KAMLOOPS — River City motorists may have noticed more cyclists on the road on their morning and evening commutes so far this week. That’s because May 28th to June 3rd, 2018 is Bike to Work and School Week in Kamloops.
The week-long event is meant to encourage commuters to choose their bicycles instead of their vehicles to get to work or school for the week and offers some special incentives to those two-wheeled warriors who make the choice to cycle instead of drive to work.
“We ask our riders every year why they do it,” Bike to Work and School Week Coordinator Faith Bateman says. “One person says it just makes her feel happy.”
Bike to Work Week began in Victoria 26 years ago as a way to get more people using active transportation and to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads. Since then the event has evolved to incorporate not only people’s morning commutes, but any opportunity people have to use cycling as a way to get around.
“It’s not just about going to work or school. Any time you use your bike for transportation this week, that counts! So you can log those kilometres,” Bateman says.
Many of the riders who take part in Bike to Work and School Week have been doing so for a number of years, like Trevor and his daughter Gabby.
“Bike to Work Week’s probably been about 7 or 8 years for me. Gabby how long have you been doing Bike to School?” Trevor asks.
“No clue,” Gabby replies.
“Oh, about five years,” Trevor responds.
Many riders enjoy stopping at some of the celebration stations set up throughout Kamloops, which provide coffee and snacks to the riders on their way to work or school.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Kyle McKay says. “It gets everybody out together, on their bikes.”
As part of the celebration stations, the RCMP is out, helping people protect their bikes with the 529 Garage app.
“[The] 529 Garage program is an app you get for your phone and you put all that good information about your bike into the phone. So your serial number, a photo of your bike… and we also have these little tamperproof shields,” Constable Sofie Winkels explains. “If your bike gets stolen and you don’t have that good information, the serial number and the photo, your chances of recovery are much, much less.”
For Bateman, this week is about showing people how making that small change in their routine - like riding their bikes to work - has the possibility of having a big impact on their lives.
“I think a lot of it comes down to attitude and your willingness to find alternative ways,” Bateman says. “If you love to bike, you’ll make it happen.”
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