Cycling urged for Bike to Work Week

Summerlanders will switch from four wheels to two wheels during Bike to Work Week, May 25 to 29.

Mary Trainer cycles to get around her Trout Creek neighbourhood. Summerlanders are encouraged to try cycling during Bike to Work Week

Mary Trainer cycles to get around her Trout Creek neighbourhood. Summerlanders are encouraged to try cycling during Bike to Work Week

Summerlanders will switch from four wheels to two wheels during Bike to Work Week, May 25 to 29.

During the week, Summerlanders are urged to get on their bicycles and ride to various appointments and commitments around town.

“Even though it’s called Bike to Work Week, in Summerland we’re really calling it Bike to Everywhere Week,” said Erin Trainer, a member of the Bike to Work Summerland committee. “We’re encouraging Summerlanders to ride their bikes to the grocery store, to a friend’s for coffee or to church. Anywhere you’re going — try using your bike to get there. It just might be habit forming!”

Benefits from cycling include exercise, money savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Last year, 25,000 participants in more than 44 communities and regions in British Columbia registered during Bike to Work Week. Their efforts reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 207,068 kilograms.

In Summerland, 34 cyclists participated in Bike to Work Week last year. They recorded 511 kilometres, burned 15,333 calories and reduced Summerland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 111 kilograms.

Despite those benefits, the most important aspect to cycling is the joy of riding a bicycle.

“Biking is not only a great way to get exercise and help the environment, it also gives you a sense of freedom when you’re pedalling away with the sun and wind on your face,” Trainer said. “It’s that same feeling you got as a kid, when you hopped on your bike and rode for miles.”

Each morning from 7 to 9 a.m., bicycle commuters are invited to stop at a celebration station for coffee, refreshments, mini bike tune-ups and daily prize draws. The station will be at Sungate Plaza, at the corner of Victoria Road North and Jubilee Road West.

On Tuesday, May 26, the documentary A Winter of Cyclists will be shown at Centre Stage Theatre.

Bike to Work Week is held across Canada each year in late May. In Summerland it is organized by the Summerland Climate Action Committee.

Organizers hope the week will encourage more people to ride their bicycles throughout the spring, summer, fall and even winter.

This is the third year Bike to Work Week has been held in Summerland. For more information, visit www.biketowork.ca/summerland.

Anyone with questions or comments and those interested in sponsoring the event or donating a prize are asked to contact John Arendt at johndarendt@gmail.com.