Cyclepalooza is a community-driven, do-it-yourself bicycle festival held every summer in Calgary that brings people together through cycling for fun and transportation. This year it will be held from July 10 to July 19 starting off with the annual bash, Bike Prom, on the eve of July 10, so come on out in your Neon Disco best YYC, and bring it on your bike, and on the dance floor. Signe Bray is one of the original volunteers for Cyclepalooza and is a current member of the organizing committee. Oh, and she's also a brain scientist. She hails from Ottawa, via California, and has settled in Calgary over the past few years - The city is lucky to have her in it. Signe is riyoko's July Sister Cyclist.
Bike travels in Berlin, Germany
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a year-round Calgary cyclist and a member of the Cyclepalooza organizing committee for three years now. I love hiking, biking, and skiing in the mountains. I am a neophyte gardener and Bankview resident. I have a penchant for vintage clothing and vegetarian food.
What events can people look forward to during Cyclepalooza this year?
My favourite Cyclepalooza events are the ones where people share a piece of the city that you might not otherwise know about. The last few years, I have done an urban farm tour, a middleburbs tour, a public art tour, a cycling infrastructure tour, and I have regretted missing a few, like the urban beekeeping and tree tours. Using cycling to share local knowledge is really a perfect partnership.
'My summer commuter bike is a custom-built step through frame in a deep purple colour from a shop in Berkeley, CA called Ebisu.'
Tell us a little about your bikes.
I have four bikes, all steel. My summer commuter bike is a custom-built step through frame in a deep purple colour from a shop in Berkeley, CA called Ebisu. It has fenders and a front basket and is lighter than it looks, so it rides beautifully. I also have a Nobiletter road bike, a vintage Salsa mountain bike which is my winter commuter, and a pink early 90s Bridgestone 550 that is sadly a bit neglected these days.
Signe cycling in Cali, France and Spain
What started you biking?
I didn't start riding until the year after University. I was living in Toronto and discovered that biking was just this amazingly convenient way of getting around. I started summer-commuting and using the bike to get around the city as much as possible. I actually did not get a driver's license until I was 28.
Los Angeles, California
What do you like best about travelling in your city?
I am totally spoiled by my commute. I get to ride along the river every day, and there is exactly one traffic light between me and work. Calgary is a great sized city for meeting people and running into them again; I enjoy spotting friends around town or on the pathways. I am not a native Calgarian, so I also love figuring out nice/ fun ways of getting places on surface streets.
What is your favourite riyoko piece?
I love my Sweater Love Dress. I have a penchant for tunic length layers, and it is so comfortable. I mostly wear it over leggings, occasionally jeans, and often with a big scarf.
What do you never leave home without?
Wallet. Keys. Passport? I have a Roots hoodie that was a Christmas gift from my sister a few years back, and I always kick myself if I travel without it.
What is your philosophy?
I have yet to formalize my philosophy, but I try to get out to the Mountains every few weeks as a restorative experience. I probably don't always implement this as well as I could, but I think it's important to recognize how lucky we are to be where we are and be grateful.
Spain into France
photo credits: Paul Barclay