Tuesday, June 21, 2016

#CarFreeDayYVR Recap

The little kids loved our runner bike track!
Over the past year & a half Tonya & I have tried a number of things to promote family biking in this city. One of those things is to go to big events like Car Free Day. Last year Oli & I just showed up, parked our Yuba & gave out flyers for our Mount Pleasant Family Biking Festival. This year, we were official participants in the Commercial Drive Family Zone of Car Free Day. They generously gave us a huge triple space (thanks Amelia & Laura!!) so we were able to set up a little runner bike area, a colouring table, a mini cargo bike show & shine (aka rock star parking for our rides to the event) plus our info table & chairs with a big sun shelter.

We biked all our gear there on three cargo bikes, of course: two folding tables, a 10'x10' sun shelter, five chairs, crayons, markers, colouring sheets, banners, toy stop signs, mini traffic cones, eight plastic bollards, bunting, two runner bikes, lunch, several bottles of water & two kids. Since we arrived by bike, we were able to set up at the last minute & didn't need to worry about the restrictions on driving vehicles into the closed streets.

Our colouring sheets with girls on bikes were most popular
We had a great day & talked to a lot of people about family biking, our workshops, the Vancouver Family Biking rides & Facebook group, plus the prize we were giving away: a $25 gift certificate to the Sidesaddle Bikes saddle library. Thanks Sidesaddle for donating the prize!

The kids had fun during the day. Since we were in the family zone right by the park, Linny & B got to spend a good amount of time on the playground, plus a good romp in the empty Tumblebus at the end of the day. Bronte disappeared (briefly) multiple times. She went to the photo booth next door to us a few times (there was a monkey mascot outside, so of course), begged free lemonade from the kids selling it down the street two or three times, & went to visit with various dogs that she saw. Slightly nerve wracking, but she & Linnaeus were both wearing their Mabel's Labels name tags with my phone number on them, so that gave me a little peace of mind.

The food was yummy too--I had some jerk chicken roti, pizza, & a pork sandwich. I didn't actually see much of the festival--only what we rode past on our way in & out. It was kind of nice just hanging out in one spot, though.

All packed up & ready to go. Cargo bikes for the win!
During the seven hours we were there, 55 bike colouring pages were coloured, around 100 Spokesmama business cards disappeared, people took about the same number of Vancouver Family Biking cards, & I saw a few people photographing the URL on our banners too. I think it was definitely worth going to & would love to participate in Car Free Day again next year. Plus, a bike ride carrying lots of stuff, then seven hours of chatting family biking with different people, then another bike ride? What's not to love?!?

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