Cyclists will be out across the province for another iteration of GoByBike Week.
This season’s event will run for the next two weeks, while participants track their kilometers ridden and greenhouse gasses reduced.
Go By Bike Program Director Terri-Lynn Gifford says aside from helping the environment, the week promotes the obvious health benefits of cycling.
“People who ride a bicycle more often than driving have improved cardiovascular health,” she says. “They usually arrive being less stressed out, not having to deal with traffic. They report feeling refreshed and energized. It’s all around really great for their physical and mental health.”
Gifford says the act of cycling also helps to build connections within the community.
“When we have more people biking on the streets, they’re waving to each other, they’re interacting with each other. It really does help create a more vibrant community,” she says.
She adds that the addition of bike lanes in many smaller communities has helped the reach of their event, but she hopes their event helps push municipalities further.
“It’s kind of like the chicken before the egg scenario. People don’t want to ride their bikes unless they feel safe and municipalities don’t want to put in bike lanes and infrastructure until they see people riding their bikes,” she says. “Our role is to encourage people to get on their bikes and then hopefully municipalities and the powers that be will see that we really do need the proper infrastructure in place to help people continue with this behaviour change.”
The organization’s spring event had 41,000 cyclists track over 1.4 million kilometers, saving over 300,000 kilograms of greenhouse gasses. They expanded to add pretty much every type of active transportation that has wheels, including e-bikes, scooters, and even skateboards and rollerblades.
“Our mandate is to encourage cycling, but if kids don’t have a bicycle we don’t want them to be excluded so if they would like to participate and they have a skateboard or roller blades then by all means try that,” she says.
Kilometers are logged through GoByBike’s free LogMyRide service, which automatically sends any data to your participant account. You can also integrate your Strava account if that’s how you regularly track your rides. There are prize draws at local and provincial levels for riders who hit various metrics or draws based on how many rides you submit.
If you’d like to participate, you can register for your local chapter on the GoByBike website.