From the depths of his laboratory somewhere in the greasy bowels of the city, public space wunderkid Dave Meslin is putting the finishing touches on his latest project– the Toronto Cyclists Union.
“The Bike Union has already become the largest grassroots bicycle advocacy project in the history of Toronto,” says a pumped Meslin, Mez to his friends. “And we haven’t even launched yet!”
Careful to release just enough info about the project to create a little buzz, Meslin doesn’t want to blow what he’s got planned for his latest little baby until its formal unveiling next month.
For those out of the loop or catching their breath from a hard winter’s riding, here’s the dirt we’ve pickedup on our tires for what’s being billed as “Toronto’s first member-driven bicycle advocacy group.”
The Bike Union’s had to shift gears, putting on hold until 2009 plans for North America’s first roadside assistance plan for bikes, and theft and collision insurance.
But plans ready for rollout in 08 include:
• Forty-four “captains”, one in each of the city’s wards • Monthly weekend social rides, starting with Bells On Bloor on May 25 • A pilot lending program of bicycle trailers, trikes and cargo bikes • Bicycle first aid courses • An online dating service for bike riders • And free lock removal for members who’ve lost their keys.
Are the city’s other bike advocacy groups ready to roll with this new kid on the block?
Says Mez, “Without a loud voice at City Hall, the needs of cyclists will continue to fall through the cracks.”