Welcome to the Everyone Rides Initiative!

The Everyone Rides Initiative acknowledges that our office and programming are on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and Anishinaabe Nation, and within the lands protected by the “Dish with One Spoon” wampum agreement. We respect the Indigenous people who continue to live on this land, and recognize our responsibility to create peace and only take what we need, in accordance with the agreement.

The Everyone Rides Initiative (ERI) is committed to equity in cycling and removes the barriers that prevent people from accessing bikes and cycling as an option for transportation and fun!

Our mission is to identify and remove the barriers that prevent Hamilton residents from accessing bikes and cycling. We value EQUITY, FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE, INCLUSIVITY, EMPOWERMENT and CYCLING!

 

 

Do you want to use bike share but can't afford a membership? We can help! 

  

The Everyone Rides Initiative provides subsidized memberships to individuals who identify that they are in financial need of one. 

Each new rider must complete a Bike Share Basics intro session with our Equity Coordinator. This is a short training session that teaches you about how bike share works and how your subsidized membership should be managed. 

Each eligible rider can asses a Pedal Pass which is $3/3 months. This pass is valid for 1 year, provides you with 3 hours of ride time per day and access to bikes at any time. Riders can also earn ride credits towards their account which helps to ease the financial burden moving forward. 

To review more about the rules of SoBi, cycling safety and how a Pedal Pass works, go to our ERI Toolkit for more detailed information. 

You can contact us directly to arrange a time that is convenient for you at 289-768-BIKE ext 2, or sign up by clicking the button below. 

Sign-up for a Pedal Pass

 

 

 

 

**Please note that during COVID-19 our office is closed, you can reach us by phone at 289-768-2453 Ext 2 or by email at everyonerides@hamiltonbikeshare.ca. We are also still providing subsidized access to bike share for individuals in need. Contact us if you are in need of affordable transportation, see additional information below. Thank you and Ride Safe!

To learn more about how to stay safe while using bike share, click here.


  • From the blog

    A Source of Comfort and Joy in Unprecedented Times

    Written by Elise Desjardins, Hamilton cycling advocate (July 2020)

    Image credit: Elise selfie, June 2020.

    I started cycling in Hamilton in 2016 and became a bike share member in 2017. At the time, I was working a few kilometres from my home and cycling seemed to be the healthiest, fastest, and most affordable way to get to and from work.  Up until that point most of my cycling had been in my hometown as a child so I was experiencing Hamilton’s streets for the first time by bicycle. What started as a practical decision has slowly, but completely, shaped my lifestyle. In no time at all, cycling became a natural way for me to travel and my default choice. The freedom of mobility was new to me. I enjoyed new neighbourhoods by taking different routes to and from home. I loved how I could pass by a local business and decide to spontaneously stop and visit. I cherished the times I passed someone I knew cycling and could stop to say hello and chat. As I learned to cycle in our city, my connection to Hamilton and sense of belonging deepened. Now, I look forward everyday to cycling because I get to experience our city up close – it’s a special way to get to know any city intimately.  I look forward to my cycling commute everyday and some of my best experiences and memories in Hamilton have been by bicycle.

    During the pandemic, nearly all of my trips have been with bike share. Before the lockdown began in March, I had been using bike share regularly almost every day to commute. It’s much easier and convenient in the winter since I don’t have to trek my personal bike in and out of my apartment (or up the stairs) or worry about maintenance. Hamilton Bike Share helped me become a year-round cyclist. When I transitioned to studying and working from home, it surprised me how much I immediately missed my cycling commute. I had always looked forward to them but hadn’t realized how much they were a fundamental part of my life until they abruptly stopped. With fewer places that I needed to go or needed to be, not being able to cycle my regular trips made me feel disconnected from my community. Although the weather was warmer, and in a normal year I would have started using my own bike more, I felt drawn to continue using the bike share system. The bike share hub at the end of my street became a source of comfort and joy at a time when many things were uncertain and difficult. With so many services and destinations closed, the blue and white bicycles became one of my strongest connections to our city.

    I adjusted my cycling and my bike share trips turned into daily recreational rides. My cycling trips are now slower and shorter (mainly in my neighbourhood) but they have anchored me. Despite all of the things that seem to change daily or that are uncertain, cycling has been one of the constants. By bike share, I’ve been able to slow down, notice my neighbourhood, and explore streets that I had never travelled. I’m enjoying the intentional act of getting to know my immediate surroundings more intimately by bicycle, similar to my first experiences back in 2016-17. The other noticeable change in my cycling because of the pandemic is the social aspect. The streets in my neighbourhood are quieter and I often don’t see a single car on my evening bike rides. The extra space has allowed me to cycle side by side with my boyfriend. We can now enjoy the social experience of cycling – something that isn’t possible when we have to ride single file on the road or in a bike lane. With the sound of traffic all but gone, we can talk and laugh as we cycle. It has reminded me of my time in Amsterdam a few years ago where I always saw people cycling in pairs or in groups. In Amsterdam they recognize that cycling is something to experience with others, and their city is designed to support social riding. Cycling side-by-side is one of the unexpected joys that I have found during the lockdown, and one that I hope I will not have to miss after the city “re-opens”. It would truly be wonderful if the social aspect of cycling was celebrated and accommodated because it helps to strengthen connections between people and our environment.

    Being able to rely on the bike share system throughout the pandemic has reinforced its value to me and to our community. I am deeply thankful that bike share staff maintained the system for Hamiltonians to continue cycling. Hamilton Bike Share is needed now more than ever for people like me to be physically active and make essential trips. I might not be able to return to my longer commute trips for a while, but I’ve managed to hold on tight to my sense of belonging in Hamilton because of bike share. I didn’t know the immense benefits that I would gain from cycling when I bought a bicycle back in 2016, but the practical decision I made years ago to cycle has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

    Elise Desjardins is a Master of Public Health graduate student at McMaster University.  Her research focuses on understanding how the built environment in Hamilton influences cycling and where cyclists travel. Elise helped to plan and coordinate Bike to Work Day in 2018 and 2019, and is also involved with Cycle Hamilton and the Bike Buddies initiative.

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    No More Stolen Sisters

    As Hamilton spent July 1st in lockdown without fireworks or in-person Canada Day festivities, hundreds of people gathered in an afternoon vigil to honour Indigenous women who have gone missing or been murdered in an ongoing, centuries-old national genocide. The “No More Stolen Sisters” event, held at the Claremont access on July 1st, featured storytelling and calls to action against anti-Indigenous cultural and systemic violence, racism, and misogyny in the colonial state of Canada.

    Image credit: Nicole O’Reilly, July 1st 2020, Hamilton Spectator

    A particularly powerful testimony came from an Indigenous woman who narrowly escaped death several years ago in Hamilton. “I’m one of the very, very, very lucky ones - I got to make it home to my family. I feel that it’s my job to speak up and tell my story”. The woman was adamant about sharing how many Indigenous women face systemic and police discrimination for having a drug dependency, on top of the discrimination they already face as Indigenous people and women: “It’s got to change [in Hamilton], people have to get rid of the [taking drugs equals deserving of harm] mentality”. 

    The No More Stolen Sisters vigil attendees also brought dozens of red dresses to hang from trees, an homage to Métis artist Jaime Black’s REDress Project. Years ago, as Black listened to a conference presenter in Germany speak about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, she experienced a vivid flash of imagery: dozens of dresses, hanging from stark branches and dancing in the wind. The dresses in Black’s vision were uniformly red: “red to represent women of the red nation, red for life blood - women’s ability to give life”. 

    Image Credit: Katherine Fogden, REDress Project, Washington DC, NMAI

    By the time Black’s goal of 500 red dresses became fulfilled through donations in 2011, her project had gained national recognition. As of the present day, Black’s exhibit has been shown in numerous cities across Turtle Island; from Edmonton, Alberta to Washington, DC. The REDress project took on new life, as Indigenous vigils and protests began displaying red dresses in remembrance of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, such as the dresses displayed two week ago at Hamilton’s No More Stolen Sisters event. 

    Image credit: Nicole O’Reilly, July 1st 2020, Hamilton Spectator

    Regardless of the dresses’ location, passersby watching the garments twisting in the wind are often brought to tears; as the empty red dresses powerfully symbolize the absence of the bodies that should fill them. In Black’s gallery exhibits, dresses have blood-red petals beneath them, arranged in a perfect circle - a reminder of blood shed by women whose lives and deaths were never given justice. And at Hamilton’s No More Stolen Sisters vigil, several small, red dresses were brightly adorned with intricate stitching - dresses clearly made for children, meant to honour the Indigenous girls stolen from their families and murdered by Canadian “forced adoptions” and residential schools. Through the imagery of the red dresses hanging in the trees around them in the Claremont access park, vigil attendees were reminded of Canada’s colonial state and settler apathy to Indigenous deaths;  alongside local, systemic violence and acts of racism inflicted against Indigenous people in Hamilton. 

    Jaime Black’s friend once told her that red is the only colour spirits can see; and thus her red dresses call the women they honour home to rest. The attendees of the July 1st vigil in Hamilton for Indigenous women and girls felt similarly as they sat listening to the stories of resilient, powerful Indigenous women who are still here; living their lives in bold defiance of Canadian state violence meant to erase them from history. Jessica Bonilla-Damptey, member of the Sisters in Spirit Committee and representing Hamilton's Sexual Assault Centre (SACHA) at the No More Stolen Sisters vigil articulated this vigil-wide solidarity best: “seeing those red dresses [and how they were] flowing in the wind was really impactful​​​​​​, just knowing that those sisters were there in spirit". 

    Resources and Links:

    To read more about the Cancel Canada Day project, click here

    To learn more about Jaime Black’s work, click here

    To access the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre’s services, or to make a donation, click here

    To learn more about the No More Stolen Sisters Project, click here

     

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