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Building the cycling culture in Brantford

by Katie MacDonald,

Over the past decade, Duncan Ross has been the visionary behind the ever-growing culture of cycling in Brantford and surrounding area. It started in 2013 when he put together a small team of local cycling-enthusiasts who were eager to lend their time and expertise to explore the feasibility of a volunteer-run cycling club. Two years later, the Brant Cycling Club (BCC) was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization. The BCC's mandate is to increase opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to experience the joy and health benefits of cycling. This is accomplished through group rides and events, youth mountain biking programs, advocacy for cycling friendly infrastructure and policies, and the maintenance and development of mountain biking trails.

Under his leadership, the Brant Cycling Club has become a well-known organization within the community. Not only has the Club's membership grown to almost 200 members, the organization itself has developed and built partnerships with local businesses and organizations, such as the Brant Waterways Foundation. By working together, these organizations have increased their capacity and effectiveness, and have been able to leverage their areas of expertise to make projects happen!

One of the most impressive projects that Duncan and his team spear-headed was the development the Brantford Rotary Bike Park. Nestled into the forest of Waterworks Park, the bike park features a series of riding features for varying abilities such as a pump track, ladder bridges, and jump lines. It has quickly become a popular place for local families to gather to develop their riding skills. The park has also received a great deal of tourism exposure and has thousands of visitors from surrounding areas each season. Duncan's inspiration for cycling projects like this come from his desire to provide future generations the opportunity to cycle for sport or recreation, as well as the pride he feels for Brantford's natural beauty along the river and his passion to share it with others.

Most recently Duncan has set his sights on a series of new projects to develop sanctioned mountain bike trails in the area. His vision is to create a network of trails that compliment the existing rail trail system and to further develop the reputation that Brantford and area has of being the "Hub of Ontario Trails". Although the projects have changed over the years, one thing has remained the same is that Duncan is WHEELIE passionate about growing cycling and improving the community!

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