Enbridge not conquered but cyclists enjoy ride

  • Jul. 12, 2013 12:00 p.m.

A total of 37 cyclists joined in the “Ride to Conquer Enbridge” event this past Saturday, says organizer Ryan Barber, enjoying sunny weather and friendly honks as they pedalled their way from south to north. “It was great, we had a total blast,” Mr. Barber said. “It was a wonderful ride.” The cyclists carried a sign proclaiming their opposition to Enbridge, the Calgary-based company that wants to build a pipeline to carry tar sands oil to Kitimat, where it would be loaded onto tankers and shipped to Asia. Many islanders are opposed to the pipeline and tanker traffic because of the risk of an oil spill. Organizers had encouraged cyclists to join the ride at any point, and pedal for as long as they wanted. Mr. Barber said 17 riders completed the entire 110 kilometres from Queen Charlotte to Masset, with the first arriving at around 1:30 or 2 pm, and the last at 4:30 pm. In Masset, the bike repair volunteers at Bike Re-Psych had set up as part of the event, and Mr. Barber said there was a big demand for their services from north-end residents. Some of the riders started helping out as soon as they arrived. The sunny day brought head winds, which were a bit of a challenge, he said, but there were no injuries on the ride and only two flat tires. Mr. Barber, who rode his bike to Haida Gwaii when he arrived here six years ago, said he had always wanted to ride from Queen Charlotte to Masset but until Saturday, had never done it. “I know for quite a few people it was the first time,” he said. Mr. Barber said he’s not sure if the protest ride caught the attention of anyone at Enbridge. And although he wishes there was no need to hold these kind of anti-Enbridge events, organizers are already starting to think about doing another one next year. They’re also interested in organizing similar events off-island. “The name alone – the Ride to Conquer Enbridge – really resonates with people,” he said.