This year was already Citizens for Safe Cycling’s fourth Tulips on Two Wheels event in Ottawa. Every year around the time the 1 million tulips are blooming, we are out at the canal near Canal Ritz with our bike tune up station (managed by Cycle Salvation) and our information booth. Unfortunately, we get the muddiest spot along the entire canal. It is a spot that is used for truck parking during winterlude and it totally ruined. That’s why you hardly see any tulips in the pictures (only across the street).
The event is a great opportunity to talk to cyclists who might not follow us on social media, don’t come to meetings and are usually not involved in any cycling advocacy. We tell them what we do and why we do it and encourage them to talk to their city councillor about issues that bother them. On the fly we explain sometimes a bit of the official decision making process in city hall (and whisper about the informal process), the HTA and planning processes.
We tend not to go to bike festivals, as we feel we mostly talk to the converted who know us already. Being out and about among the general public is a better way for us to reach out, to understand their concerns and hear how happy people are about the cycling improvements in the City. I would guess we helped about 50 cyclists in 2.5 hours. Modest as we are, we never asked for donations, but we gave it a try this year and we were pleasantly surprised that people did donate some money.
Here are some impressions from Saturday: