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Essex kicks off Bike Month in Colchester



by Adam Gault

June is being recognized as Bike Month in the Town of Essex, and, with that, several events are being held in the town to celebrate the importance of active transportation infrastructure and to encourage citizens to take up the environmentally and physically healthy hobby.

On Sunday, the first of two free community rides was held in Colchester. It was designed to bring in new cyclists with a beginner’s level ride through the streets and trails in and around the area.

“In terms of cycling infrastructure, the Town of Essex has a bit of everything, from dedicated bike lanes and paved shoulders, to multi-use trails and greenways,” Cynthia Cakebread said, who is the Manager of Recreation and Culture. “This year’s Bike Month events will help create awareness of the places to cycle and the sights to see while riding in our community.”

The Town’s Assistant Manager of Programming, Jason Jolicoeur, led the ride, along with other staff members who are recognized in Can-Bike certification.

This certification means they are recognized in knowing the many facets of bicycle safety, from defensive cycling through urban areas, to pre-ride safety inspections. Jolicoeur and his team are able to instruct even the most novice cyclist in how to keep themselves safe in all riding environments.

“We want to be a more active transportation community,” Jolicoeur explained. “We want to support biking. The kids like it, it’s a fun thing to do, and we get to explore way further than we normally would [on foot].”

  The Share the Road Cycling Coalition recently recognized the Town of Essex as a Bicycle Friendly Community, in part due to the recently installed bicycle paths along County Road 50 and commitment to the County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS), which will soon have a new connection to Kingsville along those new County Road 50 paths.

  The Town of Essex’s next Bike Month event takes place at the Harrow and Colchester South Community Centre on Sunday, June 23 at 3 p.m.

This entry-level ride will take cyclists on trails and roads in Harrow Centre. Bike Windsor Essex will also make an appearance for a free Bike Rodeo to teach safe cycling, from 1:00 until 3:00pm.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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