Hop on your bike and head to school or work next week for GoByBike BC’s annual event. Cranbrook residents are encouraged to bike to school and work from September 28 to October 4 (and beyond) for the chance to win prizes. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

GoByBike week taking place in Cranbrook

Participate in GoByBike week from September 28 to October 4, 2020

As smoky skies clear and the cool weather sets in, Cranbrook residents are being encouraged to participate in GoByBike week from September 28 to October 4.

This year’s event is being coordinated by the Sunrise Rotary Club of Cranbrook, the GoByBike BC organization explained in a press release. They add that normally this week concentrates on the themes of Bike to Work and Bike to School, however due to the ongoing pandemic, the focus has changed to GoByBike anytime and anywhere.

Local activities have been planned with the provincial health guidelines for COVID-19 in mind, including rules for physical distancing. Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary has limited the local activities to riding solo or with people in your social bubble.

Melanie McFarlane of the Sunrise Rotary Club says they are thrilled to have been tasked with the role of coordinating the 2020 GoByBike week for Cranbrook.

“The pandemic has forced cancellation of many of our favourite events, including the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo. Our Sunrise Rotary Club is excited to be able to turn our energy towards helping to bring these safe and fun outdoor activities to our community during this challenging time,” she said. “It is amazing how Cranbrook residents, and folks all across Canada, have embraced the sport of cycling over the last few months. GoByBike Cranbrook Week will be a celebration of Cranbrook’s reinvigorated cycling spirit. The ‘Search for the Signs’ contest will also be a fun chance for families to ride together to try and find all twelve signs.”

She adds that there opportunities to win prizes through the provincial program including a trip for two cycling the Atlantic Coast of Portugal and VISA gift cards. There are also some great local sponsors who have donated prizes, and the Sunrise Rotary Club encourages any other local businesses who want to get involved to do so.

Not only does GoByBike week offer prizes to be won, but McFarlane says it’s an opportunity to do something active and reduce carbon emissions.

“Cycling to work or school is definitely the healthy way to go. It also has a positive impact on the environment,” McFarlane said. “Each year, GoByBike BC’s Spring & Fall Bike to Work & School Week encourages British Columbian’s to choose their bicycles for transportation rather than a motor vehicle. Converting sedentary time behind the steering wheel into time pedalling their bicycle wheels; enjoying healthy, environmentally friendly, active transportation. During the last spring event (2019), 56,074 riders cycled 2.97 million kilometres (rather than driving those via motor vehicle) and saved 644,005 kilograms of greenhouse gases from entering our atmosphere. A total of 89.1 million calories were burned during this event.”

There are several local challenges to participate in including one for schools, one for businesses and one for individuals.

The ‘Cranbrook Schools GoByBike Challenge’ encourages students and staff to ride their bikes anytime, not just during bike to school week. Each school will be registered as a team, and tracking of the cycling data is done online at www.gobybikebc.ca.

It is free to register schools, students & staff for participation and to qualify for an opportunity to win prizes.

McFarlane explained that the local trophy is also up for grabs again this year and the winner will be determined through each school’s bike ride statistics obtained from the provincial website data.

All students and staff are encouraged to get out and ride their bikes as many times as they can during the week and log in their rides. Go with your family and friends (in your bubble) for a ride on the Rotary Trail, NorthStar Rails2Trails, the Cranbrook Community Forest, Chief Isadore Trail, in your neighbourhood and more.

The ‘Cranbrook Corporate GoByBike Challenge’ is offered to any and all local businesses. Sign up your company as a ‘team’ and ask employees to register on the GoByBike website. Lots of prizes are available to be won.

The ‘Search for the Signs Contest’ challenges cyclists of all ages to find twelve specially designated signs throughout the community during the GoByBike week. When you find a sign, take a picture with it, yourself and your bike and post it to Facebook and/or Instagram with the hashtags #GoByBikeCranbrook #GoByBikeBC. Each post counts as an entry for prizes from local businesses.

To be eligible, all cyclists must register and log their rides at www.gobybikebc.ca.

“We are hoping that the weather cooperates and that the smoky air stays away during GoByBike Cranbrook Week,” said McFarlane. “It would be absolutely amazing if we could get everyone who rides a bicycle in Cranbrook to jump on their bike and participate in the week’s fun activities! How many rides can you bike during the week? It’s free to register. We will see you on the road and the trails from September 28 toOctober 4th. Let’s Go By Bike Cranbrook!”


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