By Tori Taylor, July 31 2019 —
Cyclepalooza offers the citizens of Calgary an opportunity to band together in common interest. This ten-day event is held annually throughout Calgary. Promoting an active lifestyle and gathering people together to support positive hobbies is a great way to fuel local community. Every year in July, Cyclepalooza is put on by volunteers who share a passion for inclusivity and cycling. It is held as an entirely volunteer-based event — a do-it-yourself type of situation. Business and groups are able to organize fun rides all over the city. Not only is this a great way to bring your office together for long bike ride through a beautiful area of the city, but it’s a wonderful way to have your business in a community-supporting role. For smaller cycling groups, Cyclepalooza offers the chance to expand participation long-term, like an active meet-and-greet for anyone wanting to become more involved in the cycling community.
Cyclepalooza places passionate importance on social inclusivity. The volunteers ensure that this event avidly supports all genders, races, abilities, religions and bikes of choice. It is important that Calgarians feel welcome to experience the local cycling community without feeling intimidated or judged. In a big city, it can be quite nerve-wracking to put yourself in new situations. Joining a club, team or social group is not an easy thing to do as an adult. By creating an annual atmosphere that promotes positive participation, everyone and anyone can grab a bike and try it out.
This year had a fantastic turnout. There was a bike ride combined with yoga in the park. On July 15, Spoke and Word put on a “poetry ride.” This was an open ride for poetry lovers and cycling enthusiasts. The poetry ride featured four scheduled stops where poetry readings and conversation were shared before hopping back onto bikes. On the final Saturday, there was an 80s themed “bike prom” held. Cyclists were encouraged to wear whatever costumes they could wrangle up to join in an hour-long bike ride in the Sunalta area. On the very last day, there was a “pedal and paint” ride. Participants brought their art tools of choice along for a scenic ride. There were several scheduled stops where cyclists paused to sketch, draw or paint the scenery around them. This was a popular ride and such a fun way to actively enjoy our city while sharing two hobbies with locals who have the same interests.
If you missed Cyclepalooza this year don’t bum out too hard. They fully intend on celebrating the cycling community again next year and for many more years to come. Since their concept’s birth in 2011 and first event held in 2012, this 100 per cent volunteer-fueled festival has grown stronger and more popular.