Kelowna News

Bike to School and Work was a hit

The days of walking and cycling to school may be numbered - but during Bike to Work and School Week the numbers were big. From May 27 to June 2, many families gave walking and cycling to school and work a try.

More than 125,000 kilometres were traveled by bike and other active transportation options, like walking, during this year’s Bike to Work and School Week. That is equivalent to traveling the distance across Canada nearly 50 times.

Almost 1,300 residents committed to a cycling commute by signing up for Bike to Work Week. The Central Okanagan has the third highest participation in Bike to Work Week in the province – behind Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria.

We are one of few communities that also offer Bike and Walk to School Week at the same time. “We saw a dramatic increase in participation among schools this year,” says Mike Kittmer, Active Transportation Coordinator. At least 28 schools in the Central Okanagan participated this year, and among those schools one-third of students walked or rode their bike during the week.

“It’s so encouraging to see youth increasingly cycling and walking to school,” says Dave Gibson, School Traffic Safety Officer for the Central Okanagan. “Walking and biking to school provides children with much needed physical activity, prepares them for learning and increases the safety of our school zones.”

Every year, students in the Central Okanagan are taught cycling skills and safety leading up to Bike to Work Week, at Bike Rodeos. “This year, we delivered Bike Rodeos to more than 2,000 students in 14 schools throughout the region,” says Gibson.  

A number of events were held across the Central Okanagan to reward cyclists during Bike to Work and School Week. “The weather at the beginning of the week was unpredictable, but a record number of cyclists braved the rain to attend our events,” says Kittmer. “Our sponsors and partners were amazing this year. With their help, we were able to offer more events in more areas of the community.”

For more information about this year’s Bike to Work and School Week and general cycling information, visit smartTRIPS.ca.


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