● “I Bike, I Buy” campaign to educate businesses about cyclists as customers.

One of my pet peeves is the extent to which local businesses place more value on a potential customer that arrives by car that a dozen potential customers that arrive by bicycle.

We saw this when Ottawa attempted to set up a segregated bike lane, first on Somerset Street, and then finally on Laurier Avenue. Local merchants failed to see any benefit in the flood of cyclists that the bike lane would bring into their area, but they went berserk over the lost of a few dozen on street parking spaces.

Two years ago the owner of Saslove’s Meat Market went public claiming a bike corral that took up one parking spot was hurting his business. That’s right, the lost of one parking space was more important than a bike corral which could accommodate 12 bicycles.

In order to help businesses overcome their mental block when it comes to seeing cyclists as potential customers, Kitchissippi councillor Jeff Leiper established the “I Bike, I Buy” campaign. Basically, it is a website that attempts to track how much money cyclists are spending at local businesses. Initially, it was limited to his ward, but has recently been expanded to include three other wards, and has been given a technology upgrade involving apps and GPS tracking.

Kudos to Jeff Leiper for pushing ahead with his initiative.

(Come to think of it, last night I pedalled into Westboro and spent over $80.)

1 Comment on ● “I Bike, I Buy” campaign to educate businesses about cyclists as customers.

  1. watch this vid – http://tvo.org/video/documentaries/bikes-vs-cars

    America, and soon the world will be one of a large metal animal – namely the automobile. In just 50 years, we’ve become this creature very dependent upon the automobile. We’ve built monster houses in the suburbs to accommodate our need to stand out (really lack of love in our life, for if we were comfortable with ourselves, we wouldn’t have to show off our stuff…).
    So, now we are this creature that roams the planet with all this baggage. We love our stuff. Our big homes, our furnishings and of course our automobile to define ourselves. How odd is that!
    Considering this – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil yah ain’t growing oil over night. We’ve become blind to where our essential stuff comes from- food, water and of course oil. What other substance packs so much of a punch than oil. An economy is very dependent on oil to drive it from production to delivery of goods (including food). As they manipulate the market (oil) countries suffer, oil producing nations – such as Venezuela.

    So, what does this have to do with parking spots in the core… everything. We are a consumer nation now, we produce very little now. This in turn impacts GDP as many goods are imported. Thus, money leaves our economy to feed another. Its a highly competitive world now.
    Thus, all these vendors complaining about bikes should be thanking a cyclist. We keep taxes low by not utilizing much of the infrastructure. And, we don’t use much in regards to energy (ie oil). Those in the automobbuble use vast amounts of resources and taxes. Especially during peak times.
    Why would you scold a cyclist, they don’t use much. Thus, they keep costs low. Thus, allowing vendors to survive by keeping taxes low and keeping costs down. If we all drove everywhere, all 7 billion of us, imagine the cost of oil, food and the costs of goods…
    Thus, thank a cyclist don’t spank a cyclist, we save the world an ounce of pain (money).
    Drivers can get out of their comfort zone and walk a bit, it ain’t gonna hurt them…
    I swear we are all going to evolve into jabbathehutt in the future, so lazy in our push button ways of pain avoidance – laziness really… dependency like fools.

Leave a comment