The notion of making a city cyclist-friendly often evokes images of long-bearded hipsters or spandex-wearing fitness buffs pushing an urban agenda contrary to the needs of the masses. While debating making Brampton roads better for cyclists, a unique demographic of often goes under-represented while simultaneously being the most visible: Punjabi seniors.
While Punjabis aren’t strangers to cars. A culture of traffic, exuberant gas prices and localised living in Punjab also bred a cycling culture that translates naturally for many now living in Brampton. Throngs of senior cyclists can be witnessed almost any summer evening, down Gore Road between Queen and Bovaird, up Sandalwood, or all down Ray Lawson and McLaughlin. While they may share the long hipster beards, they are often overlooked when council listens to arguments about adding bike lanes and making Brampton more bi-wheel friendly.
As Brampton continues to come into its own, it’s important for council, residents and developers to look inward at some of Brampton’s unique populace that may fall outside of the traditional debate, while sharing many if not all of the same concerns. Concerns such as making roads safer for cyclists, removing uncertainty for drivers and keeping sidewalks safe for pedestrians. All of this while making the city and all its parks, shops, and places of worship accessible to all.
(Photo credit – Baljit Singh)