recreational cyclists as adults. Since 1996 more than 40,000 Ottawa children have benefited from the program.
In addition to the Bike Rodeo Program, the Ottawa Safety Council also supports children’s mobility through its Adult Crossing Guard, Walking School Bus and Pedestrian Safety Presentation programs.
2015 Annual Award Winner - Organization - EcoDistrict
The Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict, recognized with the organizational award, is dedicated to reducing downtown Ottawa's overall ecological footprint. Their mission is to make the downtown core more sustainable, socially vibrant, and attractive to businesses. Since it was founded in 2012, EcoDistrict has striven to increase bike ridership through a variety of initiatives. They have worked with the City to establish bike rack locations and encouraged cyclists to track and report cycling issues along common downtown commuter routes.
2013 Annual Award Winner – Organization – Trips for Kids Ottawa
Trips for Kids Ottawa is a non-profit organization that provides mountain bike outing for kids who would not otherwise be exposed to such activities. The organization is run by volunteers with a passion for cycling, both on and off road, and provides a variety of cycling programs including summer camps, after school events as well as other outdoor activities. These programs aim to encourage children to be active, both physically and in their community, build cycling skills, ride safely, and experience nature. Most of these activities take place in the Greenbelt, near Arlington Woods, and occasionally the Gatineau Park.
The organization, founded by Cat Weaver and Mario Theoret, is a non-profit organization which depends on donated equipment and volunteers. Trips for Kids Ottawa has over 50 bikes dedicated for underprivileged children in the community. From the numerous nominations received, it is evident how Cat, Mario and Trips for Kids Ottawa have impacted their fellow community members. Since 2007 hundreds of kids have learned valuable lessons in personal responsibility, achievement and environmental awareness through the simple act of having fun.
2012 Annual Award Winner – Organization – RightBike
RightBike is a community operated bike sharing organization that operates in the Ottawa area and is a member of the Causeway Group of social businesses, a growing network of socially-minded and non-profit businesses. Since 2012, RightBike has been providing community members with an easy and environmentally friendly alternative to getting around the city.
In 2012 RightBike launched its service and operated out of 4 hubs located in the Westboro and Wellington West areas. Its neighbourhood based popularity and use was immediate. Users were able to effortlessly walk up, sign up, and grab a bike for a modest price.
RightBike is focused on encouraging current riders with a flexible and affordable set of rental options from as short as one day to annual memberships. RightBike also welcomes community members to bring their own bikes to their workshop to maintain their bikes by offering space, tools, and helpful advice from their mechanics.
2010 Annual Award - Organization - Pathway Patrol
Since 1997, Pathway Patrol volunteers have spent thousands of hours trying to keep Ottawa’s pathways safe and clean. Their efforts improve safety and help keep the city’s bicycle paths the envy of tourists from all over Canada and from around the world. The statistics they gather also help the City and the NCC plan for the future.
During their patrols, Pathway Patrol volunteers address local pathway users and visitors alike, making them feel at home in the Capital by offering them maps, pamphlets, information and guidance around the city. During Sunday Bike Days, they promote wearing helmets and pathway etiquette. They remove obstacle and hazards from the pathways and report any dangers or suspicious activities to the authorities. They also participate in providing services for many local events such as the Folk Festival and some walks and runs. Many patrollers also do minor bike repairs for pathway users and provide emergency first aid medical services.
Each patroller provides 24 hours per season or two hours per month. However, many have provided much more, especially during major events like the annual Cleaning the Capital campaign, Sunday Bike Days, and Bluesfest.
2009 Annual Award – Organization - re-Cycles Bicycle Co-op
The Citizens re-Cycles Bicycle Co-op organization is a volunteer-run organization whose objective is to put more bicycles on the road by providing affordable bicycles to the community. re-Cycles was founded in 1994 on the principle that our limited natural resources should be used wisely. By promoting the use of bicycles as a viable, environmentally friendly and affordable mode of transportation, the co-op helps all Ottawa residents benefit from cleaner air, safer and quieter streets, and better health. It also supports the cycling community by offering a place for like-minded cycling enthusiasts to meet and exchange ideas.
The organization's volunteers refurbish donated bicycles and parts and sell them at low prices to Ottawa citizens, with occasional donations to local family shelters, thus giving more people access to a form of transportation they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. They support do-it-yourself bicycle repair by offering low-cost access to a fully equipped repair shop and expert guidance from experienced, friendly volunteer mechanics. Anyone can volunteer their time overhauling donated bikes, and every hour they volunteer can be exchanged for a free hour of shop time to work on their own bicycles. This learn-as-you-go approach allows people to develop valuable bicycle repair skills for free.
re-Cycles diverts hundreds of bicycles from the landfill every year. Any bikes that are not fixable are stripped of usable parts, then recycled for scrap metal. As many parts as possible are used to refurbish other bikes. Surplus parts are sold at low cost, and unusable parts are recycled.
2003 Annual Award - Organization - Citizens for Safe Cycling (CfSC)
More than 20 years ago, seven local cycling residents were killed in crashes in just one year. This was an unprecedented and alarming number of deaths. Concerned cyclists, including Bruce Timmermans, quickly came together to do something about improving cyclist safety, and formed Citizens for Safe Cycling (CfSC).
CfSC works to encourage safe and effective bicycle use, and to improve cycling conditions in Ottawa. For more than 20 years, CfSC and its volunteers have worked hard to achieve the following:
- The creation and operation of a new cycling safety and promotion program that increases the skills and knowledge of local cyclists through initiatives like CAN-BIKE.
- Establishment of cycling advisory committees in five former municipalities and the amalgamated City of Ottawa.
- Inclusion of more than $5 million for better cycling facilities and funding in local municipal budgets.
- Recognition as a public resource and spokesperson for safe cycling and related issues.
- The reduction of annual cycling fatalities from seven in 1983 to about one per year.
2002 Annual Award - Organization - Pathway Patrol
After six years in operation, the Pathway Patrol is still going strong. From the end of May to Labour Day, volunteers walked, cycled and in-line skated the mixed-use pathways from Andrew Haydon Park to Parliament Hill and in the Greenboro area - all to make these routes safer and more enjoyable for commuters and those out for a relaxing ride.
These patrollers are trained in First Aid, CPR, bicycle and inline skate repair, as well as the rules and regulations of the pathways. Working in pairs, they fulfill two-hour shifts providing emergency assistance, friendly and helpful advice, and more eyes on the path.
The program was initiated in 1995 when a group of seniors from the Owl's Best Senior's Drop-In Centre at Lincoln Fields identified a concern over the use of the pathways. Many potential users felt too intimidated to venture out, and a volunteer-based patrol system was established in response.
Since 1995, the Patrol has grown to nearly 50 volunteers, representing about 400 hours of service; and has expanded from its original route between Andrew Haydon Park and the Champlain Bridge. Community support has grown, too, with 20 steering committee members representing every level of government, interest groups, and local retail establishments.
2001 Annual Award - Organization - Export Development Canada
EDC's commitment to cycling can be seen everyday in the facilities provided for bicycle commuters. Parking is available in the corporation's underground garage, allowing cyclists a safe, well-lit and protected area to store bicycles. There is such a high demand for bicycle parking that EDC has already expanded the number of parking spots by 40 per cent this past summer. Locker and changing facilities are also made available free of charge.
Export Development Canada doesn't rest with just providing facilities for cycling. EDC is also a very active participant in the annual Commuter Challenge, promoting the event to employees with full support from senior management. In fact, these managers, including EDC president Ian Gillespie, have appeared in the posters used to promote the event and even help to register Challenge participants.
Commitment to the Commuter Challenge, which encourages use of sustainable modes of transportation, is so strong that 76 per cent of EDC's 1,000 employees participated in 2001. The Corporation has also made financial contributions to the overall organization of the event.
2000 Annual Award - Organization - Nortel Networks
Nortel Networks has demonstrated a commitment to transportation demand management and provides employees with bicycle parking, showers and lockers at all work campuses. An information package including a copy of the City bicycle map is provided to all employees and the relaxed work environment encourages them to cycle to work.
1999 Annual Award - Organization - Canada Post Corporation
A combination of corporate policy and a strong employee-driven green-commute program impressed the selection committee. Canada Post has consistently ranked well in the area's Commuter Challenge which encourages business to challenge each other for the most number of employees using an alternate to the private car.