September 1, 2014 5:45 pm

Hundreds of cyclists take part in Ride the Road event

Hundreds of cyclists took part in Ride the Road on Monday, an annual event that raises awareness about cycling on city streets.

This year the event is tied to the second annual Tour of Alberta. The professional cycling event kicks off Tuesday in our city.

The Ride the Road event allows people of all ages to ride on city streets instead of bike paths. That includes families with small children.

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“I prefer the pathway because it is a little bit safer for kids this age, but when we have to use the bike lanes they are an absolutely wonderful alternative.”

Organizers say the city is headed in the right direction, adding more bike lanes for cyclists who need to use city streets to get around. But they also say that’s only part of the solution to get more people pedaling.

“It has to be a little bit of infrastructure, a little bit of marketing and a little bit of elite sport thrown into the mix as well,” says Gary Beaton.

“A relentless campaign to break those habits and get people out of their cars, because those are comfy seats.”

Shan Byrom, a participant in this year’s event says she joined the event after being inspired by last year’s athletes in the Tour of Alberta. She says she typically stays away from city streets, but believes more education could be helpful.

“Personally, I think they could do more education campaigns for drivers. But on the whole I think that the more that we see people biking, the more that people are going to be aware of it and are going to have that courtesy.”

Ride the Road is in its 6th year. One leg started in Shawnessy and joined a group in Stanley Park, while another started in the community of Tuxedo.

 

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