Cycle Alberni is once again encouraging people to get out on their bikes for Go By Bike Week from May 31 to June 6.
Because of COVID-19, Cycle Alberni still can’t hold any public gatherings or celebration stations. Instead, organizers have adopted something new: a bingo card.
The Go By Bike bingo cards are full of suggestions for Go By Bike week, like “bike to a friend’s” or “bike in the rain.” Participants have to complete one line in any direction in order to be eligible for some Go By Bike swag.
“We tried to design the cards in such a way that it is not difficult to get a straight line,” said John Mayba of Cycle Alberni. “All you have to do is get out and get on your bike.”
The bingo cards can be found in the Alberni Valley News May 19 and May 26 editions, or on the Alberni Valley Transition Town website.
Mayba is also encouraging riders to register on the Go By Bike BC website. People who are registered there have a chance to earn more prizes—including the provincial grand prize of a cycling adventure for two along the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.
Registering online also helps Cycle Alberni gather some statistics about how many people are riding, said Mayba. Cycle Alberni volunteers will be hosting a bike count over two days during Go By Bike week to collect data about how many people in Port Alberni are cycling. In 2020, the bike count recorded more than 300 bikes across eight different locations in Port Alberni.
This year, Mayba hopes that an innovative new e-bike program will get more people out cycling. The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce launched the Bike SEAT program at McLean Mill National Historic Site earlier this year. The program is designed to get seniors mobile through the use of e-bikes (register via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mayba said he has used an e-bike for almost six years.
“We’re encouraging people to try [e-bikes] as a way for them to keep cycling as they get older,” said Mayba. “It opens up a whole new world for people who want to keep cycling.”
For those who are new to biking, Cycle Alberni has also put together several bike safety courses for young riders this summer through the City of Port Alberni’s Parks and Recreation department. There are also two Urban Cycling courses for adults being offered on June 6 and Aug. 15. The city is also offering trail riding courses for kids with a different instructor. For more information, visit www.playinpa.ca or check out the Summer 2021 Leisure Guide at Echo Centre.