On May 8, Preston Street will be transformed into a cyclist’s paradise with the first annual CycloFest. A celebration of the bicycle as the environmentally-friendly, indispensable urban conveyance, the festival will include a wide range of activities that will offer fun for the whole family. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the street will be closed to vehicular traffic between Carling and Gladstone, giving people and their wheels – be they bikes, rollerblades, scooters or boards – plenty of room to roam and enjoy the festivities.

CycloFest was borne out of the recognition that Little Italy now represents the ideal urban neighbourhood for those who want multiple transportation options, including a cycling- friendly lifestyle. “It makes great sense for us to celebrate cycling on Preston Street as we offer amenities that have not been available to people using the bike path system in Ottawa,” explains Lori Mellor, executive director of the Preston Street Business Improvement Association (BIA). “With the completion of the Trillium Multi-Use Pathway running parallel to the O-Train tracks, Little Italy is now fully connected to all the major bike routes along the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal. Our area offers many options to enjoy refreshments at our many cafes, restaurants, bakeries and gelato shops and with the completion of this cycling link, we can now truthfully say that all roads lead to Preston Street.”

Mayor Jim Watson and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney will preside over a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., after which there will be a decorated bike parade, with members of the public invited to participate. “Since it is Mother’s Day, we’re hoping many families will come and decorate Mom’s bike so she can be one of the stars in our parade,” says Mellor.

The bike parade, organized by Zara Ansar of local online cycling magazine XO VELO, will lead festival-goers from the Millennial Arch past CycloFest’s three activation areas. After the parade, all are encouraged to make their way to Ev Tremblay Park, where the Mallets of Mayhem Ottawa Bike Polo Club will offer an exciting demonstration of their sport, which is fast becoming an international sensation.

In addition to the bike parade and bike polo, there will be three activation areas focusing on cycling, fitness and kids. Programming at these activation areas will include a bike rodeo organized by the Ottawa Safety Council as well as fitness demonstrations including Thai boxing, scootering and a fresh air yoga class. Members of the Ottawa Police Service will be on hand to offer their Child Print fingerprinting service as well as providing tips on helmet safety and the rules of the road for cyclists. OC Transpo will offer demonstrations of its innovative Rack and Roll system, which enables seamless public transit and cycling connections.

CycloFest, a grand celebration of the urban cycling lifestyle, is free, and all are welcome to attend.

Brought to you by Preston Street BIA

Sunday May 8, 2016 – 10:00am to 2:00pm

For further information, please contact:

Lori Mellor
Executive Director
Preston Street Business Improvement Association