Times were hard for cyclists in Montreal in 1975, because biking was perceived at most and only as a sport. However, the handful of visionaries that started saying that biking was not just a sport but a mode of transportation, had a dream that went beyond the simple recognition of this fact. The vision that led to the creation of the Monde à bicyclette (MAB) was one where a bike became a tool to transform the city as a whole, to benefit all regardless of their social status and their mode of transport.
Cycling towards a new sort of city – this was the slogan that best communicated their revolutionary vision of urbanism and the urban experience. Indeed, the MAB had understood that hopping on a bike would not only allow a person to move about in space, but also to project oneself for a few minutes, in a possible future, where the city lives, breathes, and moves about at a human scale…
40 years worth a history to preserve
Since the disbanding of the MAB, at the turn of the century, its archives are living in about fifty boxes and are collecting dust. On top of being not accessible, they risk being damaged by less-than-ideal archiving conditions. These boxes contain an important facet of Montreal’s history that must be preserved and showcased!
Encore du monde à bicyclette is a volunteer committee whose mission is a project that aims to preserve and promote the MAB’s heritage, in the context of the birth of the cyclist movement of Montreal. Consistent with its predecessors, it wishes to provoke the debate surrounding bikes, their capacity to be a catalyst for change and a way of transforming the city.
Its objectives :
- Conservation / Collection: Sort, organize and complete the MAB archives.
- Promote / Rediscover: Enhance and show the importance of the MAB heritage.
- Continuity / Accessibility: Make the information and archives accessible after the project.
Gabrielle Anctil (Bike activist, web developper at Koumbit and student in IT); Yvon Larocque (Archivist); Susie Larrivée (Communication officer at the Quebec council on weight and health); Zvi Leve (Experienced Transit planner, co-president of RuePublique, Spokesperson of the Montreal Bike Coalition); Laurent Levesque (General Manager at Utile, Master’s student in Management at HEC); Eveline Martin-Archambault (Museologist/project management); Josée Riopel (Archivist at the Stock shot library of the National Film Board of Canada); Honorary Members: Robert « Bicycle Bob » Silverman (Cofounder of the Monde à bicyclette); Jacques Desjardins (Cofounder of the Monde à bicyclette).