B!KE director taking local thinking to global conference


B!KE’s executive director, Tegan Moss, will be representing Peterborough at the World Bicycle Forum (WBF) in Medellin, Colombia from February 26 to March 3. The event celebrates individual, group, NGO, business and government achievements advocating cycling.

The theme of this year’s Forum is Cuidades Para Todos, which translates to “Cities for all.” There will be productive discussion surrounding the coexistence of bicycles, pedestrians, and motorists in cities.

The first Forum, hosted in Brazil in 2011, was held a year following a Critical Mass (a monthly bicycle ride) crash that occurred in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. The traumatic event was initially commemorated through the first World Bicycle Forum. The event has been held for three consecutive years and is hosting its fourth Forum this weekend.

The event will be comprised of panels, workshops and performances geared towards engaging attending representatives, like Moss, in active discussion surrounding cycling. Attendees will be encouraged to brainstorm ideas that can be implemented in local settings, increasing the safety of cyclists, pedestrians, motorists and drivers alike.

In remembrance of the Critical Mass crash from years ago, the Forum consistently strives to prevent similar instances from occurring.

Moss will be sharing the successes of Peterborough’s Cycling Hub, B!KE, and will also be presenting programs run by the organization that have allowed people to incorporate cycling into their daily lives.

B!KE is a local non-profit organization that promotes bicycle use within the Peterborough community. They offer bicycle repair and maintenance through a program called Open Shop where volunteer and staff mechanics offer their expertise.

Other programs run by B!KE include Youth Earn-a-Bike where youth simultaneously acquire knowledge on cycling safety and etiquette while building a bicycle over the course of eight weeks, and Pedal Power, which is a five-week riding program geared towards 5th graders. These programs are made easily accessible to the community and tailored to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation.

In a release, Moss states that, “one of the things that makes B!KE so unique is that by using [their] services you not only learn to repair your own bike, but you also help other community members meet their transportation needs at the same time.”

About the WBF, executive director, Tegan Moss, states that “what [B!KE is] already doing in Peterborough is huge, I can’t wait to learn from people across the world about strategies to make [B!KE’s] programming even more effective and inclusive.”

There will be 130 speakers from 50 countries at the World Bike Forum, and among them will be B!KE’s Tegan Moss speaking on behalf of Peterborough’s Cycling Hub. Moss will be active on social media and making updates throughout the duration of the event. She can be found via twitter @CyclingHubPTBO and via Facebook at facebook.com/communitybikeshop.

More information about B!KE can be found at their website (communitybikeshop.org) and at their downtown shop located on 336 Rubidge St.