Bike to Work is when individuals or teams challenge themselves to bike to work no matter rain or shine. Promoting active lifestyles and reducing carbon emissions are a part of it, and if you’re participating in the Kootenay region, it means supporting a local charity.
“The Kootenay region is the only region in the province that has fundraising as part of the campaign. It’s sort of a Kootenay tradition; we’re the only Bike to Work Week community that fundraises for a local non-profit in conjunction with Bike to Work Week,” said Patti King, Bike to Work Week community engagement consult.
This year, the local charity was West & East Kootenay Brain Injury Association, and participants in Bike to Work raised $1,500 for the association. Bikers were out in their respective communities participating in Bike to Work during the week of May 30th to June 5th in both the east and west Kootenay regions.
“What was really excited in 2016 is that we saw a really incredible increase in the number of participants. In 2015, we had about 136 riders and this year we had 393 by the time the week was out,”said King.
In total, the 393 bikers rode 13,502 kilometres collectively, which is the equivalent of riding around Canada twice. The Bike to Work Week B.C. started in 1995 in Victoria to increase the profile of commuters cycling to work. From Victoria, it’s grown to 47 regions and communities across the province. Each community has different initiatives and prizes to promote the program within the community.
“The real purpose of why we do this is to encourage people to bike to work and consider trying it if it’s not something they’ve ever done before,” said King.
Bike to Work Week will return to the valley next spring. It’s a great initiative to get outside for some exercise on the way to work. For more information on Bike to Work visit www.biketowork.ca/kootenays.