Near the end of September, IMBA Canada was given the privilege of attending the Ontario Bike Summit, courtesy of the Share the Road Coalition. Over the course of the two day conference, attendees participated in a variety of lectures and workshops focused on promoting a world where cyclists co-exist safely with motorists.

One might ask why IMBA would be involved a conference who’s primarily focus is on road cycling and urban infrastructure? Two ideas come to mind when asked this question:

The first idea is that quite often it is mountain biking that first attracts a person to cycling. The calls of “cool” or “awesome” that are affiliated with our beautiful portion of the cycling world are rather appealing to a young mind. That, in conjunction with the sense of freedom and adventure that such an activity provides, is quite possibly unrivaled amongst activities available to youth.

If we can get more children riding mountain bikes, harnessing the experiences, joys and wonders that it provides, hopefully these children will fall in love with cycling and go on to become active adolescents and adults who come to look at cycling as an irreplaceable portion of their life. As such, IMBA Canada whole heartedly supports the cause of the Share the Road Coalition and hopes that in one way or another, mountain biking with help lead the two wheeled movement forwards.

The second idea deals with the fact that many mountain bikers today are getting in their cars and driving to their local trails systems before having some fun. Much of this is due to the poor road experience they face in order to get to the trail head. What if cities and towns provided cyclists of all manner with a safe, easy network of cycling lanes and pathways which allowed mountain bikers to leave/return to/from the trails via their front door by bike? IMBA Canada believes that the positives of such an idea far outweigh any potential negatives and as such, is committed to aiding in its actualization.

We would like to thank Eleanor and all of the dedicated, passionate staff at the Share the Road Coalition for putting together a solid conference. Please check out their website should you have further questions regarding their mission.