Bike to Work Week returns to the Valley

The ninth annual Comox Valley Bike to Work Week runs May 30-June 5.

Students

For some, every week is “bike to work week.”

For the rest, next week it’s official.

The ninth annual Comox Valley Bike to Work Week runs May 30-June 5, and Dawn Stevens expects to see a lot of two-wheeled commuters in the community.

“Our Valley is so incredible – we have so many participants that are actually involved in cycling for their day-to-day commute anyway, but Bike to Work Week is that time where we bring other people out that maybe aren’t used to doing it all the time,” said Stevens, the Comox Valley Bike to Work Week co-ordinator with Active Comox Valley.

The Comox Valley is one of the leaders when it comes to Bike to Work Week.

The program, which started in Victoria in 1994, has morphed into a province-wide event. Last year the Comox Valley ranked third overall in participation. Stevens offers a few reasons for the high  participation numbers.

“Not only is our climate conducive to biking most days of the year, but also our Valley and municipalities have really done a great job at creating safe biking routes for everyone out there. We have bike lanes all through Comox; they added the big bike lane last year along Fitzgerald Avenue, which was fantastic. I really think our Valley in general, the way it is set up… makes it conducive for people to bike.”

Register today

Why register? Other than for statistical purposes, there’s also an opportunity for a great prize. Everyone from the Comox Valley who registers at www.biketowork.ca/registration will be entered into a draw for a new Kona Dew, courtesy of Simon’s Cycles in Comox.

The Bike to Work Week BC on-line registration tool makes it easy to track a number of metrics that an individual, and a team, are achieving over the week. Participants can track how many people are participating in their team, how many kilometres they’ve travelled, how much greenhouse gases have been avoided (compared to driving) and even how many calories have been burned. Everyone who registers can also view all the other participants in the Valley and how they rank overall.

“Last year we had 500 people register and I think we can meet that, if not beat that,” said Stevens. “I don’t know if anyone can rival Victoria… they do it up right, up there. But over the last couple of years, the Comox Valley has competed with communities such as Kelowna, such as the Fraser Valley, as far as our registered participants are concerned.”

Government challenge

The four local government offices have taken the week one step further, with their own challenge event.

The City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, and the Comox Valley Regional District have agreed to a challenge on which local government can achieve the highest percent of participation by their staff.

“We’re thrilled to see the local governments have some fun with the Bike to Work Week brand,” said Stevens. “We’ve seen a steady participation rate in the Valley since it started here and local government leadership is important given that transportation is a very big part of our communities.”

The winner of the local government Bike to Work Week challenge will receive a “silly decorated helmet” in honour of the playfulness of the event, as well as bragging rights for an entire year.

A big part of Bike to Work Week is the Celebration Stations set up at various locations in the Comox Valley throughout the week.

The following is a complete list of Celebration Stations:

Monday, May 30

Simon’s Cycles:  6:45 – 8:45 a.m. IHOS Gallery, Comox (Dyke) Road

19 Wing CFB Comox: 6:30 – 8 a.m. Little River Road and Ryan Road

City of Courtenay:  7– 9 a.m. Art Gallery Duncan Avenue, Courtenay

Tuesday, May 31

Simon’s Cycles:  6:45– 8:45am IHOS Gallery, Comox (Dyke) Road

19 Wing CFB Comox: 6:30 – 8 a.m. Little River Road and Ryan Road

Comox Community Centre:  2– 4 p.m. Noel Avenue.

Ascent Physiotherapy:   3:30–5:30 p.m. Comox Mall entrance off Comox Avenue

Highland Secondary: 2-4 p.m. Pritchard and Guthrie Road, Comox

Wednesday, June 1

Simon’s Cycles:  6:45-8:45 a.m. IHOS Gallery, Comox (Dyke) Road

19 Wing CFB Comox: 6:30-8 a.m. Little River Road and Ryan Road

Village of Cumberland: 7:45–9:30 a.m. Cumberland Community School Campus

Trail Bicycles: 3:30–5:30 p.m. Lake Trail Road, Courtenay

North Island College: 7–9 a.m.  Bus Loop on NIC campus

Thursday, June 2

19 Wing CFB Comox: 6:30–8 a.m. Little River Road and Ryan Road

G.P. Vanier Secondary School: 7– 9 a.m. Headquarters and Dove Creek Road

City of Courtenay 7–9 a.m. Lewis Centre

Highland Secondary School: 7:15–9 a.m. Pritchard and Guthrie Road, Comox

Friday, June 3

19 Wing CFB Comox: 6:30–8 a.m. Little River Road and Ryan Road

Mountain City Cycle: 7:30–9 a.m. 5th Street, Courtenay

The schools have embraced Bike to Work Week in a big way, with Bike To School Week. Eight schools – Ecole Robb Road Elementary, Ecole Puntledge Park, Valley View Elementary, Cumberland Community Campus, Huband Park Elementary, Miracle Beach Elementary, Aspen Park Elementary and Brooklyn Elementary – will take part in Bike to School Week this year, with various activities at individual schools. Check respective school websites for more details.

Be safe out there

While having all that fun, Bike to Work Week BC and local governments remind all cyclists hitting the streets and paths to practise safety tips. Ensuring your bike is in good working condition, wearing visible and weather proof clothing, using lights in low light conditions, and knowing the rules of the road are all critical to a fun and safe commute.

 

 

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