Posted by Editoress on 06/14/04
Second Annual Stanley Park Bike Festival a Huge Success
Courtesy Alistair Barrett, Event Manager
Despite dire predictions of rain and cold temperatures, the second annual Stanley Park Bike Festival proved bigger than the elements on Saturday June 12th. Under light clouds, more than 100 racers and 30 exhibitors shared the totems with 1500 attendees, exceeding the previous year's attendance by 50%. Organizers and participants alike were thrilled with the success of what is proving to be the biggest and best yearly celebration of cycling in Vancouver.
Cyclists came to the festival from all over in the Lower Mainland in organized rides led by the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition. "I had a chance to enjoy a bike ride, see different parts of the city and meet some new friends," said New Westminster ride participant Rob Guzyk and winner of the festival's top raffle prize, a new bike from Norco. "I'm really looking forward to next year's event."
The event proved to be a 'must attend' for local politicians with cycling on their resume. City councilors Fred Bass and Peter Ladner glad-handed the crowds, while local MLA Lorne Mayencourt cruised the site on his green retro machine. Federal Green Party leader Jim Harris made a stop on his campaign swing to judge the commuter bike relay and try out an electric bike.
The festival offered something for everyone with an interest in cycling. Bike tricksters the Baia Brothers and the John Henry Jump Team wowed the crowds with their amazing displays of bike gymnastics. Bike races for all levels, from top athletes to fun races for kids and corporate teams took place throughout the day.
The kids 'Bike Rodeo', organized by Lifecycle taught dozens of young riders the basics of safe cycling on city streets. Said rodeo organizer Martin Prestage, "It was great to be part of the event ... the highlight of our educational year." Vancouver Magic Club's entertainer of the year, the Purple Pirate, also kept hundreds of kids on the edge of their seats with his one-man show about bike safety.
Local athletes and recreational racers contested the 4th Brockton Criterium. The race for Category 1&2 men was won by local favourite Scott Laliberte, multiple winner on the velodrome track, but so often the bridesmaid in outdoor races. Winner of the women's race was also a well-liked local star, Sara Neil, Canadian Olympian and mother of two. Top finishers were as follows:
MEN Category 1&2: Scott Laliberte (1), Luca Segato (2), Dave Goosen (3), Paul Blanchette (4)
MEN Category 3&4: Dan Schmit (1), Paul Beard (2), Martin Willock (3), Chris Squire (4)
WOMEN Category 1,2&3: Sara Neil (1), Lisa Sweeney (2), Mariah Lee (3)
WOMEN Category 4: Sherri Iwaschuk (1), Danielle Steele (2), Brooklyn Davis (3)
Trophies were presented by two-time Olympian Lesley Tomlinson.
"We are extremely pleased with turnout of this year's festival and have had nothing but good feedback from everyone," said Bike Fest Event Manager Alistair Barrett. "Our wheels are already turning as to how we can make the festival even bigger and better for next year."
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