Bicycle Opera project coming to Guelph this Thursday July 31!

Here is an article from the Guelph Tribune, about the Bicycle Opera coming to town at Harcourt United Church, Thursday July 31.  Come and enjoy the show!

Thursday, July, 17, 2014 – 12:12:45 PM

Opera troupe pedals into town

An opera troupe will pedal into Guelph for a show at a local church on Thursday July 31 that will showcase music by contemporary Canadian composers.
The Bicycle Opera Project, which also had a local show last year, will perform at Harcourt Memorial United Church at 7:30 p.m.
Guelph is one of 14 Ontario communities the troupe is visiting as part of this year’s tour, which will see seven singers and musicians bike over 800 kilometres while hauling instruments, props, costumes and sets, a news release said.
“People tend to think of opera as an elitist art form, conjuring images of corsets and bull-horn helmets,” troupe co-founder Larissa Koniuk said in the release.
“We break these barriers by getting dirty on our bikes and spreading opera across Ontario in a style that is modern and relatable. Cycling also happens to be economically and environmentally friendly!”
The troupe, which was founded in 2012, incorporates bicycle culture into its performances. One of the performers dons a wig made of recycled inner tubes to play Rapunzel.
Audience members can contribute to the production by pedalling a bicycle-powered generator during intermission that runs a projector in the second act, the release said. Helmets, bells, locks and bikes feature prominently as props throughout the show.
The troupe will perform seven opera songs, including six in English and one in French. The repertoire showcases the works of established and emerging Canadian composers, including Tobin Stokes, Brian Current, Dean Burry, Ivan Barbotin, Adam Scime and Chris Thornborrow, the release said.
For tickets, visit bicycleopera.com/tickets or call 416-938-8653.

More questions than answers in trial over Guelph area cyclist’s death

More questions than answers in trial over Guelph area  cyclist’s death


On November 7, 2013, CTV news reported  that a man named Gordon Krofchick, 42, of Ariss, was killed in a hit and run by a motorist on Wellington County Road 7 just south of  County Road 51 between 10 and 11:30 pm.  


A passerby called 911 around 7:30 am.  A Guelph woman, named Anna Wilson, was charged in connection with the hit and run.  According to CTV news, an auto shop reported a car with damage to the police.


http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/guelph-woman-charged-after-cyclist-found-dead-north-of-city-1.1531980
This is very tragic story, to say the least.
What is also tragic is the reporting of the trial by the Guelph Mercury. (July 18, 2014)  It gave no information except to say that the charges were stayed.


According to the Mercury, the brother of the victim, Gordon Krofchik said, “We don’t feel like justice is being done.”


This story, therefore, raises more questions than the answers it provides.


Why were the charges dropped? A cyclist was killed, a person hit him and left the scene, and all the information we have is that the charges were dropped.  A precious human life was lost in an apparent hit and run and no further information was provided.


I think the public has a right to know more details, details, please….

Profiles of Cyclists in our Community: Andrew Alford, Bike-It Guelph

Andrew Alford, sole proprietor of Bike-It Guelph delivery service



What made you think of starting a business like this?

I wanted to work outdoors and find a business that could promote a Bike Friendly Guelph to show that a successful business could be run using a bicycle.  I am also adding another voice to active transportation and active infrastructure.  I also want to support local farms as I spent some time working on them.  I love living in Guelph and have found that I can live here and support local farmers all at the same time.


What kind of work do you do?
I offer a zero-emissions, convenient and affordable delivery service within the wonderful City of Guelph. Currently, I do regular deliveries for St Ignatius CSA, and Guelph Solar.  I can deliver up to 300 pounds in goods.  I’ve been moving a lot of furniture (i.e. mattresses, bookshelves and armchairs) lately so I hope to get involved with moving University of Guelph students in the fall.


What do you enjoy about riding a bike?

I’m able to say “hi” to people and stop and engage with friends. If I’m on my trailer, I can have a quick conversation.  There is a different level of intimacy when you’re on a bicycle.  It’s empowering to be able to propel myself through the city.  Compared to driving, I feel more enlivened.


Where do you go on the bike?
For business, I bike within Guelph.  I’ve been on almost every road in Guelph.  When riding for recreation, I go to Guelph Lake.  I’ve also taken some cycle tours out in Eastern Canada.


What is the hardest thing about using the bike for transportation?
Safety.  Being on various busy roads especially during rush hour. It can be dangerous, especially without a bike lane.


Did you have any worries about starting your own business?
I was worried that  there wouldn’t be interest from the public, but now I see that there is!

How many bikes do you own ?  Which one are you most proud of?

I have 2 bikes.  One is  an early 90’s Trek that I bought for $200, upgraded it, then went bike touring on it.  My delivery bike is a mountain bike for utilitarian purposes.


How would you respond to people who feel a car is just safer?
It’s safer for the individual but not for society as a whole. More danger to pedestrians for example.  There are also a lot of car related deaths.


What needs to happen in Canada to make the culture, and eventually the roads, more bike friendly?
Support from municipality and various tiers of government for bicycle infrastructure.  But really, it comes down to individuals to make a decision to ride a bike.


What is the best part of your commute?
I like  Gordon/Woolwich/Norfolk streets because I enjoy seeing things along the way.  I also enjoy riding on the Royal River Trail.

What is the worst part of your commute?

Edinburgh Road  is pretty gnarly from Paisley to Water Street where I travel regularly.

What infrastructure change would make your commute better?

Segregated bike lanes!

What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?
Cycling is a blast!


Where can people contact you if they would like to use your services?
They can contact me at bikeitguelph@gmail.com or visit www.bikeitguelph.ca

Active Transportation Parade was a huge success!

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Wike Cargo Bike–looks great!

Active Transportation Parade was a huge success!


This past Wednesday, July 16,  Guelph Coalition for  Active Transportation  held its first Active Transportation  Parade.   GCAT’s mission is to increase the quantity, quality and safety of Active Transportation in Guelph.  We also want to show everyone just how fun sustainable transportation can be!

The parade was to start at 5:30.  However, 5:30 came and went, and at first, no one was there, except Mayor Farbridge, Councillor June Hoffland, myself, and a couple other guests.  I was worried at first that our first Active Transportation parade was going to be a flop.  


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Mayor Farbridge came out to enjoy the fun.
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A lucky winner of best costume!

Soon after, everything changed.  Families with small children, young adults, men and women started coming in droves.  Everyone wanted to participate in this fun event.  More than 50 people came to enjoy the fun.

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Councillor June Hofland won best hat award!

It helped that the event was advertised throughout The Junction Neighbourhood and 47 Meadowview Community Potluck .  47 Meadowview has been doing weekly Wednesday Potlucks for the second summer in a row.  Part of the street is blocked to traffic so that families can mill about freely on the street for four glorious hours between 4 and 8 pm.  

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Another costume winner!

Well, these families who participate in the potlucks as well as  others from the neighbourhood were in the mood for a fun event.  Many came dressed in costume, and unexpectedly, we had sustainable bicycle-that-looks-like-a-car from SustainableJoes.com appear.  

Andrew Alford, from Bike-It Guelph, who has a bike delivery service in Guelph, offered to carry a passenger in his carrier.  Cargo bikes from Wike along with Councillor Bob Bell joined in the fun.  
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Bryan McPherson provided the music, and everyone weaved in and out of the streets of the Junction neighbourhood.  Some of the neighbours came out and waved.  Cars that drove by heeded the very large crowd of over 50 participants.

When it was all finished, we enjoyed a delicious potluck dinner provided by the attendees.

Can’t wait to do this again next year!

A Parade to Celebrate Active Transportation in our Community

On Wednesday, July 16 at 5:30 pm, Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation, in partnership with the weekly Community potluck at 47 Meadowview Avenue, is hosting a Community Celebration of Active Transportation. Our mission is to increase the quantity, quality, safety, and fun of Active Transportation in Guelph.

Cyclists, walkers, even rollerbladers are welcome to join in our first “Active Transportation Parade.”  We will wind our way down streets in the Junction neighbourhood.  Families are welcome to attend.

Celebrate your creativity by decorating your bikes and wearing costumes to celebrate your joy of community and Active Transportation!

Prizes will be awarded to the best decorated bicycle, as well as the best costume.

There will be a potluck meal after the event for those who wish to participate.

All are welcome.  Children under 18 must wear helmets if cycling. All participants must sign a waiver in order to participate.

For more information, please contact GCAT at  activeguelph@gmail.com


Tour de Guelph …This Sunday, June 6,2014


The Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium are proud to invite you to a brand new exciting event in our community!

July 6 2014 is the inaugural Tour de Guelph cycling event. This family-friendly cycling event is being held at the University of Guelph with various route options to choose from. You can register today for the tour at www.tourdeguelph.ca<http://www.tourdeguelph.ca>.

Tour de Guelph is a fundraiser in support of The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital, and we are offering prizes for our top fundraisers. Encourage your friends and family to sponsor your ride for your chance to win! There’s also a bike to be awarded to the top youth fundraiser (thank you George Vettor  Cycle and Sport!)

There is a route suitable for all riding levels: 5- and 10-km scenic rides through the University of Guelph Arboretum, or longer rides of 25 km, 50 km or 100 km along country roads just outside of Guelph. There will also be a bike rodeo for kids, free lunch and t-shirt for riders, and several exciting vendors and booths to browse.

Register today and help us reach our goal of 500 riders at our very first event! Visit www.tourdeguelph.ca<http://www.tourdeguelph.ca> for details, or contact us at info@tourdeguelph.ca<mailto:info@tourdeguelph.ca> with your questions.

The City of Guelph is pleased to be a partner in supporting this bicycle-friendly event.