Bikes + Fate

How did unexpected or unplanned events lead you to cycling and where you are now? Were there any random encounters or coincidences in your past that helped to create your love of cycling? Fate was the theme of the first BIKE MINDS virtual event, and storytellers from across Canada were challenged to ponder these questions when they shared their stories.

Bikes + Fate was held on August 12, 2020 at 8PM EST and signaled the debut of BIKE MINDS into the “virtual” event space. Our team of volunteers gathered stories from across Canada, from Olds, Alberta to Halifax, Nova Scotia for another night of stories.

Despite lacking the usual comforts of our in-person events – laughter, applause, and sometimes beer – the event was a hit. We heard about the interface of cycling with physical ability and migration, raising children who cycle through the winter, and the challenges and rewards of fostering a culture of cycling in one’s own city.

Matt Pinder hosted the event and opened with a powerful speech drawing attention to the need for actively anti-racist behaviours from everyone involved in cycling, if we truly want to create a space that is comfortable for everyone. He challenged the audience with the questions: “Does your community group have diverse representation where people are not being tokenized? When you make a demand of your politicians do you first reflect on your privilege and the impact of your requests on communities more vulnerable? Do you partner with or volunteer with organizations that focus on equity or that serve communities facing systemic oppression?”

Jillian Banfield (8:55)

Jillian Banfield is Halifax’s Bicycle Mayor. A disabled woman who found the freedom of movement – and the love of her life – through cycling, she passionately advocates for all the things that make active transportation more accessible.

Go directly to Jillian’s story here:

Erin Riediger (21:00)

Erin Riediger is an architectural intern from Winnipeg, with a passion for humanist architecture and safe equitable cities. Erin’s podcast, Plain Bicycle follows a group of Canadians who travelled to the Netherlands to fill a shipping container with second hand Dutch bicycles, with the hopes of importing everyday cycling culture into North America.

Go directly to Erin’s story here:

Saba Shahsiah (34:45)

Saba is a member of BIKEPOC, a social cycling group creating safe spaces where BIPOC women, trans, femme and non-binary identifying folks in Toronto can ride their bikes and be empowered together. Riding a bike for her is an act resisting the status quo, and a tool for her independence and agency.

Go directly to Saba’s story here:

Felix Lee (51:17)

Felix Lee is a quirky cyclist who is passionate about all things single speed. He is a racer, an organizer, and a Cycling Canada official. He lives in rural Alberta with horses and chickens and cats.

Go directly to Felix’s story here:

Arcy Canumay (59:45)

Arcy Canumay grew up cycling on the neighbourhood streets of Metro Manila in the Philippines. For 5 years, he lived in Tokyo Japan and regularly cycled to the train station and around his neighbourhood. Now in Canada with his family, he is the Bicycle Mayor of Waterloo and is actively working with organisations and the community to make cycling a safe transportation option for everyone in the city.

Go directly to Arcy’s story here:

Kelly Granigan (1:11:52)

Kelly Granigan is a Professional Engineer by trade. In her personal life, she is passionate about the environment, and finding creative ways to save a little more money, while increasing overall happiness for her family. She lives with her partner and 2 kids in Edmonton, Alberta. Edmonton is a very car-centric city, but Kelly and her family find joy in moving about via foot, bike, and transit, year round.

Go directly to Kelly’s story here:

Special thanks to the volunteers that made the event possible: Catherine, Rie, Gerry, Suzanne, Kayla, and Robert.

The BIKE MINDS team hopes to host another virtual event this Fall, but we need more stories to make that happen! Do you have a bike-themed story to share? Submit it here:

Published by Matt Pinder

Matt Pinder is a transportation professional who strives to make the way we move more human, by making walking and cycling practical, normal and safe options to get around. //

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