Events

Second Annual 'Bike for Mike' This Sunday

The goal of the annual Mike ride is to provide a bicycle to every child in Hamilton.

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 30, 2012

This coming Sunday, May 6, Bike for Mike will host the second annual 'Mike Ride', a fundraising event with the goal of providing every Hamilton child with a bicycle.

Started by the family of Mike Chamberlain, an avid cyclist who died on May 29, 2010, Bike for Mike seeks to realize Mike's dream of making Hamilton a more bicycle-friendly city.

As Mark Chambelain, Mike's father and a principal Bike for Mike organizer, explains, "our goal is to provide bikes to kids in Hamilton who can't afford them - ultimately a goal of a bike for every child."

To do that, the organizers "pick a couple of schools each year and provide [a bike to] every kid in the school - and their parents if desired - so that the entire community gets behind active transportation."

By increasing awareness of, and access to, bicycles and cycling, the campaign hopes to "move the entire community around the school to a 'complete streets' approach." Exposing more children to bicycles is a long-range investment in establishing communities that support complete streets and can help move the city as a whole in that direction.

Ride Details

The Mike Ride starts at Bayfront Park, near Bay Street North and Strachan Street West. The registration fee is $50 for adults age 17 and up, and $10 for riders age 16 and under (such riders must be accompanied by an adult).

There are three rides:

The organizers advise bringing appropriate clothing (layers, bright colours and reflective gear), water, sunglasses and sunscreen along with your bike. Note that all participants must wear a helmet.

You can register online for the event. In addition to the registration fee, the organizers ask you to commit to raising an additional sponsorship to help support the campaign.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted May 01, 2012 at 09:25:29

I don't like to be a Debbie Downer ... but I'll probably do it anyway.

By increasing awareness of, and access to, bicycles and cycling, the campaign hopes to "move the entire community around the school to a 'complete streets' approach."

... and yet ...

The organizers advise bringing appropriate clothing (layers, bright colours and reflective gear), water, sunglasses and sunscreen along with your bike. Note that all participants must wear a helmet.

All this for a Sunday morning ride in early May? This is both a reflection of the popular view of cycling as both onerous and dangerous, as well as part of the reason for that perception. What happened to just getting on your bike for a Sunday morning bike ride?

Comment edited by moylek on 2012-05-01 10:15:26

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By brightside (anonymous) | Posted May 01, 2012 at 11:43:32 in reply to Comment 76360

They might of had to do that for insurance reasons.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted May 01, 2012 at 09:26:28

Did anyone got last year? I'm wondering what the turnout was for each ride.

It actually does sound fun, and getting kids on bikes is a good cause.

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted May 01, 2012 at 10:53:24

Last year there were approximately 250 cyclists (in total). Hopefully this year will exceed that!

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted May 03, 2012 at 06:14:02

I went to school with Mike. It was unfortunate surrounding his passing. I hope this event drew a lot of people!

Comment edited by DowntownInHamilton on 2012-05-03 06:14:53

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 03, 2012 at 07:12:37 in reply to Comment 76421

It hasn't happened yet, so there's still time for you to join if you can get your hands on a bike by Sunday.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted May 03, 2012 at 08:13:31

If I can get to Bike Hounds and find a bike that suits me, I will probably be there!

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