***UPDATE: The invitation to the Mayor to give cycling a try has been signed by over 1,000 people at www.change.org/robfordrides. A letter to the Mayor’s office was sent via email on September 10, 2013, which you can read here.***
Toronto’s Mayor Ford hasn’t been the biggest supporter of cycling in the city. During his time in office there has been a net removal of bike lanes in the city. He’s also said some pretty nasty things about cyclists; calling them a “pain in the ass” to motorists and claiming that it’s their own fault if they get killed (YouTube, 2009). Now it’s important to remember that many of these infamous quotes are often taken out of context, and while Ford may ultimately mean well, there’s no doubt that his priority is to support motorists and not cyclists.
But what Ford can’t deny is that cycling is really the best way to travel the city as he also remarked in that infamous YouTube video, “If I lived downtown I’d be with the cyclists. You don’t need a car to get to point A to point B.” Yet since becoming Mayor of Canada’s largest city (these comments were during his time as Councillor), he’s done very little to make life safer or better for cyclists in the downtown core.
So with a potentially new outlook on life in office since winning an appeal to keep his job, I’m hoping that 2013 is the year Ford embraces urban cycling. To help with this change of heart, I’m offering a chance for Ford to experience, first hand, the joys of urban cycling by launching the Rob Ford Rides the City community challenge for him to join us for a spin.
Download the official MEDIA RELEASE (PDF)
Check out some of the media about the Challenge so far:
- oCanada.com, “Get Rob Ford on a bicycle,” by William Wolfe-Wylie. April 5, 2013.
- Metro Digital, “Cyclist petitions Rob Ford to bike for a day,” by Luke Simcoe. April 5, 2013.
- Newstalk 1010, Friendly Fire with Ryan Doyle & John Downs (Radio). Listen to the audio on Youtube. April 5, 2013.