A pedal-powered picnic

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Courtyard Lunch

With the Pilot Bike, we built a waste-free party on two wheels — and now we’d like to share it

This past year, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about community in the city. It was everything from what form Moss Park might take to how a developer like Oxford can help build the city to the Parks and Recreation department’s upcoming vision for what Toronto could look like.

We’ve also spent a lot of time indulging one of favourite passions: eating. Our Pilot Lunches and Tea Times are a great chance to get together, but we’ve all noticed the excess takeout garbage and waste we create for something as simple as lunch.

Zoryana works on the bike.

We decided to put those things together and try to come up with a way to have fun in the city that doesn’t leave a mess behind. As story designers, we always map out the whole process: we don’t just make something, we think about how its going to interact with the world.

As such, The Pilot Bike is meant to be a one-stop, person-powered party machine: it has everything you need for a picnic in one of Toronto’s pretty parks, from dishes for 12 to a place to compost your food scraps.

We built it at the Tool Library — another great, community-centred business trying to transform how Toronto operates. Their team graciously shared their know-how: we learned how to laser cut, we got a crash course in proper wood framing, and we made bunting featuring our favourite parks.

Using the bike as a bar at our Co-Pilot event.

We’re very much interested in our city at the macro level. But we also take steps to get to know and support our lovely little neighbourhood. You’d be amazed at how easy it is to start a conversation when you’re riding a 200 lb. picnic basket. Our local crossing guard asked if we were selling ice cream (Pilot popsicles perhaps?). Rather wonderfully, our neighbourhood has come along for the ride.

Farmr helps us out with a smattering of salad

For our maiden voyage, we worked with the team at Farmr, a new restaurant in our hood, to see if a zero-waste lunch was doable. Spoiler alert: it was. Head chef Kyle Webster loved the idea and we made a new neighbourhood friend. (Thanks for the complimentary cookies, Kyle!) The team at Cherry Street Bar-B-Que were likewise amenable to our tupperware party dreams.

Picnicking in the courtyard of our beautiful office at Berkeley Castle has been a blast, but using the bike lead us to another realization: what good is a party bike if you can’t share it?

To that end, we’d like to offer it up to our neighbours. If you’re in the Esplanade/Distillery/St. Lawrence area, and you’d like to borrow the Pilot Bike for your next group lunch, please be our guest!

If you’re interested, email bike@pilotpmr.com and we’ll set you up to host your own waste-free party.

 

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