GoByBike BC Society is once again encouraging active transportation across the province during Spring Go By Bike Week May 30 to June 5, 2022 and the organization is hoping high gas prices may give them an extra boost.
Driving an SUV in the city can cost roughly $0.56 per kilometre driven, according to the Canadian Automobile Association website calculator, which factors in annual maintenance and insurance costs.
“Cycling one kilometre costs nothing,” stated Kate Shen, HUB Cycling’s Manager of Partnerships and Events in a release.
“With the large investment in cycling infrastructure on the roads and at SkyTrain stations, more people are seeing cycling to transit stations as a convenient, safe, and affordable way to get around.”
The Metro Vancouver area will have stations offering free bike maintenance, TransLink cycling maps, snacks and prize draws for those who stop in at them.
Local events will be taking place in a number of communities around the province, including critical mass rides and bike parades, but most of those smaller communities do not have the same cycling infrastructure the Lower Mainland has seen developed in recent years. However, local organizations in many places are still hoping to encourage more active transportation alternatives.
Whether residents live in or out of town, people shopping or doing errands are asked to reduce driving as much as possible by parking their vehicles and visiting stores by foot or other non-motorized means.
“Go By Bike Week is an excellent way to encourage active transportation in our community,” says Amber Gregg, Cariboo-Chilcotin Conservation Society program co-ordinator in Williams Lake. “Not only does this event raise awareness about the effect of emissions on the environment, it also highlights the need for improvements to make traveling by bike a safe option.”
This sentiment is made even more poignant after a cyclist was struck and killed in the Okanagan while trying to cross Highway 97 between Lake Country and Kelowna on May 24.
Cycling advocates in the area are calling for work to be completed on the rail trail north of the Kelowna airport after the crash, to help provide a safe alternative for cyclists.
The GoByBike BC event encourages people to use a bicycle, scooter or Rollerblades during the week of May 30 to June 5 and to register online and log their bicycle trips, whether those trips are for fresh air and exercise, travel to work or running errands, they all count.
Everyone who registers and logs their rides during the week is then eligible for prizes.
The grand prize is a self-guided cycling adventure for two in the Netherlands from Exodus Travels (excluding airfare) for entrants over 19 years old.
Some of the other prizes available also include cycling gear and apparel and other bike-related prizes like two nights and bike passes to stay in Panorama, B.C.
The online Go by Bike Week tracking tool also allows people to create and compete on teams, track their kilometers, and see how many greenhouse gas emissions they’ve saved by cycling instead of driving.
Keep your eyes open for other events in your own community to mark the Go By Bike Week and promote cycling.
Signing up with the GoByBike BC website also provides access to resources like cycling education and resources for schools.
More than 50,000 British Columbians registered for the 2021/22 programs to promote the society’s goals to help people “discover how enjoyable it is to ride a bike and continue to ride their bikes daily which leads to improved mental and physical health and encourage each other to get healthy and help the environment by riding a bike through forming and celebrating the joy that cycling brings.”
GoByBike BC Society is encouraging participants to also share the message with the hashtag #SpringGoByBikeWeek and to follow their various social media platforms under @gobybikebc.
To find out more or register go to: GoByBikeBC’s website.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to remove a quote which included an incorrect figure for the cost of driving one kilometre.