The Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting (RDABC) announces the City’s first open streets event. Cyclovia will take place on Aug. 12th.
“We want people to experience downtown in a different way and to see non-motorized activity as a reasonable and positive way of transportation,” said Liz Hagell, Cyclovia organizing committee team lead and member of the RDABC.
That Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. four square blocks of downtown will be closed off from motorists to promote active modes of transportation and community engagement.
The Red Deer event was conceived after she came back from a personal trip to Santiago, Chile where she stumbled upon the popular Central American phenomenon Cyclovia, which translates to cycle-way.
The Cyclovia Red Deer organizers are starting small with a one-day, four-hour event this August.
“We’d love for it to become an annual event.”
In partnership with the City of Red Deer, the Cyclovia organizers have designed a 1 km route around downtown and will be closing off a four block area on Gaetz Ave and 49th Ave. from 49th St. to 52nd St. plus 51st St. to Ross.
There will be three satellite stations with safe accessible routes for cyclists to get downtown located at Safety City, the Dawe Centre and a third near the Collicutt.
Around downtown there will be activity hubs including food trucks, bike shops, vendors, yoga in the park, Safety City bike rodeo obstacle course, Optimist Club bike giveaway and a bike repair café. There will also be opportunities to meet and ride with professional cyclists who will be there for the 10th annual George Berry Wellness Ride, taking place the day before in support of Canadian Mental Health and Spinal Cord Injuries.
Cyclovia Red Deer will have official designation as a green, zero waste event.
Food trucks will be required to use compostable containers. The City is sponsoring zero waste recycling stations and potable water stations where participants can refill their own bottles instead of purchasing bottled water.
This is the first time the City has partnered with outside organizations to provide green services like this for an event.
The organizers hope Cyclovia will help familiarize Red Deerians with routes to cycle throughout the city.
“We don’t want to think of it as a festival, because it has a bigger message than just fun—we’re hoping to build that culture and idea of active transport,” said Hagell.