Perfect weather shone on Bike the Creek 2016. 550 cyclists attended 3rd annual Bike the Creek for family fun ride through Brampton & Caledon’s spectacular valleys, trails, historic landmarks and quiet streets. The free event was aimed at encouraging people of all ages to discover the joys of cycling. Riders selected from routes ranging from 11 – 41km long.

Event partners City of Brampton, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Town of Caledon and BikeBrampton welcomed the record turnout of cyclists.

Title Sponsor Walk + Roll Peel generously provided a free lunch, catered by Maple Lodge Farms and Wanigans.

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It was a gorgeous hot day, so that Walk+Roll Peel metal water bottle prizes for answering cycling skill questions were well received by riders!

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MPP Harinder Malhi (Brampton-Springdale) and Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry MPP(Cambridge) welcomed cyclists on behalf of Ontario. #CycleON Ontario’s Cycling Strategy dovetails neatly into Climate Change Action Plan, cycle tourism and the recent Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program that will benefit both ends of Etobicoke Creek Trail, with grants matched by Brampton and Caledon.

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Dr. Eileen de Villa, Chief Medical Officer of Health, welcomed cyclists on behalf of Region of Peel. She challenged riders to incorporate Active Transportation into their daily lives for ongoing health benefits, not just for special events like Bike the Creek.

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Ribbon cutting to officially open Bike the Creek was performed by our dignitaries: MPP Jagmeet Singh (Bramalea-Gore-Malton), TRCA Director Chandra Sharma, Caledon Regional Councillor Ward 3&4 Jennifer Innis, Caledon Regional Councillor Ward 2 Johanna Downey, Brampton Fire Chief Michael Clark, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry, Peel Paramedic Superintendent Sean Large, Dr. Eileen de Villa MOH, Brampton Regional Councillor Michael Palleschi, Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson and Peel Police Inspector Dan Richardson. MPP Malhi subsequently rode the Walk + Roll Peel bicycle. Regional Commissioner Gilbert Sabat also participated in the ride.

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Master of Ceremonies David Laing, BikeBrampton, briefed riders on the route and safety.

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Riders were accompanied by bike patrol officers from both Peel Region Police and Caledon OPP. City of Brampton Emergency Response organized the safety of our routes, St John Ambulance and the Emergency Command Post, which stayed connected to our excellent volunteers via walkie-talkies. We are thankful that cyclists stayed safe!

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None of this could have happened without the dedication of our Bike the Creek planning committee. Michele Robinson, Brampton Recreation and Joanna Parsons, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), pick up their vegie lunch from the ladies at our sponsor, Wanigan.

Committee members also included Tina Fernandes, Town of Caledon; Amanda Maula and Kathryn Trojan-Stemaszunki, Brampton Emergency Response; Antonietta Minichillo, Brampton Heritage; Nelson Cadete, Brampton Active Transportation; David Laing, BikeBrampton; and Dayle Laing, Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee & BikeBrampton. Advising as our Title Sponsor was Erica Duque, Peel Active Transportation.

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Bike Rodeo for the tots was ably run by the CAN-BIKE Instructors from BikeBrampton.

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Silver Sponsor WIKE, the Walk & Bike Company has so many practical cycling products designed and manufactured in Guelph, Ontario, such as this sign trailer. They also make trailers for kids, dogs, cargo, golf, canoe and cool designs like “Newt”, “Frog”, “Salamander” and “Tadpole”. Ministry of Transportation provided BikeBrampton with a Road Safety Challenge grant to allow for the production of this 1-Metre Cycling Law banner.

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The Cyclepath Brampton, another of our Silver Sponsors, donated toward the printing of our Passports, which provided maps, natural and cultural heritage information, and the locations of our 10 pavillions along the Bike the Creek routes. Passports were designed by the creative team at TRCA.

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Our Silver Sponsor, North Hub Bike Shop in Bolton, provided mini-tuneups, aided by Wayne, compliments of City of Brampton. Eugene returned this year as our DJ.

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At the TRCA Stafford Woods Pavillion, Caledon Councillor Jennifer Innis, TRCA Director Chandra Sharma listen as Minister Kathryn McGarry conducts a speakerphone call from Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon (MPP Burlington). Minister McMahon was calling to wish us well on our ride!

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TRCA Director Sharma and Minister McGarry examine the water quality and beauty of Mayfield stormwater pond.

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Gracious and generous family offered free cold drinks to thirsty cyclists and Minister McGarry, as they passed through Kingfisher Park at Mayfield and Kennedy.

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Back at Jim Archdekin Recreation Centre, riders had their final passport stamp at the Peel Waste pavillion, where Sierra Club Peel volunteers and Peel Region Waste Management staff educated cyclists on how to sort their waste from the event.

Participants of this event filled 4 blue bins of recycled material, 3 green bins with organics & compostables and only 1 black bin of garbage/landfill material!

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Our generous sponsors donated great prizes for our prize draw. Cyclists received a draw ticket for each passport stamp. This lucky rider won a lesson at the Brampton Flying Club!

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Our dozens of volunteers in their Bike the Creek red caps directed riders, worked the registration table, sold T-shirts, and handled whatever came their way!

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Lorie Johnson-Miller posted this photo & commented on Facebook:

“Bike the Creek 2016- Our first time… and was a Corporate Company event… our report on the 11km Family Ride Route… it was HOT today, and a little hillier than we’re used on the Ching. Trail…but SO WORTH IT!!! We loved the scenery, the TRCA stations were a nice addition for a nature fan such as myself, and the lay-out at the start/finish area was well received. Not to mention that the 6 hrs it took 12 volunteers to mark the routes.. showed, because it was VERY well marked.”

The addition of curb ramps for curb cuts were also a nice addition to the multi-use trail ride experience. All of the kids in our group loved all the free swag from folks at Region of Peel and Zum Bus! We REALLY enjoyed our FREE meals (with registration) the veg option was an amazing salad from Wanigans. Aidan my picky eater is still raving about the Maple Lodge Chicken thigh on a bun. GreenField support staff, family,and friends with our green team shirts we wore on our ride, and volunteers everywhere kept commenting on how they saw our shirts and our people (19 of us) all over the different routes. Would I do Bike the Creek 2017? heck ya! where do we sign up?”

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Hundreds of route signs removed. Thanks to everyone. See you next year…….