Introducing Brian Blaney! He’s the SCC’s Mountain Bike Director and loves to do what he can to make cycling in SSM easier to access, navigate and safer for everyone from everywhere to enjoy!
From SSM, been working in the utility industry since 2006 after graduating from Sault College. Been riding bikes all my life, from exploring neighbourhoods and SSM as a kid with friends to using them for transportation to work/school. Always been on 2 wheels of some sort.
I’m part of the SCC because Jan/Joel suckered me into it – they nominated me at an AGM. I was actually looking to be secretary…! I continue to be a part because I get to work with a group of passionate people who are constantly improving cycling in our area. It’s very humbling to work with such energetic, giving, fun people!
I love riding bikes because it takes me to places I never expect and it always can make me smile. I struggle with my mental health and find that I always come back from a bike ride as a happier, calmer person. Once I’m able to get out and be pedalling, the magic of bikes takes over and makes things better, even if only temporary. The feeling you get from cruising around and finding flow is something that everyone should experience. I love the people that I’ve met through cycling also – I have so many great friends because of the sport. The community here is something special!!
Meet the Sault Cycling Club Advocacy Director who has a vision for a city-wide interconnected trail system that he’s working tirelessly to make possible for our city.
Name: Andre Riopel Position: Advocacy Director
Current Project: Finn Hill Trail
I’m now the official oldest and longest serving executive member of the SCC going back to 1981. My current title is advocacy director, a role and passion I have held all my adult life. I am a strong believer in the transformative power of this elegant simple machine both on a personal level and community level. Through my years of advocacy work I have never seen a time of growth we are seeing now. The pandemic has provided an opportunity for society to realize how much sense it makes to move by human power instead of driving.
Some highlights of my advocacy career include spear heading STAC and the genesis for the Hub Trail. Last year I was given the inaugural Public Health Champion award for my work over the years. That really meant a lot for me.
I also spearheaded the Esposito Park asphalt pump track with the help of many others including Dean Greenwood and the generous support of Dale Harrison and the City of SSM. This project has been a great addition to the downtown area. It’s one of a few asphalt tracks in the country and is well used by cyclists of all ages and abilities.
I am a firm believer that behavior is dictated by the environment we Iive in and people will ride bikes when there are safe and convenient places to do so.
My long term vision is the creation of a interconnected city wide trail system.
Meet Eric! He was the President of the SCC until this past Spring where he passed on the torch. He’s done some amazing work for the club and will continue to provide support and guidance.
I enjoy the freedom a bike provides people of all demographics. Growing up, some of my best memories are on a bike with the neighbourhood kids. My passion for cycling has developed more recently; starting in 2012 with mountain biking and then added a road bike in 2014. Seeing our community of cyclist grow and develop all while building new trails responsibly and advocating for cycling is very exciting. This is the biggest motivator for me and keeps me energized as a member of the SCC.
The rides I currently look most forward to are with my son. Riding single track or rolling along the hub trail it is always an adventure. Realizing that some of the simplest things on a ride can be the topic of conversation for many days reminds me to try to slow down and appreciate that I am turning pedals and having fun.