Here in the heart of the Okanagan, bike riding is more than a pleasurable past time – it’s a way of life. To encourage everyone to hop on two-wheeled transport, the Central Okanagan will again host Bike to Work and School week from May 29 to June 4 in conjunction with the smartTRIPS program. This is a collaborative program with the City of Kelowna, West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation along with the surrounding municipalities of Districts of Peachland and Lake County and Regional District of Central Okanagan.
In order to measure the success of the program, all participants are encouraged to register on the Bike to Work BC website. You can register as an individual or a team on the website under the Kelowna and Central Okanagan tab on the website.
Registrants will also find good resources and event information and details on which categories to enter in and a list of the prizes available. By creating a login participants can enter their results for each day of that week.
This year, the Bike to Work and School organizers hope to top last years record-breaking number.
Team participation usually involves employees organizing themselves at their work place and recording the distance into work, competing against employees in other Kelowna organizations. Somewhere in Kelowna each day there’s a “Celebration Station” set up, along popular routes or gathering spots, where participants can stop in to get their bike tuned up, to grab some snacks and pick up a prize from the Bike to Work organizers.
How to Organize your Workplace
All it takes is one person at your workplace to be a team lead. You can have one team lead per work group or department if your place of work has a large enough staff and compete against each other for prizes.
Your team lead has to find people who either bike or are just interested in getting started. A kit will be sent out to all registered Team Leaders. The more committed people on the team, the better your teams chance of winning. Either the Team Leader can gather all the mileage statistics from the team or individuals can log their distance under the team banner. If your workplace is small or if you work at home, you can still sign up as an individual and just get out and ride each day – as long as you log your distance. Resource kits aren’t provided for individuals.
How to Organize your School
Kelowna school students of all ages can get in on the fun. Most schools are contacted by the organizers and a team lead organizes students. Schools get a tool kit as well with information and are given special incentives to sign up as many students as possible. Prizes will be given to Kelowna school with the highest number of students participating and logging their distance. The goal is to get students on their bikes not just for the week but for the months and years to follow. It’s healthy for kids, cuts down on traffic congestion around the schools as parents drop off kids, reduces idling and therefore unhealthy vehicle emissions.
How to Register
Visit biketoworkbc.com or the smartTRIPS website to register as a team or as an individual or school. To stay on top of local happenings in Kelowna, sign up for the e-newsletter while you’re on any of those two websites.
What is smartTRIPS
This organization encourages residents of Kelowna and the Central Okanagan to find alternative methods of transportation to single-occupant motor vehicle transportation. The goal is to get more cars off the road and to get more people to carpool. Walking, biking and riding transit are touted as the most environmentally friendly, cost effective and healthy methods of getting around Kelowna.