Bike the Creek Canada 150 celebrated by largest ever crowd in Brampton & Caledon.
631 cyclists gathered Jun 24, 2017 to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with a joyful free family ride through the spectacular valleys, trails and historic landmarks of urban and rural Brampton and Caledon.
Cyclists from across GTA flocked to rides catering from 11km to 60km. Peel Regional Police Neighbourhood Policing Units 21 & 22 joined the group.
Rob Zaichkowski, a volunteer at Cycle Toronto, avid cyclist, blogger and photographer, commented in his twowheelpoli blogspot post:
“Not only did it give me exposure to cycling north of Steeles, but it is arguably one of the best organized rides in the Greater Toronto Area with hundreds taking part.”
Some riders returned for their 4th annual event, while others joined us for the first time, as word has spread! #bikethecreek
David Laing, BikeBrampton Chair, and Chair of Bike the Creek organizing committee, delivered rider briefings to each group to encourage cyclists to stop at Pavillions, ride safely, obey volunteer directions, drink water and have fun! The committee of Partners: City of Brampton, Town of Caledon, Toronto and Region Conservation and BikeBrampton have been planning Bike the Creek since last September.
City of Brampton Emergency Management directed cyclists in staggered starts of small groups to make it safer and more enjoyable for the 5 groups of riders.
BikeBrampton member Lorie, recruited 4 teams of 10 cyclists through her company, Greenfield Specialty Alcohols!
Way to go Lorie! Let’s see more team challenges next year!
Bike the Creek welcomed the most participating dignitaries this year: Brampton Councillor Doug Whillans, (David Laing, Bike Brampton), Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson, MPP Harinder Malhi, Minister of Natural Resources & Forestry MPP Kathryn McGarry, TRCA Director Chandra Sharma, and (Dayle Laing, BikeBrampton).
Region of Peel Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, RAN the Family Ride, pushing his daughter in a stroller!!! (pictured with Mayor Allan Thompson and David Laing)
Brampton Councillor Jeff Bowman encouraged the cyclists and celebrated Brampton’s newly designated Bicycle Friendly Community bronze status. BikeBrampton and Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee promoted our series of 14 Community Rides this season. (pictured with Polly, member of BB and BCAC)
Petula Fera from Let’s Discover ON, interviewed Joanna Gardner, key planning committee member from partner Toronto and Region Conservation.
Cyclists took advantage of mini tune-ups provided by volunteer Peter Bolton, a licensed bike mechanic and CanBike instructor. One cyclist commented “I couldn’t believe that my inner tube was replaced and they did not even charge me! — fabulous service, thanks!”.
Wayne also provided bike mechanic mini tune-ups as well!
Alina, a volunteer from Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee set up and ran a Bike Rodeo, teaching cycling skills to the young folks.
Bike the Creek appreciated Minister McGarry’s support of our event, as she joined us from her riding in Cambridge.
Vince from TRCA has project-managed many parts of our fabulous Etobicoke Creek Trail. Dr. Loh was all set to start his run!
Caledon OPP bike officers joined our ride, as they have every year!
Cyclists spread out all the trail, as we cycled through the fabulous Stafford Woods, home to a forest of Sugar Maples, Beeches and Hemlocks and many species of Woodpeckers. This land was deeded to Obediah Stafford, a pioneer settler, in 1819.
Minister McGarry learns about Monarch butterfly life stages from Jen Miles at TRCA Wetlands Pavillion.
An Eastern Snapping Turtle, of course, beside the Etobicoke Creek.
Minister Kathryn McGarry and TRCA Director Chandra Sharma stopped to meet a couple of our key Bike the Creek planning partners: Brampton Recreation Michele Robinson and Brampton Active Transportation Nelson Cadete. This event requires special skills to make a success!
Bike the Creek included more routes in Town of Caledon this year!
This generous family once again welcomed cyclists (including Minister McGarry and Director Sharma). They provided free water and pop. Some cyclists thought this was an official pavilion. The generosity was quite overwhelming!
TRCA Kenpark Park Stormwater Pavillion educated cyclists about the issue of plastics in our water supply. Cyclists refilled water bottles and had their passports stamped for chances to win prizes.
Dr. Loh completed his run and encouraged our display of active healthy living! He wants to return next year!
Peel Regional Police provided online bicycle registration for Bike the Creek cyclists.
Brampton Regional Councillor Michael Palleschi visited our Title Sponsor Region of Peel Walk + Roll booth. Cyclists won prizes for answering skill-testing cycling questions.
We welcomed the return of Silver Sponsor WIKE, the Walk & Bike Company! Their range of locally (Guelph) designed and manufactured cycling products never cease to amaze and delight Bike the Creek cyclists! This year, WIKE owners Bob and Anna cycled the End-to-End Ride! Thanks for coming!
Hosting Pavillions this year were Sponsors PAMA (Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archives), Credit Valley Conservation (SNAP Fletcher’s Creek) and Brampton Horticultural Society. Wanigan organic fruits and vegetables supplied snacks at Mount Pleasant Community Centre for our Canada 150 riders.
Partner City of Brampton Heritage hosted pavillions at historic Bovaird House (Pendergast Log Cabin) and Brampton Memorial Arena. Partner TRCA also hosted a SNAP Pavillion at County Court Park.
Executive Director of Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Marlaine Koehler cycled the City Ride (celebrating afterward with Minister Kathryn McGarry). Marlaine and her partners have championed the creation of 2100 km of Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, connecting 114 communities.
Minister Kathryn McGarry brought greetings on behalf of Province of Ontario, after cycling the Family Ride.
Peel Acting MOH Dr. Lawrence Loh expressed the importance of living an active life for health, while he demonstrated a positive family role model for our community.
Town of Caledon Councillors Johanna Downey, Jennifer Innis and Mayor Allan Thompson cycled the Family Ride and challenged Brampton to meet Caledon’s participation of 3 from Council!
Brampton Regional Councillor Michael Palleschi responded to the friendly challenge from Caledon! Brampton had one rider – Councillor Doug Whillans.
Caledon and TRCA liked Councillor Palleschi’s retort to the challenge! Work is cut out for the 2 communities….
Minister McGarry encouraged our MTO Road Safety Challenge of “Do the Bright Thing — be seen, be heard, be predictable”! Region of Peel’s Title Sponsor support was used to provide our free lunch from the Gourmet Group — BBQ Gourmet.
City of Brampton Recreation staffed our first-ever bike valet parking, keeping cyclists bicycles safe and contained while riders enjoyed their lunch and time visiting booths and listening to our speakers.
Happy cyclist filled the bleachers and picnic tables to eat their catered lunch and listen to our speakers.
Brampton Environment Advisory Committee promoted Brampton Master Environmental Plan’s Grow Green Eco-Pledge, while Sierra Club members helped cyclists sort their waste at the Peel Waste Pavillion — creating our Zero-waste event!
Region of Peel Waste reported that Bike the Creek diverted 90% of the garbage. The breakdown: 10kg was garbage; 40kg was recycling; and 50kg was organics! This shows why using your organic green bin in Peel is so important, as it keeps a vast amount of material from landfill!
Master of Ceremonies, Bruce Marshall, drew the prize draw winning tickets. Some very happy cyclists won great prizes.
A huge thanks to all the dozens of volunteers like Polly and Alina who made this event possible!