This year for the first time, Port Alberni will be taking part in GoByBike Weeks from Oct. 15–29.
After the success of Bike to Work and School Week, Cycle Alberni received a grant and, in keeping with the provincial program, decided to promote biking two times a year instead of just one.
Bike to Work Week proved to be a highly effective program that encourages healthy and environmentally-friendly transportation, a Cycle Alberni spokesperson said. In 2017, more than 243 riders in Port Alberni participated in Bike to Work & School Week. In only seven days, these riders pedaled more than 3,100 km, burning nearly 100,000 calories and having a blast while doing so.
“Additionally, by choosing to cycle instead of commute by car, these Port Albernians helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to cleaner air and a healthy environment. Those who regularly commute by bicycle know just how enjoyable it can be. They love the fresh air, the beautiful scenery, the “eco-friendly” vibes, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing your daily workout on the way to work—no treadmill required.”
The popularity of cycling is catching on with youth in the Alberni Valley too. “My friends said ‘why don’t you come to Ozzie’s (Celebration Station) there’s breakfast’ and I said sure!” one Wood Elementary student told John Mayba last year.
“My dad doubted me but we did it. This is my first time. This is my first time biking to school.”
When the provincial Bike to Work and School Week organization was successful in receiving grant money for Vancouver Island communities to use, Cycle Alberni applied for funding to set up the two-week fall Go By Bike event. “What they’re promoting is all-weather cycling,” says John Mayba of Cycle Alberni.
Port Alberni contributed to a series of cycling videos that are running on YouTube about cycling on Vancouver Island. A number of sponsors are supporting a number of events and Celebration Stations in the Alberni Valley.
These include the following: Oct. 15 – 7-9am – Kick-Off at Ozzie’s, Oct. 17 – 3-5pm – Celebration Station, Full of Beans Play Café, Oct. 20 – 11am-3pm – Bike to Vote, North Island College, Oct. 24 – 7-9am – Celebration Station, Buy-Low Foods, and Oct. 27 – 2-4pm – family-friendly Bike Jamboree at Eighth Avenue Learning Centre.
“We’re especially encouraging kids to come out. We’ll have an obstacle course for them and kid-oriented prizes and music,” Mayba said.
A bicycle will also be awarded by draw at the jamboree.
For more information, please go to https://www.biketowork.ca/port-alberni. This is also the site where participants are encouraged to register for the event, and keep track of the kilometres they cycle.
There is also a province-wide contest for a cycling trip in Italy for people who register online, Mayba added.