Can view original article: http://www.vueweekly.com/edmonton-food-bike-tour-encourages-local-discoveries-and-healthy-exercise/
Touring the city on a bike is not new: Harcourt House held two Art Bike Tours this summer where Edmontonians could visit art galleries by bicycle. Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society had hosted its first Public Art Ride last summer, which toured 12 public art destinations (including the Talus Dome, Borden Park’s Vaulted Willow) around the city also by bicycle.
It’s a trend that’s commonplace all over Europe, but still relatively new in these parts (partially due to the ongoing problem of urban sprawl that makes it almost physically impossible to make it to the outskirts on bike). Now it seems we’re seeing a shift where things are becoming more centralized allowing for more start-ups to explore the possibility of doing more tours by bike. Cue in Edmonton Food Bike Tour, a new initiative that gets people biking around the city to restaurants to sample popular menu items, while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
“We’re trying to promote local products, local people, local places,” says Vanessa Ojeda, Edmonton Food Bike Tour President. “Anyone can come along and go on [our] tour.
In addition to promoting local, Ojeda and company are trying to promote a healthier lifestyle by bringing people outdoors, while having the opportunity to network.
Edmonton Food Bike Tour kicked off its first event on July 16 and there’s five more dates—Aug 27, Aug 28, Sept 3, Sep 10 and Sept 17—planned for the year. The goal is to make EFBT an annual summer event with the possibility of hosting something in the winter (if there’s interest there, its something that Ojeda and company are open to explore, she says).
The bike tour takes anywhere between six to eight hours with stops at five to seven establishments around the city. Participants will have the chance to taste food and beverages from each vendor, while also learning some histories of each food from the chefs and servers of said restaurants. In addition, the tour has introduced a “Foodie Bike Tour Passport” that encourages participants to collect stamps from each establishment on the tour. The objective is to collect 100 stamps, which then translates to a $100 gift certificate from one of the establishments on the tour.
EFBT has partnerships with about 30 establishments in Edmonton such as Rosso, Sabor Divino, the Italian Centre, Wild Earth Cafe, Woodrack Cafe, and more.
“A lot of people don’t know some of these smaller restaurants… and it helps to bring people to these places that they haven’t been to before,” she says.
And, what about those people that might not have a bike?
Ojeda notes that they’ve partnered up with River Valley Adventure to supply bikes for a fee ($50 plus GST for bike and helmet) for those individuals that don’t own a bike, says Ojeda.