Local cycling enthusiast, Jim Brendish, wants to do more to support active transportation and safe cycling in Huntsville and Muskoka.
As organizer of the Spin the Lakes Cycle Tour, a one-day event in May that sees hundreds of cyclists take to four local routes for a fun day of cycling, Brendish knows the importance of both cyclists and motorists being aware of each other on the road. In past years, he has donated funds raised at the event to various causes, primarily the Share the Road Cycling Coalition which is a Toronto-based cycling safety advocacy group.
But last year, Brendish began working toward allocating those funds to the local community instead. In advance of the event’s 10th anniversary in 2016, Brendish plans to host a Bike Muskoka Forum to get interested stakeholders and enthusiasts in the community together for a common cause.
“This will be a Muskoka-wide initiative to pull together keen and key people in our district that will form a committee to help run the event and find opportunities to use the money raised to better local cycling and create safe routes for recreational cycling and active transportation,” said Brendish. While the event doesn’t raise enough to fund things like improved infrastructure – widened road shoulders, for example – he hopes that the long-term effect of the group’s work will lead to positive changes.
“Share the Road is doing great work but they’re more involved with legislation and I wanted to benefit Huntsville more directly,” said Brendish. Possible uses for the funds raised include signage, education, and promotion of cycling safety.
The Bike Muskoka Forum will be primarily by invitation to district and municipal councillors and people who are champions for cycling safety in Muskoka’s towns. However, he encourages anyone who is keen to help and feels they could play a key role to contact him.
The forum will be held soon – a date and location are being confirmed. Spin the Lake registration opens in mid-January for the May 28, 2016 event.
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