GoByBike BC and local co-ordinator Jacinta D’Andrea are inviting Cariboo residents to blow off a bit of pent up, COVID steam as they celebrate cycling throughout the week of May 31 to June 6.
For the past 15 months B.C. residents have faced stretches of time where gyms, arenas, swimming pools, and even playgrounds, were closed, limiting many regular activities, and also contributing to peoples’ stress and mental health.
Cycling, meanwhile, became a staple for many already enjoying the activity, and for others looking to try something new, and safe, outdoors.
From May 31 to June 6, GoByBike BC — a non-profit society that secures and shares resources to communities throughout B.C. to help them deliver successful events, and encourages using a bike for everyday transportation — is encouraging people to ride their bikes as much as possible for GoByBike Week.
Cycle around your neighbourhood, enjoy biking on local trails, try riding a bike instead of driving, or organize a ride with your ‘bubble’ are just some of the suggestions to take part.
Registration is free at www.GoByBikeBC.ca. Participants can then log all of their rides for chances at winning great prizes including an Exodus Travels cycling adventure for two: ‘Cycling the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.’
D’Andrea said the organization has decided to partner with several local businesses to offer prizes for participants, and stressed that “any ride counts.”
“We don’t want to encourage anyone to ride anywhere that feels dangerous, especially kids to school, but we want to raise some awareness and starting working toward becoming a more commuter-friendly community,” D’Andrea said.
The Williams Lake Air Quality Roundtable, Scout Island Nature Centre and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society’s Waste Wise program have also partnered with D’Andrea and GoByBike BC to host presentations in elementary schools throughout the week.
“We’ll be teaching kids about everything from bike safety and maintenance, to recycling — like what you can recycle on a bike and how, and then doing some craft projects and teaching about the importance of air quality and why we’re promoting active transportation.”
Particpiants can also link their GoByBike account to their STRAVA account and be automatically entered for prize draws when riding using STRAVA.
On Friday, June 4, GoByBike Week in Williams Lake will be hosting a ‘Free Ride Friday.’ The day encourages participants to go for a ride, check out the local trails and stop in at Boitanio Park for a free pizza voucher for a slice of pizza at Red Tomato Pies.
“We’ll also have some competitions all week, too, and we’ll be doing a few fun things on Facebook for giving out prizes like for posting a photo if you are riding the oldest bike, or a short video of a safety theme — things like that,” she said.
Anyone looking for more information on the Williams Lake GoByBike Week can search ‘Bike to Work Week Williams Lake’ on Facebook, or visit the website at www.gobybikebc.ca/williams-lake.
The website shows registered riders, teams, number of kilometres biked, total trips, calories burned and kilograms of greenhouse gases saved.
Students in Williams Lake also have a chance to win more prizes by entering the Bike Reels Student Video Contest.
Submissions for the contest can include short videos on how cycling has helped you during the pandemic, or tips for safe cycling, or why cycling is good for the environment, or more. Contest details can be found here.
Across the province, friendly competitions are also cropping up. Abbotsford, for example, has challenged Chilliwack to see who can motivate the most riders to register and which community will bike the most kilometres by June 14.
The GoByBikeBC website also offers safety tips for all road users, including drivers. As cycling increases in communities across B.C. during GoByBike Week, everyone is reminded to make space when passing someone riding a bicycle.