The Campbell family are avid bikers, and they've found solace in the outdoor activity during the pandemic. (Submitted)

Kootenay residents encouraged to break out their bikes this week

BC residents are GoingByBike May 31 to June 6

Submitted by GoByBike BC Society

Over the last 15 months British Columbians have faced stretches of time where gyms, arenas, swimming pools, and even playgrounds were closed, limiting many of their regular activities.

The pandemic created several unknowns and required us to adjust our lifestyles, which caused significant stress and has affected many people’s mental health.

However, through it all B.C. remained united by cycling. Cycling is one of the activities that has remained open and encouraged by public health officials. Cycling is also one of the activities that has helped many British Columbians cope with stress, as it enables people to get active, outdoors, and take a break from their screens.

“My family loves outdoors no matter the weather, even more so on two wheels,” said Marijke Campbell, a resident of Chilliwack, B.C. and an avid biker. “Biking has gifted us a form of freedom and normalcy in these unknown times. My husband and I spend many days with our girls biking and exploring our local community in a safe, social distant way. What better joy is there as a parent than to see your kids on bikes riding through puddles? What better way to relieve some stress? Get outside active. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay biking.”

The GoByBike BC Society is encouraging everyone to ride their bikes as much as possible during GoByBike Week from May 31 to June 6. Cycle around your neighbourhood, enjoy biking on your local trails, try riding a bike instead of a motor vehicle to get somewhere or do something, or organize a ride with your bubble!

Register free at www.GoByBikeBC.ca and log all your rides for chances to win great prizes, including an Exodus Travels cycling adventure for two cycling the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.

In the West Kootenays, residents can participate to be entered to win an e-bike. Follow GoByBikeBC in the West Kootenays on Facebook for more information.

They are also holding a bike vigil on Wednesday, June 2 for the 215 residential school victims. For every biker that records a ride in a Kootenay community after 5 p.m., GoByBike will be donate $1 to the Legacy of Hope foundation.

Link your GoByBike account to your STRAVA account and automatically enter prize draws when you ride using STRAVA. When you choose to use your bicycle instead of a motor vehicle to get somewhere, you will be pleasantly surprised to see how many kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions you can save from entering the atmosphere.

Students also have a chance to win more prizes by entering the Bike Reels Student Video Contest. Create a short video sharing how cycling has helped you during the pandemic, or tips for safe cycling, or why cycling is good for the environment, or more.

Visit www.GoByBikeBC.ca to find safety tips for all road users, drivers included, and share these tips to help everyone stay safe and have fun.

Due to the increase in cycling in communities across BC during GoByBike Week, all British Columbians are reminded to make space when passing someone riding a bicycle. The BC Cycling Coalition recommends 1-1.5 metres — learn about their Safe Passing campaign at bccc.bc.ca/safe-passing.

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