Red Deerians ditched their cars for two wheels Sunday morning for Red Deer’s inaugural Cyclovia.
Parts of Gaetz Avenue, Ross Street, 48 Avenue, 52 St., Little Gaetz Avenue were temporarily closed for cyclists.
Liz Hagell, Cyclovia organizing committee team lead, said hundreds were expected to walk, bike, or scoot to the event, which ran from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
“You can come on down and ride, run, bike, dance, however, non-car way you want to get downtown and you can enjoy downtown without worrying about traffic,” she said early Sunday.
The Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting put on the event to keep Red Deerians active in whichever way they choose – walking, biking, running, among other human powered modes of transportation.
“It’s important in terms of health, in terms of environment, also building community,” she said, adding the event encourages social mingling.
Those who came out were able to join retired professional cyclist and The New York Times best selling author of The Secret Race Tyler Hamilton, and Red Deer cyclist Wyatt Grainger.
Local businesses and clubs had set up booths along the streets such as Medicine River Wildlife Centre, ReThink Red Deer, Red Deer Primary Care Network, Red Deer Running Room among others.
Some organizations provided free bike tune ups.
Some of the restaurants and cafés that are closed Sundays in downtown Red Deer were open for the event. Hagell said it’s important to encourage people to shop locally to boost the local economy.
About 35 volunteers came together to put on the event along with seven members from the organizing committee.
Hagell said she hopes the event makes it back to the city next year.
Cyclovia is a part of the Open Streets Project, a global movement aiming to improve the quality of life for people by bringing them together to enhance mobility and public space.