Go By Bike Week is returning to Port Alberni, but the event will look a little different this year because of COVID-19.
This year’s celebration of cycling will take place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4.
“We know that a lot of people are really stressed out about physical distancing and safety this year, especially with school starting, so we’re going to keep it really simple,” said John Mayba, one of the Port Alberni Go By Bike organizers.
Instead of joining “celebration stations” as in past years, people can participate by logging on at www.gobybikebc.ca and recording their kilometres ridden—whether they are going to work or school or to the grocery store, to visit a friend or just out for a ride in the woods.
Participants who register their ride will be eligible for a draw for one of 32 prizes of $25. There is an additional prize of $50 for the person who logs the most kilometres. One final prize involves submitting a picture of yourself in one of your favourite places to ride. One of the pictures will be drawn for a $50 prize. Pictures can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go By Bike BC has recently opened a new website, so it will be necessary for all participants to create a new account.
Cycling is a fun and healthy way to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air while practicing physical distancing, said Mayba.
“With the record bike sales reported by local bike shops since the start of COVID-19, we are hoping for great participation in this year’s Go By Bike week,” he added.
Earlier this year, Cycle Alberni volunteers hosted a bike count to collect data about how many people in Port Alberni are cycling. Over two days, the count recorded more than 300 bikes across eight different locations.