The inaugural Kootenay Kids Fondo is being expanded into its own separate event this coming May.

The inaugural Kootenay Kids Fondo is being expanded into its own separate event this coming May.

New iRide program will get kids riding

Plans are in high gear to introduce a program into schools to help kids tap into Kootenay bike culture.

  • Feb. 19, 2016 7:00 a.m.

Barry Coulter

The Kootenays are known for their bicycle culture, with countless trails and paths dedicated to the sport, and widespread cycling on the streets of the region’s urban centres.

And now plans are in high gear to introduce a program into Cranbrook and Kimberley schools, to support that cycling culture and to help kids tap into it.

Cycling BC, in conjunction with Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club, the Kootenay Freewheelers and the Wildhorse Cycling Club, is working with local schools to establish the iRide program, a Cycling BC program that teaches cycling skills and basic knowledge to kids and encourages them get involved in the sport and to cycle for health and fitness and as a social activity.

John Mandryk, local cycling coach, says the goal is to establish an annual program for Grade 4 students and some Grade 3 students.

“There will be kids who will take to the sport, and will grow into it and grow up with it,” he said. “It’s a life sport, one you can do all your life.”

Mandryk said the proposed program has had a good response from most elementary schools in Cranbrook and Kimberley, and School District 5 has also shown great interest.

The iRide program will teach kids basic skills — bike handling and manoeuvrability, safety, mount/dismount, start/stop, scan and signal and rules of the road. Armed with this knowledge and these skills, kids will be set to hit the endless kilometres of bike facilities — including the North Star Rails to Trails, the centrepiece trail in the area.

“The theme of Rails to Trails is ‘connecting communities,'” Mandryk said. “This [iRide]is part of that.”

First off, coaches are needed. Cycling BC is offering a two-day NCCP and iRide coaching clinic in Cranbrook on April 2 (8 a.m) and 3 (5 p.m.), at Gordon Terrace School to certify coaches to help introduce the iRide program in the schools.

“You don’t need a wealth of knowledge to become a coach,” Mandryk said. “Some passion for the sport would be good.”

The iRide program involves four hours of in-school instruction. Coaches also get paid for their efforts.

The students will use their own bikes for the in-school sessions. But since all students don’t have bicycles, organizers are looking for donations. If you have a bicycle you can donate, call Melanie McFarlane at 250-489-9101, or email

As well, an exciting event is planned for the spring — a Kids’ Fondo, set for May 29. This is the same event as the kids fondo that was part of the Kootenay Gran Fondo in September. But it has been drawn out into its own separate ride. Organizers hope to make it an annual event.

For more information on the iRide program, and/or becoming a certified coach for the program, contact John Mandryk in Cranbrook (250-489-0658,, or Jodi Hawley in Kimberley (

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read