A growing number of Vernon residents are parking the car and using a bike to get around — at least for a few days.
The City says Bike to Work and School Week from May 28 to June 3 saw a 24-per-cent increase in Vernon cyclists compared to 2016.
“A total of 1,265 cyclists (a record 139 teams) participated in the week-long event, 411 of which were new to biking to work or school, who cycled a total of 17,168 kilometres, which is the equivalent 3,724 kilograms of greenhouse gasses saved, says the city’s coordinator Jill Williamson. “Just over 40 per cent of participants were elementary and high school students.”
Six elementary schools were involved: Ellison Elementary, Harwood Elementary, Alexis Park Elementary, Beairsto Elementary and Kidston Elementary.. “Each school hosted teams or celebration stations for their students and community members. Mission Hill Elementary held a bike rodeo to introduce young riders to safety rules and cycling techniques,” says Williamson.
Photo: Jesse Van Den Brandand and 90 of his fellow students came through the Harwood Elementary School morning celebration station to enjoy snacks, giveaways and prize entries.
A number of local participants received prizes. Bernice Alderson got a $500 gift card courtesy of CUPE 626 to the local cycle shop of her choice. Dave Roemer was the winner of a two-night Silver Star Resort family excursion and Kayla Taves was the winner of a full suspension Schwinn youth mountain bike from Canadian Tire.
The top local riders were:
Family Team: the Martens – five riders who cycled 1,205.20 kilometres, saving 261.30 kilograms in GHGs.
Community Team: The Newbees, consisting of 11 riders who cycled 1,022.35 kilometres, saving 221.68 kg in GHGs.
Business Team: Kal Tire with 47 riders who cycled 1,882.11 kilometres, saving 407.80 kilograms in GHGs.
Small Business Team: Westwood Wheelers, with eight riders cycling 305.99 kilometres, and saved 66.31 kilograms in GHGs.
Individual Rider: Murray Wood, who cycled 495 kilometres and saved over 100 kilograms in GHGs.
The midweek celebration station hosted by Sun Country Cycle with KissFM was popular with cyclists, attracting 88 riders for breakfast and coffee.
Members of the community donated over $10,352.00 in prizes, food and in kind that lead to more school students than ever participating and a record number of teams registering.
Provincially, over 44,000 riders took part.