Bike Minds Halifax aims to uplift and inspire through bicycle-themed storytelling
Bike Minds Halifax will feature personal stories from cycling enthusiasts
February 11, 2021, 11:34 am ASTLast Updated: February 11, 2021, 11:34 am
The rain was coming down sideways on the first day of the 2015 Nova Scotia MS Bike Tour. The conditions for cycling were less than ideal. Some participants dropped out. But there was no way that Darryl Osborne was quitting.
He put on sunglasses to shield his eyes from the wind, and began the 92 km journey from Windsor to Wolfville and back again.
Osborne has cerebral palsy, which affects his legs, so he uses a low-rise, three-wheel recumbent cycle. Although he enjoyed the freedom of cycling, he wanted to try something more challenging than his neighbourhood streets and the local nature trails.
“I decided that I wanted to push myself and see what I could do,” said Osborne.
He may have been the slowest guy in the race, but he made it to the end. He remembers his then-two-year-old daughter running up to him and saying “Daddy made it! Daddy made it!”
“It was an awesome moment,” he said.
Osborne will share that story Thursday night at Bike Minds Halifax, a bicycle-themed storytelling event where speakers share positive, personal, and inspiring stories related to cycling.
The event is part of Halifax Winter Bike Week and is a collaboration between the Halifax Cycling Coalition and Bike Minds, an organization that has been organizing similar events in Ontario since 2018.
Osborne is the Bicycle Nova Scotia board member responsible for equity and inclusion. He’s also the co-ordinator of Tri-a-Ride Paracycling, a free weekly program at the Canada Games Centre. He decided he wanted to share his story at Bike Minds Halifax to help other people with physical disabilities experience the freedom he has found in cycling.
Other speakers will share their stories. Two cyclists from Montreal will talk about delivering meals to vulnerable people at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A guest from P.E.I. will speak about “fat biking,” a form of winter-friendly recreational cycling. An essential worker from Dartmouth will talk about cycling to her job at a nursing home at the height of the pandemic.
Bringing cyclists together
This is the first Bike Minds event in Halifax. Megan Doucette, the executive director of the Halifax Cycling Coalition, said the event is intended to showcase the positive aspects of cycling and help bring people together.
“There’s often a lot of commiserating about how things could be better for cycling,” she said in an interview. “Especially where there’s not a lot of safe, protective infrastructure in Halifax and other cities.”
While Winter Bike Week has events and initiatives aimed at improving cycling safety and infrastructure in Halifax, Doucette said that Bike Minds Halifax is intended as “a space where folks can talk about the positive things.”
“It’s really meant to also help create a sense of community around cycling,” she said.
Doucette hopes that initiatives like Bike Minds Halifax will help normalize cycling and create a stronger culture of active transportation in Halifax.
“The more people you see out there cycling the more you might want to try it,” she said. “There’s so many opportunities to connect with the city when you’re on your bike. It’s such a nice way to get around.”
Halifax Winter Bike Week is happening until Feb. 13.
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