Tie those laces and roll up that pant leg, GoByBike Week begins next week.
The annual challenge aims to motivate people of all ages to park the car and harness the power of pedals for one week between May 31 and June 6.
Participants can track their trips online at gobybikebc.ca for a chance to win prizes.
Last year, 1,788 Vernon riders saved 14 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by cycling nearly 68,000 kilometres, or one and a half times the circumference of the planet.
“GoByBike Week is growing in Vernon and something I look forward to each year,” said Mayor Victor Cumming, a fellow cyclist.
“I encourage everyone who can to join the challenge, get on their bikes, and explore our community,” he said. “I hope to see you out there. Make sure you ride the new double roundabout connecting Kalamalka Lake, Polson Park, the downtown with the Village Green Shopping Centre and the north end of our city.”
This year’s top prize for B.C. is a cycling adventure in Croatia once it is safe to travel, sponsored by Exodus Travels.
Vernon and North Okanagan riders who log at least one trip next week will be entered into a draw for $1,000 to a local bike shop of their choice, sponsored by CUPE 626.
The local who pedals the most kilometres will win a $250 Downtown Vernon shopping spree.
While there will be no in-person events, participants are encouraged to form teams and connect with each other virtually or outdoors while following all public health guidance.
“Now is the time to rally your team! While we may not be able to see our teammates in person this year, we can still encourage each other to get pedalling for joy, for our health, and for our environment,” active transportation coordinator Angela Broadbent said.
“Team leaders are the backbone of GoByBike Week. You inspire your coworkers, friends, families, and students to ride – and maybe fall in love with it. For that, we thank you.”
GoByBike Week is part of the City of Vernon’s strategy to reduce emissions by more than doubling trips made by bike by 2040.
For more information, to join the challenge, and to form your team, visit gobybikebc.ca/vernon-north-okanagan/.