Thunder Bay Launches National Cycling Education Toolkit

May 2, 2014 - A new, locally-developed Toolkit gives Canadian communities step-by-step guidance on starting up their own cycling education programs.

Creating "Community Cycling Education Programs: The Toolkit" was officially released during a media event held at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) on Friday. The Toolkit was developed by the EcoSuperior in partnership with the TBDHU and City of Thunder Bay, with input from other Canadian communities and funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).

"This Toolkit is the culmination of three years of experience running the Safe Cycling Program," said Ellen Mortfield, Executive Director – EcoSuperior Environmental Programs. "We quickly realized that there was a gap in available knowledge; there are resources for teaching people how to be great cycling instructors, but not much telling communities how to run a good cycling program. Our hope is that the Toolkit can fulfill that need."

Using feedback from communities, developers designed the Toolkit to assist users in setting up a CAN-BIKE cycling education program. It includes information on how to assess a community’s needs, set up and run courses, advertise and fund the program.

Partnerships have been established to promote and distribute the Toolkit to communities throughout the Northwest and nationally. Cycling Canada, the Ontario Cycling Association, and the TBDHU have committed to encouraging communities to utilize the Toolkit.

"There is increasing interest in cycling as a way of commuting and for recreation. This Toolkit will provide valuable guidance to communities and organizations in delivering cycling education programs to people of all ages to ensure that people have the knowledge and skills to cycle safely," explains Dr. Janet DeMille, Associate Medical Officer of Health.

Forty copies of the Toolkit have been printed and will be distributed to communities throughout Northwestern Ontario. Digital copies are available online at these partner websites: CAN-BIKE Program, Share the Road Cycling Coalition, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, and Safe Cycling Thunder Bay.

"The Ontario Cycling Association commends the City of Thunder Bay on the work done on developing this Toolkit," said Greg Rawson, Sport Coordinator – Ontario Cycling Association. "Our mandate is to support Ontario’s cyclists and cycling programs – this Toolkit will help us achieve that, and we look forward to sharing it with municipalities across Ontario."

"Many Cities throughout Canada are working to make themselves more cycling-friendly, and education is an important part of that," said Andy Wilson, CAN-BIKE Coordinator with Cycling Canada. "This Toolkit is a fantastic resource, and will certainly prove useful as those Cities set up their own cycling education programs. Cycling Canada is pleased to help distribute the Toolkit across the country."



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