Belleville/June 1, 2015 – Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and Belleville community partners welcome you, your family, friends and co-workers to join us in celebrating Belleville Bike Month in June. Get your helmet ready, lace-up your shoes, take your bicycle out of the garage and prepare to enjoy various active events in Belleville throughout the month of June.
“It is great to see local partners and businesses come together to celebrate biking throughout the community and within their workplaces,” says Tanya Hill, Health Promoter with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. “Belleville Bike Month will raise awareness about the importance of biking as a viable and safe form of transportation and leisure time activity.” Belleville On Bikes, the Belleville City Police, the Belleville and District Chamber of Commerce, Doug’s Bicycle, Ideal Bike, as well as several other local agencies and businesses are involved in planning and promoting Belleville Bike Month events.
“This is also a time to bring attention to the importance of creating community environments that support and encourage people to bike more through municipal policy and infrastructure,” adds Hill. In 2014, the City of Belleville adopted a Transportation Master Plan which provides clear guidance for encouraging sustainable and active modes of transportation, including the development of a cycling network. Providing more opportunities for safe biking addresses the safety concerns that keep people from choosing to bike as an active mode of transport. “A bicycle-friendly community not only provides residents with opportunities for physical activity, but also allows those without cars to travel around the city easier and contributes to a healthier environment with cleaner air,” says Hill.
Belleville City Councillor and Hastings Prince Edward Board of Health member Egerton Boyce is celebrating Bike Month by giving up his car for local commutes during the month of June. Councillor Boyce says he is taking this challenge to better understand what is needed in our community to support cycling. “I need to immerse myself into what they [cyclists] encounter on a daily basis,” says Boyce. “I also need to eat healthier and exercise more to prolong my life, and biking more will hopefully keep me healthier.” Other reasons Boyce cited for his personal challenge include reducing his carbon footprint and supporting growth in Belleville. “The availability of recreational multi-use trails and cycling facilities has been shown to encourage people to move into communities.” Councillor Boyce will be riding around Belleville on a new bike being sponsored to him by Doug’s Bicycle.
For more information about Belleville Bike Month 2015, visit www.BellevilleBikeMonth.ca or contact Tanya Hill at Hastings Prince Edward Public Health at 613-966-5500.
Belleville Bike Month Events
Commuter Challenge – May 31 to June 6
This friendly competition between workplaces celebrates sustainable and active ways of commuting. Register and track your active commutes at www.commuterchallenge.ca
Bike to Work Breakfast
– June 4, 7 am to 9 am, Market Square
Let’s gather downtown for a free healthy pancake breakfast to celebrate everyone who has enjoyed biking as a sustainable form of commuting on Bike to Work Day, June 4.
Shop and Mingle
– June 6, 7 pm, Ideal Bike
Come on out to Ideal Bike for bike repair tips, new product demonstrations and a discussion of local infrastructure and policy issues in Belleville.
– June 13, 9:30 pm, Market Square
Bring your family, friends, bikes and plenty of glow sticks and lights for a joy ride around town with the folks from Belleville On Bikes.
Pedal Palooza Bike Festival
– June 20, 10 am to 2 pm, Riverside Park
Come out to this fun family event and celebrate bikes! Join us for a Kids Bike Rodeo, Free helmet giveaways, a bike repair clinic, an adult cycling skill development workshop, and much more.
Bike and Save
– June 1 to 30
Local businesses are celebrating Bike Month too! Visit www.BellevilleBikeMonth.ca for a list of participating businesses.
– May 4 to June 30
Throughout June, use #BellevilleBikeSelfie and post pictures of you, your bike and a Belleville landmark on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for your chance to win prizes.
About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) operates one of 36 health units across Ontario. HPEPH provides dozens of programs and services, along with reliable health information, to a population of approximately 150,000 people in a 7,000 square km catchment area encompassing 17 municipalities. HPEPH’s mission is to enable the people in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties to achieve and maintain optimal health through health protection and promotion, as well as disease and injury prevention. For more information, please visit www.hpepublichealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.