In late June I will be biking (and ferrying) up to Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada for Velo Village–a rural mobility conference. The actual conference is on Friday June 22nd and the rest of the weekend is going to be a celebration of rural cycling. I’ll be giving a presentation on Friday about the bike touring systems I researched and used while travelling across Europe this summer and fall, including EuroVelo (all of the EU), Sustrans (UK), SchweizMobil (CH), Knooppuntroutes (NL), and other bicycle highway systems. The focus of my presentation will be on how these bike touring systems can increase tourism in rural areas. You can sign up for the conference here.

The rest of the weekend will literally be a celebration of rural cycling and Salt Spring is apparently going to be transformed to a “bicycle heaven on earth.” Velo Village will be like a Fringe Festival – everyone will be asked to register for a low cost ($10.00) and they’ll get a button that will give them access to all of the events, workshops, performances…etc. They are expecting about 1,000 cyclists to come to the island for the weekend. Velo Village organizer, John Rowlandson, just e-mailed me with some exciting news:

After 5 months of talking we inked the deal with BC Ferries yesterday for a special bicycle only sailing to Salt Spring on Sat June 23rd! First time in BC coastal history! The 100 meter ferry holds 400+ cyclists/bikes!

So, if you come up on Saturday the 10:00 AM crossing from Swartz Bay is going to be a bike-only party followed by a 400-person group ride to Ganges.

By Christine M. Grant – Shift