Since 2012 BikeOttawa organises once a year a quick campaign to draw attention to bike lights. We usually do that in the first week after daylight saving (not savings) time. I remember in the first few years that tons of cyclists were cycling without a light but I have this anecdotal feeling that it is getting a lot better. Of course I still see people cycle on Bronson late at night without any type of light, but if you stand along the ‘big commute’ routes, I am impressed how many residents have lights on their bikes. you kind of need to, not only for visibility but there are some really dark areas along the rivers, creeks, the canal and the Experimental Farm.
3 degrees on November 7
Last night Bike Ottawa with support of Safer Roads Ottawa and Pathway Patrol was out there again, at the Cork Town bridge at Queen Elizabeth Drive. Man, there are a lot of people out on the bike on a 3 degree C November 7 evening. It is truly a fantastic sight to see hundreds upon hundreds of people out there. What did former mayor O’Brian say again: “You can only bike six months of the year in Ottawa”. We got many positive reactions and comments that last year’s lights are still working. We also hand out reflective Velcro strips, which many use to hold the pant legs away from the chain (Dutch word of the day: “pant legs=broeks-pijpen”, I’m adding the dash for readability).
Long Johns mandatory for bike lights event
Of course, if you are standing still you are freezing at those temperatures eventually, but being a real Canadian, I was wearing warm hiking boots and Long Johns. What are Long Johns?
As usual, I took a whole bunch of photos for an impression. I have a bit of a gender bias towards women in photos as they just dress better which makes for more varied photography. Because really, how many photos of guys in a high viz yellow wind breakers can you handle. Enjoy!
See photos of our first bike light awareness event here.
Out of curiosity, where does Bike Ottawa get funding for such initiatives? Great job!
Thank you for the feedback.
In the first year BikeOttawa funded this from their own reserves (from membership monies etc). In later years it is probably a combination of BikeOttawa monies and some funding from the City run Safer Roads Ottawa. the thinking is here that you could spend money on a ad campaign telling people what to do or just hand out lights for that money. It has been very successful. I don’t know the numbers for this year yet, but usually we hand out 500-600 lights if not more. Feed back is always very positive. Safer Roads Ottawa gets its funding from several departments in the city from firefighters to police. More on the organisation here. Safer Roads Ottawa