Last night was the 2nd Annual YYC Bike Awards hosted by Bike Calgary and Cyclepalooza. Although we had a last-minute venue change, the event was well attended.
Our host Mike Morrison Commuter Challenge kicked things off with some interesting bike data collected from the cycle tracks, with some big laughs in-between!
All of our amazing judges were able to be on hand to present awards and speak to what biking has meant to them. We also got an exclusive sneak peek at Bull & Ship’s winter biking documentary Bicicles!
Without further suspense, we will now announce the winners (but as everyone that was nominated rides bikes, they are all winners :) )
Lawrence Hong Advocacy Award:
Runner Up : Rick McFerrin, Director of Two Wheel View
Rick McFerrin is the founder and executive director of Two Wheel View and he has dedicated the last 15 years to changing kids' lives from the seat of a bike. Through Two Wheel View's Earn-a-Bike program, more than 250 young people in 16 Calgary communities a year, earn bicycles. They are not only learning useful mechanic skills, they are participating in a program that gives them a sense of belonging and builds their self-esteem.
This program has taught 14 year olds to ride, given many youth the first taste of freedom that a bicycle provides and provided the youth of Calgary a safe and supported place to be after school.
Winner : Kyle K Stewart, Simon Fraser Science Learning Leader
Kyle fully deserves to win this award due to the enormous positive impact this initiative is having with kids, parents and educators in Calgary. The fact that Calgary Bike to School Day grew from a few hundred in 2014 to thousands in 2015 (and even more expected in 2016) clearly shows this initiative resonates with Calgarians. This is particularly important at a time in our history when obesity and mental health issues are becoming increasingly common among kids and the overall population.
Kyle has inspired thousands of people to change the norm (driving kids to school) and invited kids and their parents to a healthier alternative, one that also promotes independence, social bonding, community appreciation and physical activity.
Bicycle Commuter of the Year
Runner Up : David Coldwell, Author of Bicycle Snowplow! How to Bring Winter Abandoned Pathways Back to Life
David Coldwell as a volunteer keeps pathways plowed so people and dogs can use them. Promoting cycling thru and plows so people can ride all winter. Showing how to be a bike plow snow angel
Bike commuting all year and all winter. Created a new sustainable way to plow pathways that is fun and creative.
Winner : Commit to Commute (Kim Fisher and Kayley Fesko)
Kim and Kayley are a self-described couple of winter cycling rookies trying to navigate their Calgary commute. They took it upon themselves to show Calgarians commuting in winter is possible and since then, they have been encouraging and inspiring thousands of people, particularly women, a key sector for cycling in our city.
Kim and Kayley are Calgary's top commuters and amazing human beings.For all they do, they fully deserve winning the Bicycle Commuter of the Year award.
Bicycle Friendly Business
Runner Up Alforno Bakery & cafe
Alforno has done a number of things to encourage and support cyclists, including adding bike parking outside their cage (in conjunction with the City of Calgary) and having a free dedicated air station for bicycles.
It is very evident Alforno fully supports cycling as a business. Another important aspect to highlight is that by doing so, Alforno clearly demonstrates that cycling means business, something that Calgarians need to see and hear more.
Winner : Two Wheel View
Two Wheel View is a Calgary based organization that provides opportunities for youth and adults to experience the joy of travelling by bicycle. In order to ensure that there are future generations of bicycle enthusiasts the TWV runs the Earn a Bike Program that teaches the benefits of cycling and bicycle maintenance skills to youth who upon completion of the program receive a TWV volunteer refurbished bicycle. TWV also organizes and leads leadership development bicycle tours for youth in Alberta, Quebec and Minnesota (and maybe some other places that I haven't heard about). Bicycle tours for adults and youth are also run in Argentina and Norway.
TWV is creating future cycling enthusiasts through education, sharing enthusiasm and providing participants with the the skills, knowledge and a bicycle so that they can become aware of the sustainable alternative to getting around. At the same time program participants are learning leadership skills that will prepare them to be leaders in other aspects of their lives. Risk management is an important aspect of their programs as is a continuous improvement mind set. At TWV a bicycle is much more than a mode of transportation it is a way of viewing a better world that values diversity, sustainability (strong economy, strong environment, strong society) and joy of life.
Bicycle Friendly Employer (50+ Employees)
This Category Ended in a Tie : University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is always improving their campus and services available to staff, faculty and students to encourage cycling. This commitment can be seen throughout campus including the extensive bike parking already available, which is also currently undergoing expansions. There is also long term and secure bike parking available at several locations. Maps are also available to help cyclists find the best bike parking for where they need to get to.
The University of Calgary has participated in the Commuter Challenge since 2008 to encourage everyone on campus to use sustainable trans
portation methods to get to work or school. This year, the university is using the Commuter Challenge to promote cycling including new opportunities on campus. This includes promoting the Bike Share which is a student club that offers bike rentals on campus, new bike racks which offer more parking in high traffic areas and Bike Root another student club which focuses on making bike maintenance easy.
This Category Ended in a Tie : Mountain Equipment Co-op
Encourages active transit in support of sustainability ethics through offering storage space and showers. Employees support and encourage each other. Offers lots of bike parking (and the use of locks) to members. Located near bike infrastructure. Active in the local cycling community, running and sponsoring events.
Secure year round indoor bike storage, provides tools, care products and a work area for bike maintenance, bike repair shop staff always happy to help their colleges learn more, employee bike rental program, organised meet ups and courses to encourage confidence and learning new skills, showers and towel service.
Bicycle Friendly Employer (<50 Employees)
Runner Up : Sled Island Music Festival
They represent great music, good times, and volunteer opportunities in June for Calgarians and visitors alike. They encourage people to ride over the course of the festival. Highest numbers along the cycle track on 5 Street were from Sled Island until recently. Their website promotes cycling and provides links to help people plan their music festival bar hopping routes.
Include cycling as a viable way to get around Calgary. Rent racks every year for the event. Calgary changes downtown during Sled Island as you see more bikes than cars on the streets at night.
Winner : Sidewalk Citizen
For the month of April, Sidewalk Citizen wanted to encourage employees to get into the habit of biking to work regularly. They offered and provided 25$ towards a tune-up for everyone at work (in partnership with BikeBike) and created a contest for the most amount of kilometers biked to/from work. Using a chatroom online, everyone is adding their kilometers and encouraging everyone to bike more. It's friendly, competitive, fun, and building a stronger community within our work (even between the two separate locations).
It is small things like this that go so far in my books, I'm so proud to be an employee there because of the small conscious efforts they make for their staff and customers. I truly walk away everyday happy that I work for a company that cares about me, my relationships, and my health.
Bicycle Friendly School
This Category Ended in a Tie : Simon Fraser
The Simon Fraser School deserves this award due to their combined effort in putting together the Calgary Bike to School day. Kyle K. Stewart created a detailed information package outlining how he ran the event in 2014 at the Simon Fraser School. This package was emailed to all the schools that have shown interest. Each school runs their event in a manner they see fit that will focus on student safety and bike safety.
The impact that the Simon Fraser School is having with the rest of the CBE schools is incredible and evident with dozens of schools signing up in 2016 and thousands of students expected to take part on the event. This initiative is transforming schools in Calgary with lots more to come.
This Category Ended in a Tie : Sacred Heart School
Principal Richard Campbell is an amazing role model and rides his bike to school.
Through a collaborative effort from PushStart, Two Wheel View, Pink Bike, Councillor Evan Woolley's office, Bike Calgary, The City of Calgary's Liveable Streets team, along with parents, students and teachers from Sacred Heart School, ran an in-school initiative to provide some Sunalta students with new bikes, helmets, locks, and lights along with education to get them moving to school by bike. The school offers bike parking and may need more soon if the momentum keeps up!
Thanks go out to :
Our host Mike Morrison
Our judges Colin Smith, Karen McPherson, Helen Pike and Denny Morrison.
Commuter Challenge for sharing their wrap-up event with us
The City of Calgary Active Transportation / Livable Streets Team
The Royal Canadian Legion for giving us their space on such short notice
Bull & Ship Films for filming the awards and giving us the advance teaser for Bicicles
Everyone that submitted a nomination
Everyone that rides a bike!
My terrible photos from the event can be found here but I am sure many others took photos. We hope they will share them out.