Rural cycling is the focus of an international conference on Salt Spring Island, and Golden Mayor Christina Benty has been invited to speak.
Velo Village, a precurser to the major event, Velo-City Global 2012 in Vancouver, is a project of Island Pathways, an organization that has been supporting safe, active transportation for almost 25 years.
“Velo-City Global is the world’s premier international cycling planning conference. If offers delegates from around the world a chance to share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities, where bicycles are valued as a part of daily transport and recreation,” said Benty.
A slate of interdisciplinary speakers will be at Velo Village, highlighting the rural cycling value proposition by connecting the dots between rural, suburban and urban cycling worlds. Politicians, professionals and community leaders from all over North America will be presenting. It may seem unusual that the mayor of such a small community be invited as a guest speaker at a global event. But Golden has a unique program that has caught Velo Village’s attention.
“I will be speaking about Golden’s bike share program. It has garnered interest because we are the smallest community in Canada to have a bike share program,” said Benty. “I will be outlining how we got here and where we are going.”
Not only does Golden have an innovative program within the town boundaries, it also has some of the most exciting cycling trails in the province.
“Because it is an international conference, it will provide Golden with some positive exposure as a bike friendly community,” said Benty. The conference is attracting cycling enthusiasts from around the world to see what different communities are doing.
“I plan on taking some Tourism Golden material to promote Golden as a cycling destination for all levels.”
On the Velo Vancouver website it states the conference is a place where, “Spotlighting cities and regions around the world, small, medium, and large that are enabling and encouraging people of all ages to choose cycling as a daily form of active transportation and recreation. This includes the Forerunner Cities that are achieving significant cycling success as well as the Climbing Cities that are taking significant steps forward to improve cycling in their community.”